Cinnamon Cocoa Coffee Cake


Coffee cake is one of my favourite foods to bake: it’s simple and delicious, and beats paying big bucks per slice at cafes. I had some cocoa lying around in my pantry and decided I should figure out a way to get it into a coffee cake.

However, recipes for this sort of thing seem to be sort of rare. So, I hodge-podged together these three recipes: 1 with cocoa filling, 1 with cocoa-walnut filling, and 1 with cocoa-walnut topping; this resulted in a cake with walnuts, cocoa and cinnamon both in the middle and on top. (Note: all those recipes are for a full bundt-sized cake. The one I made was for a simple ~9″-by-5″ loaf pan.)


  • 2/3c brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp dutch-process cocoa
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • heavy pinch of salt

Cakey goodness:

  • 3/2c flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/8c butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • splash of vanilla
  • 3/4c whole-milk yogurt


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Mix the topping/filling ingredients all together.
  • Mix the cake’s dry ingredients (flour, baking powder + soda, cinnamon, salt).
  • Cream the butter and the sugar in a stand mixer. Once uniform, add the eggs one a time, then finally the vanilla.
  • Add the dry mix and the yogurt in alternate batches to the stand mixer.
  • Grease a loaf pan.
  • Pour half the batter evenly in the pan, then half the topping/filling.
  • Pour the rest of the batter on top, then the other half of the topping/filling.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes.
  • Cool about 15 minutes in the pan, then carefully remove and cool more. Put in on its side or on a wire rack so the bottom doesn’t get full of moisture.

The Results

It came out pretty good overall, with some caveats about the topping. The nuts on top over-toasted a bit, becoming very roasty-tasting, though not burnt. Furthermore, the spices on top didn’t really have a way to fully adhere to the cake, and partially fell off at the end. Next time I would either add some more traditional stuff to the topping (butter, flour) to make it stick better, or smash the topping into the top of the batter. I’d also like to try using sour cream or buttermilk instead of yogurt, for extra tang (yogurt was the laziest option, as I had some already).


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