This post was created as in partnership with Imperial Sugar. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

This Chocolate Pecan Crumb Cake has a layer of buttery cake topped with a generous layer of chocolate pecan crumbs that is almost as thick as the cake layer! Cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate chips make the crumb topping extra indulgent and there is a warm crunch from the cinnamon and pecans.

A slice of chocolate pecan crumb cake on a white plate.

Table of Contents
  1. What You'll Need
  2. How to Make Chocolate Pecan Crumb Cake
  3. Recipe FAQ's
  4. Tips for Success
  5. What to Serve With Crumb Cake
  6. How to Store & Freeze
  7. More Recipes Like This

Crumb cake is a cousin to coffee cake with similar flavor and texture profiles, except the layer of crumble or streusel filling sits loud and proud on top instead of half it it being swirled in a layer in the middle of the cake. The result is a mound of crumb topping that is pretty much as thick as the moist cake layer beneath it.

We decided to branch out from the typical cinnamon crumb topping that is traditional to most crumb cakes and add in some cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and pecans, giving this crumb cake some chocolate cookie vibes that are utterly delicious!

What You'll Need

Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

  • Flour - Regular all-purpose flour is perfect for this cake.
  • Pecans - Roughly chopped pecans means you will still have big chunks of nuts in this recipe.
  • Sugar - You'll need granulated sugar for the yellow cake part and brown sugar for the topping.
  • Cocoa powder - We used regular unsweetened cocoa powder for this recipe, but dutch processed cocoa powder will work for more of a dark chocolate flavor.
  • Sour cream - This gives great flavor and moisture to the cake part. You can sub with Greek yogurt if you need to.
  • Ground cinnamon - Just a tiny bit so as not to overpower the other flavors.
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Chocolate chips
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract - Try making your own homemade vanilla extract!
Ingredients for chocolate pecan crumb cake in separate bowls.

How to Make Chocolate Pecan Crumb Cake

  1. Make the crumb topping. Start by stirring together the brown sugar, flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and pecans in a large bowl. Drizzle melted butter on top and stir to evenly moisten. The mixture will still be very crumbly and dry.
  1. Stir in chocolate chips. Add the chocolate chips to the chocolate crumb mixture and stir until evenly dispersed. Set aside.
  1. Cream butter and sugar. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 1-2 minutes until light.
  2. Add remaining wet ingredients. Add eggs, vanilla extract, and sour cream to the creamed butter and sugar, mixing again until combined.
  3. Add dry ingredients. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix again on medium-low speed just until combined, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed.
  1. Assemble. Spread the cake batter into an 8-inch square baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the cake layer, making sure to go all the way to the edges of the pan.
  1. Bake. Bake the crumb cake in a 350 degree F oven for 50-60 minutes until done. A wooden skewer inserted into center of cake should come out clean with just a few crumbs attached, although this one can be kind of harder to tell if you stick the skewer through a chocolate chip, so you might have to test in a couple of places.

For the FULL RECIPE be sure to visit Imperial Sugar's site.

Recipe FAQ's

Can I make this recipe into a coffee cake?

Yes, you can! Just pour half of the cake batter into the prepared pan, then sprinkle on half of the crumb topping, followed by the remaining cake batter and finishing with a layer of chocolate crumb topping. The bake time is the same and everything.

Can I bake this in a bundt pan?

Sure, although you will need to double the recipe to have enough to fill a regular sized bundt pan. Follow the baking time and instructions given in my sour cream blueberry coffee cake post.

Can I omit the pecans?

Absolutely. The recipe can be made without nuts entirely or you can replace them with walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, or even crushed pretzels.

Tips for Success

  • Measure your flour correctly. I have a whole post on how to do this, but I recommend spooning your flour into the measuring cup and using a knife to level off the top so you end up with light and fluffy cake layers.
  • Preheat your oven. I recommend using an inexpensive oven thermometer to make sure your oven is baking at the correct temperature in order to ensure an accurate bake time. If your oven runs on the cool side or hot side (many do!) it can really affect the outcome of a recipe!

What to Serve With Crumb Cake

This is a delicious breakfast, dessert, or snack all on it's own, but we recommend enjoying a slice with tall glass of cold milk. It would also be delicious with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream on top.

How to Store & Freeze

This cake stays nice and moist for at least 3-4 days on the counter at room temperature if covered with plastic wrap or a lid.

You can also freeze individual slices (or the whole cake even) for future enjoyment. Just wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw on the counter for 1-2 hours before serving. We like to reheat individual slices in the microwave for 20 se

Be sure to stop by Imperial Sugar's site for the FULL RECIPE. I have partnered with them now for a few years and love their products for my baking needs!

More Recipes Like This

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

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Squares of chocolate crumb cake on white plates.

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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