With pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice, and a sweet pecan streusel topping, this pumpkin coffee cake is fall in a slice. Perfect for cold weather baking and cozy afternoons with a cup of coffee or tea! The streusel topping is optional and this would be just as good topped with cream cheese frosting.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Pumpkin purée: either canned or homemade pumpkin purée, but make sure it's not pumpkin pie filling, which is sweetened.
- Pumpkin spice: if you don't have any, you can add more cinnamon to make up for it. Try making homemade pumpkin pie spice if you don't want to buy a whole jar.
- Pecans: substitute walnuts or hazelnuts if preferred. Sunflower seeds can be used as a nut-free substitute.
- Make it dairy-free: use a good vegan butter in block or stick form to replace the dairy butter.
How to Make Pumpkin Coffee Cake
Step 1: whisk together the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Step 2: add the sugars, butter, and eggs to a large mixing bowl.
Step 3: beat to cream, then add the pumpkin purée.
Step 4: mix in the pumpkin and vanilla.
Step 5: add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and fold to combine.
Step 6: spoon the batter into a prepared cake tin and smooth the top.
Step 7: make the pecan streusel.
Step 8: top the cake with the streusel and bake for about 1 hour.
- Don't worry about curdling: when the pumpkin is mixed into the butter mixture, it may look slightly curdled, but the batter will turn out fine.
- The batter is thick: the pumpkin and using butter instead of oil will make for a thick batter that can't be poured. This is normal and makes for a lovely rich cake.
- Don't over-mix: fold in the dry ingredients until just mixed - a few streaks of flour are fine - to ensure a nice soft, tender cake.
We haven't tried baking this pumpkin coffee cake in a round tin, but it should need the same baking time in an 8-inch (20 cm) round cake tin if that's what you have.
Spraying the baking tin with oil before lining makes the parchment paper stick and prevents shifting or unsightly crumples. You can skip this step if you don't mind the paper bunching in the corners or sliding when the batter is added. We recommend using two pieces of parchment crossed over one another rather than one large square.
How to Store
Storage: keep in a sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 days. The topping can get a little soft in high humidity.
Freezing: cut the cake into squares and freeze in an airtight container for up to a month. Thaw at room temperature before serving.
Where is coffee cake from?
The name and the cake are likely from Germany. It's common in Germany to have Kaffee & Kuchen - coffee and cake - at 3PM, and the cake is often one with a streusel topping. This tradition likely migrated to America along with German immigrants.
Can I use canned pumpkin instead of puree?
Pumpkin puree and canned pumpkin are the same thing, and can be used interchangeably. Pumpkin pie filling is different. Look at the ingredient list: if it's only pumpkin, it can be used in any recipe calling for puree.
Which pumpkin is best for cakes?
If you're making your own puree, a sweet pumpkin like sugar pie is best. Other varieties like cinderella and musquee are great too.
If you make this Pumpkin Coffee Cake or any other cake recipes on the Baked Collective, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more baking, follow along on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Pumpkin Coffee Cake
- 1 8-inch (20-cm) square baking dish
- Parchment paper
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- Mixing bowls
- Electric hand or stand mixer, or handheld whisk
- Spatula or wooden spoon
- Aluminum foil
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour plus extra for streusel topping
- 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup salted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar plus extra for streusel topping
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup pumpkin purée not pumpkin pie filling
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup raw pecans chopped
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon softened butter
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Lightly spray an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking dish with baking spray and line it with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the softened butter, both sugars, and the eggs until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the pumpkin purée and vanilla and mix well to combine.½ cup salted butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, ½ cup brown sugar, 2 large eggs, 1 cup pumpkin purée, 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Switch to a spatula or wooden spoon. Fold the cake batter together gently until no flour remains (a few streaks of flour are okay). Spoon the batter into the prepared baking dish and use an offset spatula or butter knife to smooth the top.
- In another smaller bowl, make the streusel. Stir together the pecans, sugar, flour, butter, and cinnamon. Scatter the streusel crumbs evenly over the top of the cake.½ cup raw pecans, ¼ cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 tablespoon softened butter
- Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 30 minutes more. Transfer the coffee cake to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving with whipped cream.
- The streusel is optional.
- Mixing in the pumpkin purée with the butter, sugar, and eggs may look slightly curdled. This is normal.