Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Pecan-Brown Sugar Streusel

4 Nov

This is not just any pumpkin cake. This Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Pecan-Brown Sugar Streusel is the first baked good I have made since submitting my first college application; and boy, did it taste sweet. Applying to college is like watching an action film: one moment you are energized and hopeful, a second later you become massively overwhelmed, and by the time the movie’s over, you’re so drained all you want to do is sleep. What better way to celebrate this whirlwind experience than with a little baking therapy? 


I baked slowly and leisurely, enjoying every moment of my return to the kitchen after a long separation. Spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground ginger and sprinkled with toasted pecans, this cake embodies fall flavors. The batter is perfectly moist with a pumpkin taste that is present but not overpowering. My favorite part of any coffee cake is the buttery crumb topping. This cake has not just one, but two layers of nutty, sugary streusel, which means double the goodness. Cut into generous wedges and served with a cup of coffee, it makes a wonderful breakfast or afternoon snack. I particularly enjoy sneaking into the kitchen and nibbling on it sliver-by-sliver.

Recipe slightly adapted from Home Baked Comfort 

Ingredients
For the streusel:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour 
1/2 cup light brown sugar 
1 tsp ground cinnamon 
Pinch of kosher salt 
5 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks 
1 cup pecan pieces, lightly toasted for 10 minutes at 325 degrees F 

For the batter: 
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda 
2 tsp ground cinnamon 
1 tsp ground ginger 
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg 
1/2 tsp kosher salt 
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
1 cup light brown sugar 
2 large eggs 
1 cup pumpkin puree 
1/2 cup sour cream 

For the glaze:
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted 
2 tsp milk 
1 tsp vanilla extract 

Makes one 9-inch coffee cake.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan or a 9-inch cake pan with 3-inch sides. To make the streusel, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the cubes of butter and, using a pastry cutter or fork, break down the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the toasted pecans. 
2. To make the batter, in a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the pumpkin puree and sour cream and mix to combine. Add the flour mixture in thirds, incorporating on low speed. The batter will be quite thick.
3. Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle half of the streusel over the batter. Spread the remaining batter over the streusel and top with the remaining streusel. 
4. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 50-55 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove the sides from the pan and slide the cake onto the rack. 
5. To make the glaze, in a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake. 

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9 Responses to “Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Pecan-Brown Sugar Streusel”

  1. wallflourgirl November 4, 2012 at 3:10 am #

    I don't think anyone would need telling twice to slice this into generous portions…if the slices are for me, that is. Skimpy slices for company. This looks absolutely delectable!

  2. Maureen, Milwaukee November 4, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    Gorgeous recipe and photos! Found you on Tasteologie. Am saving this recipe and baking later this week to take into work. I expect kudos and will let people know I found the recipe here. Beautiful work–

  3. Maral November 5, 2012 at 1:19 am #

    Yes, this cake is definitely hard to resist after the first bite. I have to help myself from eating three slices in one sitting! My favorite part is the nutty, crumbly streusel. πŸ™‚

  4. Maral November 5, 2012 at 1:22 am #

    Hi Maureen! Your comment made my day! I am so thrilled that you are planning on baking this for your coworkers. One of my favorite parts of baking is sharing my baked goods with others. I would love to hear how the cake turns out!

  5. CoastWithMe November 5, 2012 at 6:31 am #

    Maral this looks soo yummy:))! I've been following your blog for a while now (via email) and I always look forward to your posts! Now I'm following you on GFC:)!Rita @ http://www.CoastWithMe.com

  6. CoastWithMe November 5, 2012 at 6:32 am #

    Btw…I know this is random, but are you Armenian?

  7. Maral November 6, 2012 at 3:04 am #

    Hi Rita! I am so glad you left a comment and that you have been following my blog. It's so nice to hear from readers. I checked out your blog and I LOVE your style! I am following you now on GFC. I hope that you make this cake and that I hear from you again soon.And, yes, I am Armenian. πŸ™‚

  8. Laura Dembowski November 7, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    Yum! I love coffee cake with streusel and glaze. There's just nothing better. As much as I love pumpkin, I've never made a pumpkin coffee cake. Must change that!

  9. Maral November 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    Hi Laura! I completely agree with you; my favorite part of any baked good is the glazed, crumble topping. This is a great pumpkin cake to start out with since the pumpkin flavor isn't too jarring. Just checked out your blog- it's awesome that you don't let your chocolate allergy get in the way of your baking.

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