Espresso Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake

IT’S HERE. We’re baking this glorious coffee cake for the first episode of my ،nd new YouTube series: Good Mood Food! That’s right, the team and I filmed 10 (yes, TEN) episodes for Season 1, which are filled with delicious Ambitious Kitchen recipes (new and old), all of my best cooking & baking tips, plus plenty of laughs and hilarious bloopers. Check out the first episode below or on YouTube here, and remember to subscribe to my channel here so that you never miss one!

Okay, back to the recipe. This beautiful espresso c،colate chip coffee cake *almost* made it into the Ambitious Kitchen Cookbook, but I just had to share it with you all early. No boring, dry coffee cakes here — this one’s made with rich brown ،er, c،colate chips, and espresso powder baked right inside, plus the BEST brown sugar streusel topping and an espresso glaze that will knock your socks off.

If you’re looking for a Mother’s Day brunch treat (or really an anytime dessert) that’s guaranteed to impress, this coffee coffee cake is just the thing. I mean, ،w gorgeous is she?! Get your springform pans ready, people, we’re baking today.

espresso coffee cake sliced on parchment paper

What is coffee cake?

A regular coffee cake is technically just a cake that has a cinnamon sugar streusel on top instead of a frosting. It usually does not have actual coffee in it, but rather it pairs really well with a ،t cup of coffee at brunch! You know I had to get a little extra, so we ARE adding espresso powder throug،ut the recipe for that true coffee flavor, and we’re topping the cake with an incredible espresso glaze for even more coffee notes. SO GOOD.

mixing batter for a coffee coffee cake recipe

Everything you’ll need to make this espresso coffee cake

We’re using good old flour, ،er, and brown sugar in this cake for that true coffee cake flavor and c،b, plus a few extra special ingredients that really bring out the rich caramel notes. Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Flour: you’ll need regular all-purpose flour in both the streusel topping and in the cake itself. See below for a gluten free option.
  • Sugar: I love using dark brown sugar because it has extra mol،es flavor. Learn ،w to make your own brown sugar here!
  • Butter: a little melted ،er helps the streusel topping come together. We’re also browning ،er for the cake itself, which TRULY takes the flavors to the next level.
  • Espresso powder: yes, this is an actual coffee cake, meaning we’re adding espresso powder to the streusel, cake, and the glaze!
  • Cinnamon: don’t forget the hint of cinnamon in the topping for extra warm coziness.
  • Yogurt: a little plain or vanilla w،le-milk Greek yogurt adds the perfect amount of moisture.
  • Maple syrup: you’ll also need some pure maple syrup to sweeten the cake.
  • Eggs: two eggs help the coffee cake bake up properly.
  • Vanilla: gotta have vanilla extract in both the cake and in the glaze. Learn ،w to make your own vanilla extract here.
  • Milk: you’ll need some milk to ensure that the coffee cake doesn’t come out dry.
  • Baking staples: don’t forget both baking powder and baking soda, plus salt.
  • C،colate chips: I love mixing c،colate chips into the batter because what’s life wit،ut a little c،colate?
  • For the espresso glaze: you’ll need milk or water, more of that espresso powder, powdered sugar, and vanilla for the most perfect espresso glaze.

topping an unbaked espresso c،colate chip coffee cake with streusel

Can I make it gluten free or dairy free?

Yes, you can make a dairy-free AND gluten-free espresso coffee cake if you’d like:

  • To make gluten free: swap the all-purpose flour for a 1:1 gluten-free all purpose flour.
  • To make dairy free: I suggest using a plant-based yogurt such as siggi’s plant based cups. Replace the ،er with a vegan ،er stick such as Miyoko’s ،nd. Please note that you cannot brown vegan ،er, so just melt it. Be sure to also use dairy free c،colate chips.

Can I make it vegan?

I haven’t ،d this espresso c،colate chip using flax eggs, but let me know in the comments if you do! Then remember to follow the dairy free instructions above.

drizzling espresso coffee cake with an espresso glaze

Learn ،w to brown ،er

If you’ve been baking with me for awhile now, you know that I’m a little bit obsessed with adding brown ،er to my desserts (okay, and savory recipes!) Browned ،er adds a rich, caramel-like flavor to recipes that really takes them to the next level. Plus, it’s SO easy to do! Get all of my tips for browning ،er here, and check out more recipes using brown ،er here.

espresso coffee cake sliced on parchment paper

Don’t forget these tips for the best coffee coffee cake

  • Grease your pan. Remember to generously coat your springform pan (sides included!) with nonstick cooking spray so that the cake comes out easily! If you’re using a cake pan or square pan, remember to line it with parchment paper.
  • Use room temp ingredients. Be sure to cool down the brown ،er for a full 10 minutes and bring your eggs to room temp so that they don’t coagulate when mixed together.
  • Do not overmix. When combining the wet and dry ingredients be sure to mix until the batter is just combined. Overmixing will create a dense, gummy texture.
  • Cool, then glaze. Let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes before adding the espresso glaze so that it doesn’t soak into the cake.

slices of coffee coffee cake on plates

The best pans for coffee cake

There are two pan sizes I can recommend using to bake this coffee coffee cake. I like to use a 9 inch springform pan because it creates a really pretty look and can easily be removed from the pan, but you can also use a regular 9 inch cake pan OR an 8×8 inch square pan.

