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Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

Chocolate Chip Snack Cake is a quick and easy dessert dream!

slice of Chocolate Chip Snack Cake on a white plate

I’m a big believer in simple recipes. If I were to guess, I’d say that the majority of you are believers, too. Dessert doesn’t have to be complicated to be good. Who’s with me?

I made this cake with a couple of my favorite ingredients, chocolate and pecans. The cake itself is packed with brown sugar and a touch of cinnamon for a little something extra.

Chocolate Chip Snack Cake in a metal baking pan

The frosting, if we can dare call it that, is the very simplest kind imaginable. Placing chocolate chips on the warm cake will yield a rich, sweet topping. If you want to simplify even further, the cake is good enough on its own to make the frosting optional.

This little cake is a great example of baking simplicity. It’s quick to mix and easy to love. You can feel comfortable serving this as anything from an after-school snack to a post-dinner dessert to a late-night snack. Just serve it right out of the baking pan.

Find more cake recipes in the Recipe Index.

Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

Yield 12 to 16 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 32 minutes
Total Time 47 minutes

Chocolate Chip Snack Cake is a simple and delicious cake that is quick to mix and easy to love!

slice of Chocolate Chip Snack Cake on a white plate

Ingredients

  • 1 & 1/2 cups (180g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (113g) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup (85g) + 3/4 cup (127g) chocolate chips*
  • 1/2 cup (60g) chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. Reduce mixer speed to low. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Stir in the sour cream. Stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips and the pecans.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake 28-32 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Set the pan on a wire rack. Sprinkle 3/4 cup chocolate chips on top of the warm cake. Wait 5 minutes. Then, using an offset spatula, spread the chocolate to cover top of cake. Allow the cake to cool completely.

Notes

*Use any kind of chocolate chips you'd like.  If you're going to frost the cake, I recommend semisweet chips in the cake and for the frosting.  Without the frosting, milk chocolate chips work well in the cake.

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More Chocolate Chip Cake Recipes

This recipe was originally developed for Go Bold with Butter, where I am a paid contributor.

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    64 Comments on “Chocolate Chip Snack Cake”

  1. One more reason to be excited about fall! I tend to stop baking in the summer (Billy’s Bakery picked up my slack) but this will definitely go on my list for when I start up again. Hope your packing/move prep is going well!

  2. This sounds super delicious! Gotta love a quick cake like this one 🙂

  3. i love snack cake.
    let’s have snack cake for a snack? lol

    i’ve lost my baking mojo. Have you seen it?

  4. making this today for back to school afternoon snack! Thanks 🙂

  5. My husband adores chocolate chip cookies! I imagine he would be very happy with a huge slice of the Chocolate Chip Snack Cake. Perhaps served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream just because! A scrumptious post!

  6. Looks wonderful Jen I’ll have to make this probably modify it poking holes in it with a wooden chopstick then pouring over the top with some melted dark chocolate. (Yum Yum cake) Don’t know if you’ve seen this but I got me one of these chocolate Melting Pots awhile back at Walmart for ~$20 to do truffles (see below) much easier to melt chocolate. I just throw any good quality chocolate mixture in it for a few minutes and away you go.
    http://www.amazon.com/Wilton-Chocolate-Pro-Electric-Melting/dp/B000H849V6

  7. I just love everything you make! This is definitely next on my list!

  8. If i didnt want to add pecans should i add more chocolate chips?

  9. Blast from the past! I swear we used to have this when I was growing up in the 70s, though I think from a mix. I made it without nuts & frosting (as I remember it back then) and can’t wait to dig in. Thanks!

