This pumpkin coffee cake is a dense and moist pumpkin cake topped with a generous brown sugar and cinnamon streusel. It’s guaranteed to be your coffee’s new best friend during the fall seasonnn.
Why You’ll Love This Pumpkin Coffee Cake
- A thick dense pumpkin cake topped with a crunchy streusel pairs perfectly together with a lovely cream cheese glaze and a cup of coffee.
- Fall party? Friendsgiving? Thanksgiving? If these are on your upcoming schedule, this dessert will be perfect to impress your friends!
- This coffee cake can easily be made 1-2 days in advance and still taste just as good and fresh! (See storing details).
If you’re ready to grab your PSLs and start baking away with pumpkin you can also try my Pumpkin Streusel Muffins, Pumpkin Bread With Cream Cheese Icing, Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes and Upside Down Pecan Pumpkin Cake.
This pumpkin cake base is different from my pecan pumpkin cake because I wanted it to have a thick and dense coffee cake texture, whereas the pecan one is a little more soft and spongy so I just tweaked my coffee cake recipe into a pumpkin cake.
What is a Coffee Cake?
Coffee cake refers to a type of cake that is often enjoyed with coffee or other beverages. Contrary to what many people think, it’s not a cake that necessarily contains coffee as an ingredient, but rather a cake that is intended to be paired with coffee. Coffee cake typically has a moist and tender texture, and it’s often characterized by its crumbly or streusel-like topping.
Sound like something you’re ready to make? I added a little something special to my Easy Coffee Cake recipe by making a simple cinnamon brown sugar filling. This gives it that extra little touch that really has proven to impress! I didn’t add it here but you can easily add the swirled filling into this pumpkin version too.
- Flour: I just used all-purpose flour for this recipe however, I HIGHLY recommend using a digital scale, as over-measuring the flour is the most common baking mistake.
- Sugar: Sugar provides flavor and moisture. Since this cake is meant for breakfast with coffee, I really didn’t want it to be overly sweet so I don’t recommend cutting any of the sugar out. I use light brown sugar for the streusel and cake and powdered sugar for the icing.
- Butter: I LOVE using salted butter in my cakes! It really balances the sweetness and gives more flavor.
- Eggs: It’s best to use room temperature eggs so they emulsify properly. If you’re in a pinch, just place them in hot water for 10 minutes while you gather the rest of your ingredients.
- If the batter splits before adding the flour, that’s fine too it’ll still work out fine!
- Vanilla: Don’t underestimate the power of vanilla extract in a recipe, it really brings out the flavors.
- Pumpkin Puree: I really like Libby’s, but any should work as long as it’s not super runny. If you’re making your own, maybe press a paper towel against it to absorb some of the liquid.
- Baking Powder: I find that cakes with pumpkin, apples, banana, carrots, etc. always need a little extra lift so I use baking powder and baking soda.
- Spices: I used ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice in my cake recipe and just some cinnamon in the streusel. That can also be swapped with pumpkin pie spice if you have a premade spice mix.
- Cream Cheese: I let it soften a bit and always use Philadelphia full-fat cream cheese.
- Milk: I just used 1-2 tbsp for the icing, any kind works but I used vitamin D whole milk.
Brown Sugar Streusel
Step 1: Combine the melted and cooled butter with the brown sugar and cinnamon, mixing with a fork.
Step 2: Add the flour and mix just until it forms chunks of streusel. Refrigerate for a few minutes.
Step 1: Cream together the butter and brown sugar for 2-3 minutes.
Step 2: Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat at full speed for 1-2 minutes, until they’re fully combined.
Step 3: Add the pumpkin and mix until it’s fully combined (the batter will split here – it’s fine).
Step 4: In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices then add to the batter and mix just until combined.
Step 5: Spread the streusel evenly on top of the cake batter and bake for 45 minutes.
Step 6: Allow the cake to cool in the pan for an hour before removing from the pan.
Cream Cheese Icing
Step 1: Combine the softened cream cheese with the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Whisk them together until they’re well combined and then drizzle on top of cooled pumpkin coffee cake.
Frequently Asked Questions
I drizzled my pumpkin coffee cake with a cream cheese icing, but you can also drizzle a plain glaze on top. You can refer to my Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake for a basic glaze recipe. Or you can just dust with powdered sugar instead of any icing or leave as is.
Yes you can! If you want to make it in a circle, you would use a 9 inch pan. Using an 8 inch pan would make it even taller than it is and might have a hard time baking through.
Of course! You can double the recipe and bake it in a 9x13x2 inch pan for 60-70 minutes.
How To Store Pumpkin Coffee Cake
You can store coffee cake in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days (without icing) or refrigerate (with icing) it for up to a week.
If you want to freeze it, place them in an airtight container, and place the container in a freezer bag, squeezing out all the excess air. You can also wrap individual pieces in plastic wrap first, if you want to remove just one piece at a time.
You can store it in the freezer for 2-3 months. To enjoy it again, defrost at room temperature or microwave until slightly warm. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
Thanks so much for reading today’s post, if you have any questions just comment down below.
If you make this pumpkin coffee cake, I would love it if you left a star rating for it in the recipe card.
As always, have a blessed day and happy baking!
Pumpkin Coffee Cake Recipe
- 1/2 cup (113g) salted butter melted and cooled
- 3/4 cup (150g) light brown sugar lightly packed
- 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1 1/4 cup (150g) all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
- 1/2 cup (113g) salted butter room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) light brown sugar lightly packed
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (170g) pumpkin puree I like Libby's
- 1 1/2 cup (180g) all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
Cream Cheese Icing
- 2 oz (1/4 brick) cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup (60g) powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tbsp (15-30mL) milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
Brown Sugar Streusel
- In a small/medium bowl, combine the melted and cooled butter with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Use a fork to mix them together until they're well combined.3/4 cup (150g) light brown sugar, 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon, 1/2 cup (113g) salted butter
- Add the flour and use the fork to mix just until it forms chunks of streusel. Don't over-mix. Refrigerate the streusel for a few minutes while you make the cake.1 1/4 cup (150g) all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 350F/177C convection (325F/163C conventional) and grease and line a square 8-inch pan with baking spray (or butter) and parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar for 2-3 minutes, until it’s light and fluffy.1/2 cup (113g) salted butter, 1 cup (200g) light brown sugar
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat at full speed for 1-2 minutes, until they’re fully combined.2 large eggs, 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Add the pumpkin and mix until it’s fully combined. The batter will split here, it's ok, just move on and don't turn the mixer up to full speed or it will just splash you everywhere lol.3/4 cup (170g) pumpkin puree
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices until they're evenly dispersed. Then add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until the last streak of flour is combined.1 1/2 cup (180g) all-purpose flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 tsp ground allspice, 1/4 tsp baking soda
- Spread the streusel evenly on top of the cake batter and bake for 45 minutes, until the streusel is browned and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for an hour before removing from the pan.
Cream Cheese Icing
- In a small bowl, combine the softened cream cheese with the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla. Whisk them together until they're well combined. If it's too thick to drizzle just add 1 Tbsp of milk a time. Drizzle on top of the cooled coffee cake.2 oz (1/4 brick) cream cheese, 1/2 cup (60g) powdered sugar, 1-2 Tbsp (15-30mL) milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste