Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

I have only wildly enthusiastic things to say about the taste of this chocolate chip snack cake. with its crisp, caramelized, chip-studded top, amazingly moist, vanilla-infused light crumb (reminiscent of a box-cake: my fave), speckling of chocolate morsels throughout, and sweet, but not too sweet, overall vibe, it’s kind of the perfect snack cake. Moreover, it comes together in a heartbeat and is (for all intents and purposes) one-bowl. And if you eat it warm from the oven with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce, well, you’re welcome. However, truth be told, the developing of this cake was kind of intense, like in a bad way. The issue? Sinking chips. Here’s the story. I’ll try to be brief.

Recently, I decided to try tackling some of the sweets in my collection of old-school recipe pamphlets. You know the ones, by Westinghouse, General Foods, Betty Crocker and Nestle. The desserts of yonder-year are kind of always my thing anyway, and I thought it might be fun to make my way through the pamphlets, revamping the recipes with a modern twist or two as I went. The “chocolate chip cake,” from a New York Times pamphlet entitled “Party Cakes” (circa a-long-time-ago) caught my eye. The recipe was essentially for a simple, shortening-based white cake, calling for cake flour and milk, among other things. A little internet research revealed that the cake itself (sans chips) was not dissimilar from this Food52 recipe, this vanilla cake, and this Rachel Ray cake, save for these all subbed oil for the shortening.

I decided I would do the same oil for shortening substitution. To get that chocolate-chip-cookie feeling going, I traded some of the white sugar for brown, added a hearty glug of vanilla and some salt. And the cake was good to go. I moistened and floured my mini chips (apparently moisture helps the flour to adhere to the chips, which keeps the chips from sinking, and mini chips sink less than regular-sized ones — although not in my case). Then I folded the chocolate chips into my batter, transferred the batter to my pan and popped it in the oven. 50 minutes later I removed my gorgeous, golden snack cake from the oven, let it cool (slightly, I’m impatient) and sliced into it. Much to my chagrin, every single chip was on the bottom of the cake. Nary a chip had succeeded in suspending itself in my cake’s delightfully moist and fluffy crumb.


So began my sinking chip saga, whereby I made no less than 8 (okay, maybe 10, I stopped counting) chocolate chip snack cakes in an effort to get those darn (yes, I’m thinking of another word here) chips to stay suspended in my cake. The culprit was obvious: a too thin batter, but (at first) I was committed to my cake flour and my milk. and so I troubleshooted in a variety of ways with which I will not bore you. Finally, I threw in the towel re: the cake flour and milk, substituting all-purpose and sour cream and froze the chips. I’m happy to report nary a chip sank. No, my resident testers will not be asking for chocolate chip snack cake again any time soon (they kind of had their fair share), but you should be. The cake is delicious and easy and has the most gorgeous spattering of delectable mini chips throughout.

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4.75 from 4 votes

Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

Recipe Author Jessie Sheehan
Course Dessert
Cuisine Cake


  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2 cups 1 tbsp all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream
  • Turbinado sugar for sprinkling
  • Vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce for serving optional


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray an 8-by-8-inch pan with cooking spray. Cover the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper.
  • Place the mini chocolate chips in small bowl and lightly spray them with cooking spray. Toss them with 1 tablespoon of the all-purpose flour until covered, and place in the freezer.
  • Whisk the 2 cups of flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl, and set aside.
  • Place the oil and sugars in a large bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk again, add the sour cream and whisk a final time. With a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry mixture into the wet, until a few streaks of flour remain..
  • Fold about 3/4 of the frozen chocolate chips into the batter. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and sprinkle the remaining chips and the Turbinado sugar over the top. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, rotating the pan after 25, and checking on the cake after 45. The cake is ready when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a moist crumb or two.
  • Let the cake rest on a wire rack until cool enough to handle - it will sink a bit in the middle as it cools - then invert the cake right side-up on to a serving platter. Let cool completely and serve slices with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. Or eat the cake warm (I won't tell).


If spraying chips with cooking spray is not your thing, try tossing them with a tablespoon or two of melted butter instead.

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15 replies on “Chocolate Chip Snack Cake”

oops! i had previously removed the mayo from the recipe, but i neglected to remove it from the instructions (and the post itself!). Thanks so much for catching that. i fixed the recipe and i think we’re all set!

oops! i had previously removed the mayo from the recipe, but i neglected to remove it from the instructions (and the post itself!). Thanks so much for catching that. i fixed the recipe and i think we’re all set!

Oh haha OK. Thanks! I can’t wait to try this. It looks like a cake my grandma used to make and I’ve been trying to nail down the recipe forever!

This looks SO GOOD! I will make it soon. I always want 1 or 2 pieces but pass the rest on to grandkids or people I know. I am guessing I could make cupcakes so they are individual servings. Not sure how many the recipe would make or how long to reduce the baking time. Any suggestions? Thanks!

thanks! i think it would make about 18 cupcakes – maybe closer to 12? and i think they’d bake in about 15 to 20 minutes? but don’t know for sure. XO

5 stars
I made the recipe into cupcakes today. I made 14, filled about 3/4 full. & they were not done at 15 minutes, so I baked for 20 minutes. Look great. I would attach a picture if I could.

4 stars
Very good! Just what I was looking for for son to snack on. Easy to cut off a chunk and walk away, so good snack cake for someone who prefers desserts that aren’t gooey or frosted, but does like a yellow cake and chocolate chips. Son’s only complaint was how thick the cake is, so next time I will use a 7×11 pan instead of the 8×8. Will yogurt work in place of sour cream?

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