Pumpkin Coffee Cake

A square of fluffy orange pumpkin coffee cake topped with streusel on a plate.

Celebrate fall with a Pumpkin Coffee Cake topped with golden streusel topping. Made with pumpkin purée and warm spices like cinnamon and ginger, this moist pumpkin cake tastes amazing and fills your home with cozy fall aromas while it bakes. It is pure fall comfort food.

There’s no avoiding it. Seasons change and there’s a chill in the air. Before we cool climate folk hunker down for the winter, we celebrate this change of season by baking. New crop honeycrisp apples make the most delicious Cinnamon Baked Apples and pumpkin purée becomes No Knead Pumpkin Bread. What are your favourite fall bakes?

A square of fluffy orange pumpkin coffee cake topped with streusel being removed from a white baking dish.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

You all know I love a snacking cake, especially a seasonal snacking cake that bakes up quickly and stays moist for a few days. This Pumpkin Coffee Cake is the one. Just look at that moist interior texture and golden crumbly topping. Together, they make the perfect coffee cake combination!

This coffee cake recipe uses an entire 15 oz can of pumpkin purée. That means this cake is full of pumpkin goodness and also, there are no leftovers! Whew. I don’t know about you but I hate keeping half a can of anything around even more than I hate food waste.

As much as it is delicious, I think the best thing about this cake is the amazing warm and inviting aroma that fills your kitchen (and entire home) when it bakes. It’s so cozy and warm and I just can’t get enough.

Baked pumpkin coffee cake topped with golden streusel in a white baking dish with one corner removed.

What is a Coffee Cake?

A coffee cake is a snacking cake that you enjoy with a cup of coffee. The recipe doesn’t actually contain any coffee, as the title infers. Modern versions are single layer cakes, often flavoured with fruit (or vegetables in this recipe!) and cinnamon. They may have a sweet glaze or streusel topping, or both!

Fun fact: American style coffee cakes may be descendents of German style kaffeekuchen; a simple crumb cake (sometimes topped with oats or nuts) enjoyed with a cup of coffee by German immigrants to the US.

The simple German cakes evolved in American kitchens as thrifty cooks sought to use up such leftovers like cheese, coffee (yes coffee!), sugared fruit, yogurt, and soured cream. Sour cream became such a popular addition that it formed an entirely new subset of cakes called Sour Cream Coffee Cakes.

A whisk in a mixing bowl filled with orange pumpkin coffee cake batter.

Ingredients for Pumpkin Coffee Cake

This cake is simple perfection. It contains standard pantry baking ingredients, along with a can of pumpkin purée.

  • Pumpkin Purée
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Brown Sugar
  • Vegetable Oil
  • All Purpose Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Butter
  • Cinnamon
  • Nuts (optional)

Most of the ingredients are pretty basic but I do want to suggest that you use a neutral flavoured vegetable oil (like canola or sunflower oil) and unsalted butter for this cake.

It’s not a big deal if you don’t have a jar of pumpkin spice. You can use apple pie spice or use a combination of four ground spices to make your own. The most common spices in pumpkin spice are cinnamon, ground ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. See the ‘notes’ section of the recipe card for exact measurements.

Coarse streusel topping in a mixing bowl.

Pumpkin Pie Filling vs. Pumpkin Purée

When shopping for this pumpkin coffee cake recipe, be sure to purchase a can of 100% pumpkin purée. It sounds obvious but it is really easy to bring home pumpkin pie filling instead of purée. I’ve been there, done that.

The difference between the two is significant in that pumpkin pie filling also contains extra sweetener and spices. This means that your cake will have double the sweetener and spices.

You might think you could use it and just omit the spices and brown sugar. However, the cake will not bake the same way it would if you added real brown sugar.

To complicate it further, not all cans of pumpkin purée contain 100% pumpkin. Sometimes they also contains butternut squash or other squash purées. To be honest, they all taste very similar to pumpkin so it’s really not a big deal if you use a combination of squash purées in this recipe.

A square of fluffy orange pumpkin coffee cake topped with streusel being removed from a white baking dish.

How to Make a Streusel Topping

It’s best to make the streusel topping first so that the cake batter sit out too long in the baking dish before baking. Always use softened butter to make streusel because it combines with the flour and spices to get the characteristic clumpy streusel texture. If you use melted butter, the result will be a finer streusel.

