I grew up addicted to crumb cake, as it's called in the States. The thicker the crumb topping, the happier I was. The cake was alway just an after thought.
When I started baking for this blog years ago, at one point I taught myself how to make streusel. A dangerous trick for someone like me who has trouble not eating it straight out of the bowl.
This lovely loaf cake is very easy to make and the cake is definitely not just an afterthought. The chocolate hazelnut brown sugar flavors make it a great dessert option for your fall or winter table.
The ingredients are a bit unusual. Dry bread crumbs and chocolate sprinkles are used in the recipe, a great way to use up leftovers of both. The cake is not too sweet in taste and is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee or tea.
Chocolate Brown Sugar Streusel Cake
For the Chocolate Cake:
- 1 cup dried breadcrumbs
- 1 cup chocolate sprinkles
- 1 cup ground hazelnuts or hazelnut flour*
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter room temperature
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
- 5 large eggs
- For the Brown Sugar Streusel:
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 3/4 cup flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of nutmeg
*To make hazelnut flour, place raw shelled hazelnuts (you can leave the skins on) in a food processor or blender together with a tablespoon of powdered sugar. Pulse until the hazelnuts have become completely pulverized and there are no large pieces left. The powdered sugar prevents the nuts from forming a paste. If it looks like this is happening, add more powdered sugar one teaspoon at a time.
Make the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the breadcrumbs, chocolate sprinkles, ground hazelnuts, all-purpose flour, unsweetened cacao and baking powder until well combined.
- Place the softened unsalted butter in a stand mixer together with the brown sugar and beat until creamy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time. Wait until each is thoroughly combined before adding the next. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixer with a rubber or silicon spatula to make sure the eggs are properly combined with the brown sugar and butter.
- Slow the mixer down to the lowest speed and add the dry mixed ingredients in thirds until the dry ingredients are just incorporated.
- Give the batter another turn with the rubber or silicon spatula to make sure everything is evenly combined, then scrape the batter into the greased loaf pan. Place in the middle rack of the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Make the brown sugar streusel:
- Place the unsalted butter, brown sugar and all-purpose flour into a bowl. Use your fingers or a large fork to rub the mixture together until it begins to combine.
- Sprinkle the salt over the mixture, add the pinch of nutmeg and continue to combine until the mixture resembles streusel.
- Remove the chocolate cake from the oven and spoon the streusel over the top. Return the cake to the oven and cook for another 15-20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Remove pan from oven, let cool for 20 minutes.
- Run a butter knife along the sides of the pan, tap the sides and the bottom of the pan with the handle of the knife. Gently remove the cake from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- When the cake has cooled, transfer to a platter, cut into slices and serve.