Moist, dense, and rich pumpkin coffee cake with a brown sugar streusel and a vanilla glaze. The perfect Fall treat!
And just like that, we’re back to my most favorite and most anticipated time of the year: back-to-school, all the pumpkin, and FALL. It’s no secret Fall is my favorite and every year I work hard to bring you the best possible pumpkin recipes. This pumpkin coffee cake has been in the works for a couple months and yes I was having people test it this past June ha! So without further adieu, let’s get started!
You may have wondered why is it called coffee cake? As a fun way of a historical background…coffee cakes made their way into American cookbooks in the late 1800s evolving from other sweet dishes from Vienna. In the 17th century Europeans were thought to have come up with idea of eating sweet cakes while having their coffee 🙂
Which bring us to the next commonly asked question; does it have coffee in it? Coffee cakes today rarely include coffee in the ingredient list. Typically today they are simple, one-flavored cakes featuring spices, nuts, or fruit and generally feature a streusel and/or simple glaze topping.
So, no, this pumpkin coffee cake doesn’t actually have any coffee in it and we’re making it the best possible by combining a streusel topping AND a glaze. Below I’ve got a quick break-down of how to make this recipe.
How to make pumpkin coffee cake
Above I’ve broken up the steps for making this coffee cake in picture form, and below is a description of what’s happening in each photo along with a few tips!
- Combine all the DRY ingredients in a large bowl.
- Combine all the WET ingredients in a large bowl. Get a high quality (not watery) can of pumpkin for this pumpkin coffee cake; I highly recommend Libby’s (not sponsored). Oftentimes canned pumpkin can be very watered down which will leave you with an overly moist and less flavorful cake.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
- Mixing wet and dry ingredients. Mix the dry and wet ingredients as little as possible — until *just* combined; this ensures you don’t get an overly dense and chewy cake.
- Some bumps are okay 🙂
- Spread the cake into the prepared (greased) 9 x 13 pan. Use a spatula to smooth down the cake and get it in one even layer.
- Combine all the ingredients for the streusel. Cube the butter into small pieces and use a pastry blender (or your hands) to combine. You don’t want to melt or soften the butter or the streusel topping will end up burning.
- Sprinkle the streusel topping over the cake; there’s a lot of streusel (so you know it’s going to be good!)
Pumpkin coffee cake variation ideas
- Add fresh whipped cream on top (how to make whipped cream tutorial)
- Add cream cheese frosting on top instead of the glaze
- Mix in chocolate chips to the cake (I’d add 1 and 1/2 cups semi sweet or milk chocolate chips)
- Mix in chopped pecans to the cake or the streusel (I’d add in 1 and 1/2 cups chopped pecans to the cake)
Moist and rich pumpkin coffee cake with a brown sugar streusel and a vanilla glaze. The perfect Fall treat!
- 3 cups (370g) white all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon EACH: fine sea salt and baking powder
- 3/4 cup (144g) vegetable oil (or melted coconut oil)
- 3/4 cup (150g) packed dark brown sugar (light brown works, dark makes for richer flavor)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (108g) pure maple syrup (Grade A)
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (83g) heavy cream
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups (334g) good quality canned pumpkin (NOT the entire can)
- 1 cup (123g) white all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (150g) dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, cold
- 1 cup (106g) powdered sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream or half and half or whole milk
- tiny pinch fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray (or you can line with parchment or foil and then grease for easy cleanup).
DRY INGREDIENTS: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, baking soda, fine sea salt, and baking powder; set aside.
WET INGREDIENTS: In a medium bowl, add the oil (if using coconut oil, make sure it's melted and 100% cooled to room temperature), packed dark brown sugar, maple syrup, and heavy cream. Whisk until smooth. Add in the vanilla and pumpkin. If the pumpkin is overly wet, dab a few times with paper towel. I know 1 and 1/2 cups is ALMOST the whole can, but refrain from adding in more as it makes the cake too overly moist. Whisk until smooth.
COMBINE: Pour wet ingredients into dry. Mix until JUST combined being careful to not overmix the batter. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
STREUSEL: in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender or your fingers until the streusel is evenly combined and forms small clumps. Sprinkle the streusel mixture over the pumpkin mixture.
BAKE: Bake until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs attached) about 35 to 40 minutes (Mine is always done at 35 minutes). Cool completely in the pan before icing.
GLAZE: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl (start with 2 tablespoons milk and add more as needed). Whisk with a fork until smooth. Drizzle over the individual pieces and enjoy!