I’m still here! and so is this extra indulgent, feels like fall, crumb-heavy, spiced pumpkin coffee cake with a cinnamon streusel topping and a maple glaze. Ain’t nobody messing around with this one. No way no how. Pumpkin coffee cake to the max in the most deliciously crumbly-glazey way.
So today I’m coming to you live from San Francisco! We’re spending a week on the West Coast involving a road trip from SF to Seattle (which will start today, when I finish this post!) and I can hardly believe this entire trip is almost halfway over already. I’ve been having a blast doing some food photography related work stuff (both teaching and attending classes) and we are making our way through San Francisco one super yummy meal at a time. Literally every time I open my mouth to take a bite of something, I fall head over heels in love.
Yesterday I had a gluten free breakfast sandwich at a little bakery (only because it was the only one left that also had bacon… sometimes a person has to sacrifice), and then *surprise* I loved it so inappropriately much that I was ready to commit to a gluten free lifestyle on the spot and exist solely on those gluten free English muffins. Honestly. Thank you, SF, for being so good to all the Food Lovers.
Sadly this coffee cake is not gluten free, so that’s where my plan reached the end of the road. But I am still dreaming of those gluten free English muffins. When I get an oven back… yes. Happening.
Remember how we don’t have a kitchen? I really wish I could say I baked this in my Easy Bake oven after resurrecting it from some box in the back corner of the basement, but the sadness of the day is that a) that’s not how this happened, and b) I actually never even owned an Easy Bake. My sister got one instead. Maybe all along the blog has been my wishful thinking and trying to make up for my childhood days of longing for that Easy Bake oven. You guys. My destiny. It’s all coming together now.
Instead of the Easy Bake scenario, I took myself and a bunch of baking ingredients and a few little baking pans and cookie sheets back to my parents’ house, where there is an oven that works and a happy + large crowd of people who will eat whatever I bake. So I started out by baking these pumpkin biscotti, because my sister made them and they were so cute and delish and I wanted to put them on the blog. She showed me the recipe she used, I tried it, and an hour later I literally pulled two loaves of bread out of the oven. WHAT? Gross, weird, fail. Maybe if I could have had a few years to practice on the Easy Bake oven?
I decided to ditch the biscotti attempt, stop talking with my mom while measuring ingredients, and just go for something simple and fool-proof: PUMPKIN COFFEE CAKE.
Mostly this is fool-proof because it has that overwhelmingly delicious topping and glaze that is so phenomenally tasty that even if you couldn’t get the cake quite right somehow (maybe you had to use an Easy Bake oven or something?) you would still enjoy this for a warm, cozy breakfast on a fall morning. Promise. The topping will be your life.
This cake itself is moist, mildly sweet, cinnamony and warm, and heavy with all the toppings — a soft cinnamon streusel and a warm, thick maple glaze. It’s best served warm, so if you make it the night before you know you’re gonna have to pop that slice (or 7) in the microwave for a few seconds to get the whole thing jazzin up again. The sweetness is the perfect complement to a hot mug of rich, black coffee. Literally salivating at the thought. Plus, it’s easy to make and it will feed a crowd. I am so sure that if you make this for your ____ club or for the morning after Thanksgiving (not that I’m already going there buuuut just in case we might want to be ultra prepared and dwell on food), it will be gone in 2.47 seconds flat.
If you are super awesome, you could put half of the topping through the middle of the cake to get a yummy cinnamon struesel layer baked right in. I got distracted when I was making the cake and forgot to make the super awesome middle layer, but someone please make that happen. It’s giving me really good vibes right now.
- ½ cup salted butter, almost melted
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 1½ cups pumpkin
- 3 large eggs
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon each cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice
- a pinch of nutmeg and ground cloves
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 6 tablespoons white sugar
- 6 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a square baking dish (see notes) with nonstick cooking spray or butter.
- With an electric mixer (or with a large spoon, like I did) mix the butter, brown sugar, pumpkin, and eggs together until smooth. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Mix until just combined and pour into the prepared baking dish.
- To make the topping, mix all the ingredients together and crumble with your fingers until a fine-crumbed mixture forms. Sprinkle over the top of the cake.
- Bake for 45 minutes - a little longer if the middle isn't quite set. The cake should be firm and puffy as pictured.
- For the topping, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the powdered sugar and stir it up - the butter will awkwardly soak into the sugar and that's okay. Add the vanilla and maple syrup and stir it into a nice, smooth frosting, all while keeping it over medium low heat. If you need to, add a tiny bit more liquid to thin it out. When it's smooth, drizzle over the cake.
One more thing:
- We are still running around on the West Coast and I would love to have you following along on Instagrammy! I haven’t been able to respond to comments for a few days but we’ll be in the car A LOT today and tomorrow so I’m hoping I can get through them and connect with you that way, too, in addition to the ‘grams. And to everyone who gave us all those phenom recs for places to eat is SF, I can’t thank you enough. We should publish those into a book. It should be titled FOOD FOREVER: SF Version. I heart your foodie souls!