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A first encounter leading to this Cacao Nib Coffeecake [VIDEO]

Crisp crumble coat the top and bottom of this coffeecake, and the center has a swirl of cream cheese too. Delicious and perfect with coffee or tea!

Lately I’ve been hankering for coffee so much it’s not even funny anymore. After drinking some during breakfast early in the morning, I’m already itching for another glass around mid-morning. I wonder if the thought of having so many kinds of coffee stashed at home is causing this. Nonetheless, bless all the people who gifted us with coffee over Christmas!

Around afternoon, I tend to cave into my coffee cravings and depending on the type of coffee I drink sometimes it’s not always a good thing. Sometimes certain kinds of coffee end up keeping me up until 2 in the morning! In any case, while I’m not a huge cake person, when afternoon hunger pangs strike I can’t help but think: ‘Man, this coffee would really go well with a coffeecake.’ And so here I am, writing about my first coffeecake for the year.

Meet the Cacao Nib Coffeecake, folks.

Even though I did blog about the Double Chocolate Banana Bread ahead of time, this recipe for Cacao Nib Coffeecake was actually my first introduction to cacao nibs. As I’ve mentioned before, I am a big fan of Philippines’ own Malagos brand of chocolate, straight from Davao.

Their products are really topnotch in terms of quality without being overly expensive, and any time I need 72% chocolate I go straight for Malagos. When I saw the cacao nibs in their line-up, I went ahead and bought a bag without too much second thought. (FYI, this isn’t sponsored.)

Cacao nibs are very pure types of chocolate in the sense that they are basically roasted cacao beans without husks. I’d say they are an acquired taste because they are bitter and nutty, not at all sweet but with hints of fruitiness. You can snack on cacao nibs right from the bag or top them on smoothie bowls. (I’m getting on that bandwagon soon!) Even better, you top them on cakes to get a little break from the sweetness!


Recipe notes

So what the heck is a coffeecake anyway? Basically a cake you enjoy with coffee– which is like every cake in the universe– but with a certain kind of anatomy.

Coffeecakes typically have a sort of streusel or crumble crown, and a moist cake base with a swirl of flavour inside. As the name suggests, this Cacao Nib Coffeecake recipe has a cacao nib crumb topping on it, but that topping also has nuts and sugar so it’s both caramely and crunchy at the same time.

The taste of the Cacao Nib Coffeecake as a whole is like a balance from top to bottom– sweet and nutty from the toppings, with a cake base swirled with cream cheese that is sweet and just a touch savoury. You get a delightful treat in every bite with this. I mean, I loved the recipe enough to make a video out of it right?

Cacao Nib Coffeecake

Crisp crumble coat the top and bottom of this coffeecake, and the center has a swirl of cream cheese too. Delicious and perfect with coffee or tea!


For the cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ sticks, 3/4 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream

For the cream cheese filling

  • 113 grams 4 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

For the crumble topping

  • ½ cup almonds, chopped
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • cup cacao nibs


Make the cake

  • 1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Generously butter a bundt or tube pan.
  • 2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
  • 3. In a large bowl (you can use a stand mixer or a hand mixer on medium-low speed), beat together butter and sugars until creamy and light, about 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • 4. Add the eggs one at a time until well combined. Add the vanilla, then add the sour cream. Again, scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • 5. Switching to a spatula (or turning down mixer to low), fold in the dry ingredients just until combined. Some tiny streaks of flour might remain and that's okay. The batter will be stiff but do not overmix. Set aside ½ cup of the batter.

Make the filling and crumble topping

  • 6. In a medium bowl, beat together all ingredients for the filling until smooth. Stir in the reserved ½ cup cake batter, until the topping is well mixed.
  • 7. In a medium bowl, whisk together all the topping ingredients until it resembles a sandy crumble.

To assemble

  • 8. Add half of the crumble to the bottom of the prepared pan. Spoon half of the batter on top of the crumble in a circular pattern around the pan. Using the back of a spoon, spread the batter into an even layer. The batter is stiff and hard to spread so be careful when you do so as not to disturb the crumble.
  • 9. Spread the cream cheese filling in an even layer in the middle portion of the batter, following the circle of the pan. You may not end up using it all, in which case, you can serve it with the cake! Be careful not to let the cream cheese touch any part of the pan so that it doesn't burn as it bakes.
  • 10. Spread the remaining batter on top of the cream cheese filling, then sprinkle the last of the crumble on top. Press lightly into the batter to help it adhere.
  • 11. Bake cake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for about an hour before running a knife around the pan and inverting the cake onto a wire rack. Serve warm while the crumble is nice and sticky, or at room temperature with a cup of coffee!


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