Cool, crisp mornings. Brilliant blue skies. Perfect Vs of Canadian geese winging their way south. Jewel-hued leaves fluttering silently, through crystal clear autumn days, on their final ascent to the waiting earth. Fall. I love it. Everything about it.
Fall always seems like a fresh new start to me. Perhaps that comes from all the years of raising kids, when this time of the year meant heading back to school; a huge contrast from the lazy days of summer. Life became more orderly, organized, and disciplined once again. And though I loved having kids underfoot all summer, fall gave me a special sense of freedom, with more time to explore interests and activities of my own.
Nowdays, autumn is still a fresh new start to me, especially in the culinary sense. Though I’m crazy for summer’s abundant fresh produce, fabulous farm stands, and pick-your-own fruit fields, I secretly long for the delightful, warm flavors of fall the entire time I’m sporting swimsuits and flip-flops. And though some might call me fickle, as each new season finds me quite enchanted, fall is definitely my favorite!
Perhaps part of it is the amazing scents that emanate from my little kitchen on these cool autumn days. Like the enticing aroma of this Pumpkin Coffee Cake. Along with pumpkin puree, its cast of characters includes brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Soon after I popped it in the oven, my entire house was filled with the fragrance of a fine pastry shop. Hmm… would the neighbors suddenly be lined up at the door before it was even finished baking?
This delectably moist cake is layered and topped with a buttery pecan and pumpkin seed (pepita) crumble. The simple, powdered sugar glaze, with a touch of maple syrup, is drizzled over the top, perfectly complementing the other classic autumnal flavors.
Do you have a fall brunch coming up? Want to take a fun treat to work? How about something to make your family and friends feel well-loved? Embrace the season with this fabulous Pumpkin Coffee Cake—it’s sure to be a huge hit!
Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Pecan-Pepita Crumble & Maple Drizzle
For the crumble:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 8 Tbsp melted butter
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup hulled pepitas
For the batter:
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp salt
- 8 Tbsp butter
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
For the icing:
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
For the crumble:
Combine all-purpose flour, brown and white sugars, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Stir with a fork to combine.
Slowly drizzle in butter, continuing to stir with fork until all flour is incorporated and large crumbles form.
Add pecans and pepitas and stir gently.
For the batter:
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spray a 9-inch spring form pan with baking spray. Wrap the bottom and up the sides of pan with heavy duty (or 2 layers) of foil. (The cake bakes for at least an hour; the foil will keep the sides and bottom from browning too much during the long bake.)
In a medium-size bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat softened butter at medium speed for 1 minute. Add both sugars and beat another minute, scraping sides of bowl once or twice with a rubber spatula. Add eggs and beat until well combined. Again scrape sides of bowl to incorporate all ingredients. Add Greek yogurt and pumpkin and mix until combined. Remove bowl from mixer. Add flour mixture and stir just until flour disappears. Don't over mix.
Add eggs and beat until well combined. Add Greek yogurt and pumpkin and mix until combined. Remove bowl from mixer. Add flour mixture and stir just until flour disappears. Don't over mix.
Transfer half of the batter to the prepared springform pan. Spread evenly. Scatter about ⅓ of the crumble across the batter. Top with remaining batter and spread as evenly as possible. Scatter the remaining crumble over the batter.
Place spring form pan on a baking sheet. Bake on center rack of oven for 30 minutes then open oven and cover loosely with foil, taking care not to jar pan. Return to oven and bake another 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 20 minutes, then remove sides of spring form pan. Cool for another 30 minutes, then drizzle icing over the top allowing it to drip down the sides. Serve cake warm or at room temperature.
For the icing:
While coffee cake is cooling, prepare the icing. Combine melted butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and milk in a medium microwave-safe bowl.
Stir with a whisk or fork to combine.
Microwave on high for 30 seconds, then remove and stir again. Repeat 30 seconds in microwave and stir until smooth. Add vanilla and powdered sugar, whisk until smooth. Icing should be thick but still drizzle-able.
This makes a large coffee cake. It probably won’t last long, but if you have leftovers it freezes well. Bring back to room temperature before serving.
About the Author
Chris Scheuer is a home chef, recipe developer, food stylist, mom, wife and “Grammy” of five. Together with her husband/photographer/taste-tester Scott, she authors TheCaféSucréFarine.com blog, dedicated to creating casually elegant, delicious recipes. Chris’ work can also be seen at numerous online publications and websites including Honest Cooking, Meridian Magazine (London, UK), the California Avocado Commission, and Bon Appetit.