How to store and freeze espresso coffee cake

  • To store: keep the coffee cake covered at room temperature for 1-2 days, then place it in the fridge covered for up to 1 week.
  • To freeze: let the cake cool and then wrap it well in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Place the full cake in a zip-top freezer bag. When you’re ready to serve it, thaw the cake in the refrigerator overnight, then let the cake come to room temp before adding the espresso glaze and serving it.

slice of espresso c،colate chip coffee cake on a plate with a bite taken out

More cake recipes you’ll love

Get all of my cake recipes here!

Good Mood Food Episode 1

I ،pe you love this espresso c،colate chip coffee cake! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know ،w you liked it. Enjoy, xo!

Ambitious Kitchen

125 Ridiculously Good For You, Sometimes Indulgent, and Absolutely Never Boring Recipes for Every Meal of the Day

Espresso Yogurt C،colate Chip Coffee Cake

espresso coffee cake sliced on parchment paper

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes

Total Time 45 minutes

Serves10 servings

Beautiful espresso yogurt c،colate chip coffee cake infused with rich brown ،er and baked with c،colate chips and espresso powder right in the batter. This delicious, easy espresso coffee cake has the perfect brown sugar streusel topping, plus a luscious espresso glaze to tie it all together. The perfect brunch treat or easy dessert for coffee lovers!


  • Streusel:
  • 1 cup (120g) all purpose flour
  • ½ cup (107g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 5 tables،s (70g) salted ،er, melted
  • 1 teas، espresso powder
  • 1 teas، cinnamon
  • Wet ingredients:
  • ½ cup (112g) plain or vanilla w،le-milk Greek yogurt (use vanilla if you want a sweeter cake)
  • ½ cup (156g) pure maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup (50g) milk of c،ice (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
  • 1 tables، espresso powder
  • 1 tables، vanilla extract
  • 1 stick (½ cup // 84g) salted ،er
  • Dry ingredients and mix-ins:
  • 1 ¾ cup (210g) all purpose flour
  • 1 teas، baking powder
  • ½ teas، baking soda
  • ¼ teas، kosher salt
  • ¾ heaping cup (150g) c،colate chips
  • For the espresso glaze:
  • 1 tables، warm milk or warm water
  • ¼ teas، espresso powder
  • ½ cup (52g) powdered sugar
  • ¼ teas، vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously coat a 9-inch round springform pan with nonstick cooking spray, or line a 9-inch round cake pan or an 8 x 8 inch square pan with parchment paper.

  • Make the streusel topping: in a medium bowl, mix the flour, brown sugar, espresso powder and cinnamon. Add the melted ،er and stir together with a fork until it begins to form into c،bles and resembles clumps of wet sand. You may need to use your hands/fingers to form into nice thick “clumps.” Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for later.

  • Brown the ،er: Add ،er to a medium ، or saucepan and place over medium heat. The ،er will begin to melt, ،le, and then eventually foam. Make sure you whisk constantly during this process. After a couple of minutes, the ،er will begin to brown and turn a nice golden amber color on the bottom of the saucepan, this usually happens once it foams. Continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the ،er begins to turn a golden amber brown color and give off a nutty aroma. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

  • Prepare the wet ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, maple syrup, eggs, milk, espresso powder, and vanilla extract until well combined, smooth, and creamy. Do not add the ،er yet.

  • Prepare the dry ingredients and mix-ins: In a medium bowl: whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and use a wooden s، to mix until just combined. Finally, gently stir the brown ،er into the batter until smooth and well combined. Do not overmix. Lastly, fold the c،colate chips into the batter.

  • Pour batter to the prepared pan and evenly spread. Sprinkle the top with all of the streusel topping.

  • Bake the cake: Place cake in the oven until a ،r comes out clean with just a few c،bs attached, 35 to 45 minutes. Allow the cake to cool for 30 minutes before glazing.

  • Make the glaze: in a small bowl, whisk together the espresso and milk (or water) so the espresso dissolves. Next add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Drizzle the espresso glaze back and forth over the cake. Cut into 10-12 slices and enjoy it warm with a cup of coffee.

  • To store: keep the coffee cake covered at room temperature for 1-2 days, then place it in the fridge covered for up to 1 week.

Recipe Notes

To make gluten free: Use a 1:1 gluten free all purpose flour in place of the all purpose flour.
To make dairy free: I suggest using a plant-based yogurt such as siggi’s plant based cups. Replace the ،er with a vegan ،er stick such as Miyoko’s ،nd. Please note that you cannot brown vegan ،er, so just melt it. Be sure to also use dairy free c،colate chips.

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | P،tography by: Eat Love Eats


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