  10. this cake looks perfect! what a great thing to pack for work to go with your morning coffee

  11. This looks like a perfect rainy day treat. At least in my house, chocolate chips make a rainy day better. Yum!

  12. This looks amazing. In fact, I am making it right now. Hopefully it will last until tomorrow’s Bears football party!

  13. It’s like an Easy Bake Oven Cake for grown-ups!!

  14. I made this last week and it was perfect–just the right size, easy to put together and everyone wanted more!

  15. That looks delicious, I’ve been looking for a recipe with these, I must try it! Pecans, cinnamon and chocolate are my favourite ingredients. I’ll keep you posted.

    • I loved it, but will try again without cinnamon. It overpowered everything too much for me. Wonderful recipe. So moist, I used cream cheese frosting. I’ll be back for an update. Thanks again! 

  16. Looks great! How do you think it’ll taste without the nuts? Thanks!!!!

  17. Naomi, it should work fine. You can add a few more chocolate chips if you’d like!

  18. This recipe looks amazing! I am defiantly going to make this soon! Great pictures as well! Good luck with your blog.

  19. Hi. This sounds like a great recipe. Just wondering, can I replace butter with oil? Thanks. Im so going to do make this.

  20. I just baked it with butter anyway. Everyone loves it! Thank you for this amazing recipe!

  21. Hi, Lay! I’m sorry I couldn’t respond sooner. Substituting oil for butter in cakes will work, at least sometimes. It’s not a straight substitution. I’d try using about 3/4 of the amount of butter listed in the recipe.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the cake! If you should try baking it with oil, please let me know how it works.

  22. Hey! I’ve tried with both oil and butter. The oil version is a slightly drier but feels healthier. The butter is more moist and feels buttery (? as it is supposed to). Both versions have its own fans I should say.

    I’ve even tried to add cocoa powder to half of the mix so I can swirl it. This is such a no fail recipe, thanks!

  23. I radically changed this recipe, replacing the butter with dairy-free margarine, the egg with egg replacer powder and the pecans with chopped mixed nuts. I also baked the batter in mini loaf pans… but the result was still yum, yum, yum!

  24. Yummy!
    Gotta make it

  25. I made this cake this morning to take to a lunch date, and wow, is it ever good! That brown sugar flavor really comes through, and that melted dark chocolate topping couldn’t be easier or tastier. I can’t believe that never occured to me until I saw this recipe. There’s a little bit left over, which will be my breakfast tomorrow. Hey, I’m on vacation, so why not? 😉

  26. I grew up in the 70’s(yikes) and we had this from a mix back then. It was called ” Snacki’n Cake” . It also came in a banana flavor also. You dumped the mix into a 8×8 pan. Made a ” well ” in the center, added wanted only,and then whisked with a fork, and baked.I made MANY of them back in the day😉. Then they took it off the market.😢

  27. This was so straightforward and delicious.  And I loved the genius icing.  Thank you!

  28. Great photos!  I had to cook my 8×8 cake about 45-50 minutes for the middle to set.  I did use self rising flour and wonder if that affected the cooking time.  My oven is generally accurate.  Regardless, it is delicious and I will make it again!!

    • Hi, Glenda. Oven temperatures are often not accurate, so that might be why yours needed more oven time. An inexpensive oven thermometer will help you figure out if that’s an issue with your oven. If you substitute self-rising flour in a recipe, be sure you’re adjusting the baking powder and salt, too.

  29. Has anyone tried this in a 9X13 pan?

  30. Hi,
    Can I double this cake and use a round pan? Thinking it’ll make an awesome birthday cake.

    • Hi, Maria. The volume of cake batter will fit a 9-inch round pan, so you’d need to make 2 9-inch cakes if you double it. Alternately, you could double it and bake it in a 9″x 13″ pan. It may need a few more minutes of baking time to get the center baked thoroughly.

      • Hi,
        I doubled it n baked it in 2 9 inch rounds. Omitted the nuts. It baked in 20 mins. Looks must from the top crust but hasnt risen much so its dense.

        Haven’t cut it yet. Fingers crossed.

