This Pumpkin Coffee Cake features a dense, moist cake, topped with a streusel crumb topping dotted with salty roasted pumpkin seeds. It promises to be a winner at your house all fall and winter.
My boys’ eyes light up when they see I’ve made Pumpkin Coffee Cake. A combination of a quick bread and pumpkin pie, this Pumpkin Coffee Cake is rich and moist and very flavorful.
The pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and streusel crumb top add a nice crunch totally in keeping with the fall theme of the cake, making it a perfect treat once summer has ended.
Why Make This
Pumpkin Coffee Cake is an easy from-scratch win! You’d be surprised to know that it really isn’t that much more work to measure out your ingredients than to buy a boxed mix. You’ll notice that you can pretty much pronounce every ingredient on this list!
It’s super delicious. This Pumpkin Coffee Cake is just the right combination of sweet and salty, crunchy and soft. It’s perfect for breakfast, brunch, or snack.
Here’s what you’ll need to make Pumpkin Coffee Cake:
whole wheat pastry flour – I like to use whole wheat pastry flour whenever I can. It has a similar texture to unbleached, all-purpose flour, but with added nutrition from the whole grain. You can use all-purpose flour if need be.
dark brown sugar – There is a fair amount of sugar in this cake, but trust me when I say that it isn’t overly sweet. And you need a good dose of it in the sugar toppings. The salty pepitas really offset the sweetness. Use dark brown sugar for a rich flavor, but light brown is fine, too. Remember that you can make brown sugar if you’re in a pinch.
butter – You can use regular dairy butter as well as margarine or plant based butter as well. In a pinch, I’ve used cooking oil, like avocado or sunflower. It doesn’t have the flavor of butter, but it works.
baking powder and salt – You’ll need both baking powder and salt to give this Pumpkin Coffee Cake a lift. Don’t omit either.
ground cinnamon – Cinnamon and pumpkin are perfect partners but you can also use ground ginger or pumpkin pie spice if you prefer.
egg – You just need one egg for this recipe, but you can also use Flaxseed Meal Egg Substitute if you need or want to bake without eggs.
pumpkin puree – Be sure to use pure pumpkin, pumpkin puree or butternut squash puree. Do not use pumpkin pie filling. There’s a difference. You’ll likely have leftover pumpkin from a 15-ounce can. Freeze the other half can or use it in this Pumpkin Cupcake Recipe.
milk – I use regular dairy milk, but you can use whatever plant-based milk you like. If you need to, you can also use canned evaporated milk, buttermilk, or even half and half. The cake will be richer depending on the fat content of the milk you use.
pepitas – Plain roasted pepitas work well here, but salted pepitas, like these SuperSeedz, add a great salty foil for the sugar crumb top. You could easily substitute your favorite kind of chopped nut for the pepitas. However, since my daughter has a nut allergy, I was so pleased to find pepitas to be a great, crunchy substitute for nuts.
Here’s how to make Pumpkin Coffee Cake:
Prep step – Preheat the oven to 350°.
1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, brown sugar, and butter. Pulse until coarse crumbs form. Remove 1 cup mixture and set it aside.
2. Add the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, egg, pumpkin, and milk to the remaining flour mixture. Blend until smooth.
3. In a small mixing bowl combine the reserved crumb mixture and the pepitas. Sprinkle this crumb topping over the batter.
Spray a 9-inch round baking pan (I used a spring form for prettier serving) with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the coffeecake for 40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Cool slightly before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
It’s called a coffee cake because it’s often served with coffee or at times when coffee is served, such as breakfast or brunch. In vintage cookbooks, coffee cakes are often categorized with the breads and breakfast foods instead of with the dessert cakes.
A coffee cake is a sweet cake like, quick bread that is served in the morning, often with coffee. Some coffee cakes are topped with a crumb or streusel topping, but not all. So a crumb cake is a type of coffee cake, but not all coffee cakes have crumbs.
Coffee cake does not taste like coffee nor does it contain coffee. It is often served with coffee.
Knowing how much it costs you to prepare a recipe can help you decide if it’s the type of recipe to make regularly or one you might want to save for special occasions. Let’s crunch some numbers and see how this recipe pencils out.
- whole wheat pastry flour – $0.44
- dark brown sugar – $0.72
- butter – $0.75
- baking powder – $0.03
- salt – $0.01
- ground cinnamon – $0.05
- egg – $0.15
- pumpkin puree – $0.50
- milk – $0.04
- pepitas – $0.75
While your costs may vary depending on where and how you shop, you can expect to pay about $3.44 for a big pan of Pumpkin Coffee Cake, about $0.43/serving.
How I make this cheap:
Here are some of the strategies I use to make this recipe more economical:
- Do a price comparison. I know that Costco is the best place to buy ingredients like milk and eggs when there isn’t a great sale elsewhere. I keep track of prices so that I know who has the best deal where.
- Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. For instance, when I see a great price on canned pumpkin, I buy a lot. A lot. The best time to stock up on this is after Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. If you try to find a good deal on pumpkin in August, you will be sadly disappointed.
- Use more affordable alternatives. You don’t have to use canned pumpkin. Butternut squash puree works just as well. As do plain mashed sweet potatoes. If those ingredients are more affordable, make the switch!
More Great Fall Recipes
Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Streusel and Pepitas
- 2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 2 cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup butter cut into cubes
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup pepitas roasted and salted
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, brown sugar, and butter. Pulse until coarse crumbs form. Remove 1 cup mixture and set it aside.
- Add the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, egg, pumpkin, and milk to the remaining flour mixture. Blend until smooth.
- In a small mixing bowl combine the reserved crumb mixture and the pepitas. Sprinkle this crumb topping over the batter.
- Spray a 9-inch round baking pan (I used a spring form for prettier serving) with nonstick cooking spray. Line with parchment if desired. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake the coffeecake for 40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Cool slightly before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This post was originally published on September 28, 2011. It has been updated for content and clarity.