How to make it

  • Note: This cake is best eaten on the day it is baked, though it may be made a day ahead. The batter is quite heavy, so you may prefer to beat it with an electric mixer at medium-high speed for a minute or so, rather than whisk it by hand. Do not insert a skewer into this cake to test for doneness until the center appears firm when the pan is shaken. If you do, the topping may squeeze air out, and the middle of the cake may sink.
  • 1. Adjust oven rack to center position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease bottom and lightly grease sides of 10-inch springform pan. Sprinkle bottom of pan with dry bread crumbs, then shake lightly to coat. Tap out excess crumbs.
  • 2. Whisk flour, all but 1/2 cup of the brown sugar, and salt in large mixing bowl until blended. Add butter and cut with whisk until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Remove 1 cup of crumbs to separate bowl.
  • 3. Whisk baking powder and soda into mixture remaining in large mixing bowl. Add buttermilk or yogurt, egg, and vanilla; whisk vigorously until batter is thick, smooth, fluffy, and frostinglike, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, stir in chocolate chips, then scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top.
  • 4. Add coconut, nuts, and remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar to reserved crumbs; toss with a fork or your hands until blended. Sprinkle crumbs over batter, pressing lightly so that mixture adheres. Bake cake until center is firm and cake tester comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Transfer cake to rack; remove pan sides. Let cake cool completely, about 2 hours, before serving. When completely cooled, cake can be slid off pan bottom onto serving plate.

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