Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

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 is a simple and delicious cake that is quick to mix and easy to love! - Bake or Break

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.

Chocolate Chip Snack Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 32 minutes

Yield: 12-16 servings

Chocolate Chip Snack Cake


  • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softenend
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup + 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


Preheat oven to 350°. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

Bet butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Mix in vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Stir in sour cream. Stir in 1/2 cup chocolate chips and pecans.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake 28-32 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Set cake on wire rack. Sprinkle 3/4 cup chocolate chips on top of warm cake. Wait 5 minutes. Then, using an offset spatula, spread chocolate to cover top of cake. Allow cake to cool completely.


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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  1. Christine September 4, 2012 Reply

    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. vanillasugarblog September 4, 2012 Reply

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

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

  4. tracielee September 4, 2012 Reply

    making this today for back to school afternoon snack! Thanks :)

  5. Deb September 4, 2012 Reply

    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. Tom September 4, 2012 Reply

    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.

  7. Michelle September 4, 2012 Reply

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

  8. stephanie September 4, 2012 Reply

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

    • jennifer September 4, 2012 Reply

      Stephanie, you can add more chocolate chips or just omit the pecans and not replace them.

  9. brooke September 4, 2012 Reply

    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. Jenny @ BAKE September 5, 2012 Reply

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

  11. Elena September 7, 2012 Reply

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

  12. Amy Naumowicz September 8, 2012 Reply

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

  13. Tv Food and Drink September 9, 2012 Reply

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

  14. Deb September 19, 2012 Reply

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

  15. Jo Greenwood October 9, 2012 Reply

    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.

  16. Naomi October 13, 2012 Reply

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

  17. jennifer October 14, 2012 Reply

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

  18. Maddie Kelly November 1, 2012 Reply

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

  19. Lay February 1, 2013 Reply

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

  20. Lay February 2, 2013 Reply

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

  21. jennifer February 2, 2013 Reply

    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. Lay April 6, 2013 Reply

    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. Julianne July 20, 2013 Reply

    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. Michal June 5, 2014 Reply

    Gotta make it

  25. Kendall Stark August 26, 2014 Reply

    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? 😉

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry August 27, 2014 Reply

      When can you have cake for breakfast if not while you’re on vacation? Enjoy! :-)

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  31. Debbie September 2, 2015 Reply

    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.😢

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