Chocolate Chunk Coffee Cake Bars

The Olympics are here! The Olympics are here!

Will you be watching? Will you be cheering? Will you be reenacting your favorite medal moments?

Reliving the winning moves from my events of choice is a critical part of my personal Olympic viewing. Most years these performances are safe (excepting only an unfortunate reenactment of a winning luge run in ’88, which involved my teeth luging into the family coffee table) and all years they are thoroughly enjoyed by my audience.

After all these years I still thoroughly enjoy watching both the summer and winter games. The extreme pageantry and commercialism does turn me off, but the sheer athletic accomplishment is hard for me to tear my eyes away from – it’s pretty exciting.

Specifically, I’m a fan of swimming, diving, tennis (table) and, of course, gymnastics. Archery, rowing, and fencing are pretty fun too. Really, it’s hard to pick a favorite so I’ll likely be glued to the TV watching all manner of Olympic feats for the next few weeks. A. will likely restrict my reenactments to events that involve the least potential for personal harm, though. Given my lack of coordination, I’m thinking that judo and taekwondo are out.

So I’ve been stocking up on some Olympic-sized snacks and desserts to fuel my viewing and reenacting.

Like these Chocolate Chunk Coffee Cake Bars, very specifically formulated to satisfy my caffeine, cake, and dessert bar craving all in one bite. The finished product is closer to the consistency of a cake, but it does retain just a bit of brownie-esque denseness too. And I’ve come to love baking with large chunks of Mexican chocolate since it never really melts completely. It just sits there. Like a big, delicious blob.

What’s? Not? To? Love?

This recipe yields two 8″ x 8″ pans of dessert bars. I’m bringing them to share with some friends tomorrow before coming home and planning a few Olympic-sized meals to keep A. and me going through a busy weekend of early events and reenactments. I hope my friends like these cake bars. I hope A. enjoys his Olympic-sized meals. I hope to see some amazing medal moments over the next few weeks. I just can’t wait.

Chocolate Chunk Coffee Cake Bars

1 c. unsalted butter, softened
2 c. white sugar, granulated
4 large eggs
2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. coffee (I used a robust Mexican coffee here, you can use the coffee of your choice. You’ll want to stick with a plain brew, though, and not use any type of overly-flavored coffee.)
2- 3.15 oz. tablets of Mexican chocolate, roughly chopped (You may substitute approximately 6 ounces of chopped semi-sweet chocolate here, but I would really try to stick with Mexican chocolate.)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Line 2- 8″ x 8″ pans with parchment paper and set aside.

Whisk the flour and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.

Meanwhile, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs. Beat in the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk and coffee. Do not overmix. Fold in the chopped chocolate and pour the batter into the prepared pans, distributing as evenly as possible between the two and smoothing the tops. Bake for 26-28 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of one of the pans comes out clean. Cool and cut dessert bars, serving immediately or storing in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

YIELD:  18 dessert bars


  1. 15


    We like to hold up score cards like we’re there. Makes the experience more fun.

    Great bars. I have an aversion to coffee but I would love to make these without it. I could see these making a great display at any party.

    • Meagan says

      Score cards! Love it. You could try lots of other things in place of the coffee in these bars: caramel sauce, butterscotch sauce, even peanut butter…

  2. 11


    I’m an Olympic lover..(meaning I love the Olympics) and I too will be watching to see how bad GB can actually do. We don’t have the best track record but here’s hoping a few medals will go back home :)
    Have fun!!

  3. 9


    I LOVE how excited you are about the Olympics! With one day to go to the opening ceremony (although some of the events have already kicked off), people are starting to get excited in England but I still feel like I’ve been the only one who here has been counting down the days! I can’t wait! I’ve been lucky enough to get tickets to some of the events and I might have to sneak a batch of these in with me to fuel my excitement!

    • Meagan says

      I’m so, SO jealous, Kathryn! Enjoy yourself – I hope you get to see some amazing medal moments!!

  4. 4


    My son is a big fan of Mexican chocolate! He is going to be stoked about these bars! I even have some buttermilk that needs to get used up. Thanks for posting such a yummy looking recipe! Do you have any tips for chopping Mexican chocolate? I find it a little hard to cut.

    • Meagan says

      You’re so welcome, Danielle! I cut my Mexican chocolate using a very sharp knife and working along the pre-scored spokes on each disk. If it’s a really hard one, I’ll pop it into the microwave for 30 seconds at power level 7 to soften just a bit. I hope your son enjoys these dessert bars!

      P.S. Your vintage clothing is ADORABLE! I extra-special love the aprons!!

      • says

        Thanks for checking out my shop and for your tips on cutting the chocolate. We’re making these bars tomorrow!

        PS- I just happened upon your blog about a month ago and it is definitely one of my favorites! Always excited to see new blog posts in my inbox :)

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