Nuts are are a great addition to streusel. You can add 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, or a combination of all three if you like.

To make the streusel, place the flour, cinnamon, and sugar in a medium mixing bowl. Drop in gobs of the softened butter and stir until the mixture resembles coarse gravel (see photo).

Fun Fact:streusel‘ is the German word for ‘sprinkle’.

A square of fluffy orange pumpkin coffee cake topped with streusel being removed from a white baking dish.

How to Make Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Then, butter and flour an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 square cake pan or baking dish. Though 8 x 8 pans are rare these days, this cake recipe will fit both pan sizes.

Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin spice) to a medium mixing bowl and stir briefly to combine. Next, whisk together the pumpkin purée, eggs, vanilla extract, brown sugar, and vegetable oil in a large bowl until they are combined and smooth.

A square of fluffy orange pumpkin coffee cake topped with streusel on a white plate.

Sprinkle the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and stir until it is just combined. Do not overmix.

Finally, pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan, then scatter the streusel on top of the batter so that the batter is covered with an even layer of streusel.

Bake in a 350 F oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Serve warm or at room temperature.

A fork holds a bit of pumpkin streusel cake on a white plate in front of a square of the same cake.

Storing Pumpkin Coffee Cake

I like that this recipe makes a small 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 cake. It’s the perfect daily snack for the two of us or a good size dessert cake if we have the kids over for dinner. We love to eat it when it is still a little bit warm or at room temperature.

If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Note that the crunchy streusel may soften in the fridge due to the cake’s high moisture level. This cake also freezes well.

Pinterest image of a square of fluffy orange pumpkin coffee cake topped with streusel on a plate with a bite taken out of it.

If you make this Pumpkin Coffee Cake, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.

Yield: 9 servings

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

A square of fluffy orange pumpkin coffee cake topped with streusel on a plate with a bite taken out of it.

Celebrate fall with a Pumpkin Coffee Cake topped with golden streusel topping. Made with pumpkin purée and flavoured with warming spices like cinnamon and ginger, this moist pumpkin cake tastes amazing and fills your home with cozy fall aromas while it bakes. It is pure fall comfort food.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin purée
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*

FOR THE STREUSEL TOPPING

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter; softened
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Then, butter and flour an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 square cake pan or baking dish.
  2. Add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin spice) to a medium mixing bowl and stir briefly to combine.
  3. Place the streusel ingredients in a separate medium mixing bowl and stir until the mixture resembles course gravel (see photo).
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, eggs, vanilla extract, brown sugar, and vegetable oil until they are combined and smooth.
  5. Sprinkle the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and stir until it is just combined. Do not overmix.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, then scatter the streusel over top of the batter so that it is covered evenly.
  7. Bake in a 350 F oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean after being inserted into the center of the cake.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes

*To make pumpkin spice: use 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

9

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 294Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 307mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 2gSugar: 17gProtein: 6g

Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.

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9 comments

  1. Sean

    With fall just arriving this is a perfect brunch menu item!

    Reply

  2. Marta

    I absolutely LOVED this pumpkin coffee cake. Your instructions made the process easy. The flavor of the cake along with the streusel topping make this a must for pumpkin season!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Thank you so much Marta. I’m glad you loved this cake.

  3. Jacqueline Debono

    There’s a chill in the air here in Italy too but I don’t mind because I just love fall/autumn flavours and food! This pumpkin coffee cake looks fabulous! It’s hard to find canned pumpkin purée here but I imagine I could use homemade. Anyway, definitely want to try it.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      It’s worth searching for! Happy baking Jacqueline.

  4. Tracy

    Bring on all of the pumpkin recipes! This coffee cake was so amazing and delicious and the absolutely perfect brunch recipe. We served it to guests and they raved about it!

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      YES!! It’s everything pumpkin time of year for sure. I’m so glad your guests enjoyed this coffee cake Tracy. Thanks for letting me know.

  5. Gloria

    I love pumpkin everything. I would eat this coffee cake for breakfast and dessert. I need to make this for Thanksgiving brunch.

    Reply

    1. Bernice Hill

      Great idea. It would be perfect for a Thanksgiving themed brunch.

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