  31. Would you freeze this cake with the chocolate topping?

  32. I want to make this for tonight. Can I substitute plain yogurt for the sour cream? Kind of home bound today and I don’t have sour cream 

  33. I tried three times printing the recipe and must have printed everything here but the recipe, have had this problem before. I realize something is not right after wasting sheets of paper. What am I doing wrong. I love your recipes and am so dis- heartened . Help !!!!!!

    • Hi, Mary! I’m sorry you’re having troubles. There’s a print button to the right of the ingredients list. That will take you to a printable version of the recipe. If you have pop-ups blocked, then that might be the problem.

  34. I’m excited to make this lovely cake but worried the “frosting” will harden once it cools?

  35. Oh, man! I was a bit nervous about this cake because the batter was quite thick, but it was delicious! Love the brown sugar and the addition of the cinnamon. My husband just went back for seconds, lol.

  36. Delicious!! A great quarantine snack when you know you will eat the whole cake. Thanks !!

  37. I made this snack cake and everyone loved it ! Easy to make . Will most certainly put this recipe in my rotation . Thanks !

  38. Delicious cake, however my “frosting” never melted… the chocolate chips just stayed on top lol…. I even put back in hot m, but off oven for 10 mins and they didn’t melt….

    • Hi, Sara. If you put the chocolate on the cake right out of the oven, they should melt easily. However, I’ve had trouble with a particular brand of chocolate chips not melting, so perhaps a different brand will work better for you.

  39. This is sooo good. Nice and dense and snacky. Made as directed except – my mixer pooped out on n me, so I had to whisk by hand! Can’t stop eating it, so it must be fine!!

  40. Hi, I know this is an old thread, but in case anyone is still looking at the comments–I made a few changes that turned out good (but we still like the original!), Instead of chocolate chips, I used butterscotch chips, and instead of the chocolate icing, I made a cinnamon butter icing. This is a wonderful, rich, cake that can be made without any chips, or with any variation you’d like.
    Thanks!

  41. Very good looking I’m going to have to make it, I have to use gluten free flour and enjoy life chocolate chips thx I’m gluten free and soy free it’s all good. 

  42. I made a half batch of this yesterday in my trusty 3 c. rectangular Pyrex with a lid. I left off the topping because the cake sounded perfect on its own. I LOVE this cake and my husband really likes it, too. It reminds me of childhood somehow, but I can’t quite put my finger on a particular thing I remember eating. Maybe it’s just reminiscent of the 80’s. I think next time, I will try milk chocolate toffee bits to replace the chocolate chips or use mini chocolate chips instead of the large ones. I’m so glad Insta recommended you!

  43. This is a thick cake. It’s a heavy crumb, and a small slice goes a long way. It’s not as dense as a brownie, but it’s not too far from it. The moisture comes from the eggs and sour cream, and spreads like thick brownie mix in the pan. I thought I missed a liquid ingredient, but no. I didn’t. It baked up fine. The cinnamon is a noticeable ingredient in the finished cake, and it’s very sweet. If you go over the ingredients, you’ll conclude that this isn’t a light or fluffy snack. You need liquid to eat it, and it still sits like a rock in your belly.

  44. I am very disappointed in this recipe (yet again). I am a baker and I make so many cakes regularly. This cake was terrible. The taste was good but it was hard as a brick.  I did NOT over bake it. I actually started testing it about 5 min prior to bake time and toothpick came out with wet batter so I baked it just a couple minutes longer. I took it out when moist crumbs attached to toothpick. I measured flour with a scale as usual. Baked it (using thermometer in my oven) and made it exactly as written except for leaving out the pecans.  I cannot understand how this cake came out as dense as it did. Also, obviously I didn’t overmix batter as it develops the gluten.  As a baker, I know this. Again, my family and friends know my baking and were surprised at how bad this turned out. Embarrassed since it was a holiday with family and dessert was awful. Not sure who tests these recipes but it’s twice now that two of your recipes do not come out well !  Sorry. 

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