Marvelously moist, fall-spiced, and crowned with sweet, buttery streusel topping, this Pumpkin Coffee Cake means business.
I first baked this coffee cake a few weeks ago, when two good friends and their young children visited us in Milwaukee.
I served big slices for breakfast, with a quiet aside to Mom that it happened to be a healthy coffee cake made with whole wheat flour and Greek yogurt (no need to mention this to the kiddos, of course).
After devouring their slices, both kids went in for another, and the youngest did what I suspect many of us have wanted to do when facing a slice of coffee cake: he ate all of the streusel right off the top in two great, big forkfuls.
Crumb topping lovers, you have your endorsement.
The topping is scrumptious enough to devour in its own right!
I’m ALSO going to make a strong case for the cake beneath it.
- Alive with fall spices and packed with an inordinate amount of pure pumpkin, this coffee cake is anything but an afterthought.
- Like my Pumpkin Scones, this recipe is sweetened with pure maple syrup—not enough to make you question whether or not you should properly be eating it for breakfast but certainly an amount that registers it as a special treat.
- A moist pumpkin coffee cake, it has some heft to it, in a good way. It’s tender and plush to be certain, but not so delicate it will crumble or float away.
In other words, its texture is spot-on.
I feel the same way about Healthy Pumpkin Bread. It needs to have some substance to it when you pick up a slice, without being dense or dry.
How to Make Pumpkin Coffee Cake
Keep your mixer in the cabinet. This pumpkin coffee cake is easy!
- All you need is a whisk.
- For maximum ease, I’ve even ditched the fuss of cutting in the butter (a task that’s never *that* bad but one that I prefer to avoid whenever possible).
- To make the easy streusel topping, you can use melted butter so it stirs together in a flash.
- Flour. In addition to all-purpose flour, I used white whole wheat flour to lighten things up.
- Spices. Pumpkin pie spice, ginger, and cinnamon give the cake its richly-spiced fall magic.
- Pumpkin Puree. The significant amount of pumpkin in this recipe helps keep the cake moist and ensures it has real-deal pumpkin flavor.
- Brown Sugar. For sweetness and a soft, moist cake.
- Greek Yogurt. Not only is Greek yogurt a healthy swap, but it also tenderizes the cake.
- Maple Syrup. Adds natural sweetness and pairs famously with the pumpkin.
- Milk. I used 1% milk, but you can use any milk you have on hand.
- Vanilla. Enhances the pumpkin flavor and gives the cake an undeniable coziness.
- Streusel Topping. Made with pecans, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and butter. It’s lightly crunchy, sweet, and buttery.
- Glaze. The vanilla glaze is the perfect finishing touch! It makes the coffee cake taste extra special.
- Make the topping: Combine the pecans, flour, sugar, and cinnamon together, then stir in the melted butter. Store in the refrigerator.
- Make the cake: Whisk the dry ingredients together in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Transfer the batter to a baking dish. Sprinkle the topping over the batter.
- Bake pumpkin coffee cake at 350 degrees F for 27 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan, then remove to finish cooling.
- Make the glaze: Whisk the ingredients together. Drizzle the glaze over the cake. DIG IN!
- To Store. Refrigerate coffee cake in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze coffee cake in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Meal Prep Tip
Prepare and bake the coffee cake as directed. Once it’s completely cooled, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then serve warm.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Baking Pan. This is the baking pan I own and love.
- Mixing Bowls. This set of mixing bowls will help you prepare any of your favorite baking recipes (including this Pumpkin Banana Bread).
- Parchment Paper. Makes cleanup a breeze!
We’ve already baked this for breakfast twice now (all in the name of getting the spices juuuuust right, of course).
Even with all of these tempting healthy pumpkin recipes, I am by no means ready to call it our last batch.
Once you try this coffee cake, I suspect it will become a fall habit of yours too!
Frequently Asked Questions
I do not recommend making this recipe as pumpkin bundt coffee cake, as it will not yield enough batter and I fear with its mega moisture content, it won’t rise properly. If you’d like a bundt coffee cake recipe, check out this Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake and Grandma’s Butter Bundt Coffee Cake.
While I haven’t tried making this recipe as pumpkin coffee cake muffins, I do think this could work nicely. Bake the muffins at 400 degrees F for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. These Coffee Cake Muffins are another scrumptious choice.
(Pumpkin muffin fans, don’t miss my Healthy Pumpkin Muffins and Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins too.)
Yes, you can use a different glaze if you prefer. I think the maple glaze from this Pumpkin Scones recipe would be tasty.
Pumpkin Coffee Cake
FOR THE STREUSEL TOPPING:
- 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar light or dark (use 1/4 cup for a slightly less sweet topping)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
FOR THE COFFEE CAKE:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour or regular whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup milk (I used 1%)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
FOR THE GLAZE:
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 3 to 4 teaspoons milk or half and half or pumpkin spice coffee creamer
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs two sides like handles. Coat with nonstick spray.
- Make the topping: In a medium bowl, stir together with a fork the pecans, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Pour the melted butter over the top. Stir until evenly moistened. Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the cake.
- Make the cake: In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice cinnamon, and ginger.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, oil, yogurt, maple syrup, milk, and vanilla until evenly combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. With a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, stir gently, just until the flour disappears. Do not overmix. The batter will be very thick.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top.
- Remove the topping from the refrigerator and sprinkle over the top of the batter.
- Bake the pumpkin coffee cake for 27 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs of batter clinging to it. Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. With the parchment handles, lift the cake out of the pan for serving or to let finish cooling.
- Make the glaze: Whisk together the powdered sugar, 3 teaspoons milk, and vanilla extract. The glaze should be smooth and somewhat thick but still pourable. If it's too thick, add more milk 1 teaspoon at a time; if it's too thin, add more powdered sugar 1 tablespoon at a time. Drizzle over the warm cake. Slice and enjoy.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate coffee cake in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees F or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze coffee cake in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
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