This Pumpkin Spice Crumb Coffee Cake is soft, tender and flavored with pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice! There is pumpkin spice in each layer to ensure the perfect flavor. Sour cream, pumpkin puree and milk make this cake incredibly moist.
The best thing about this Pumpkin Spice Crumb Coffee Cake is that you can eat it for breakfast, for a mid-afternoon snack, or for dessert topped with vanilla bean ice cream or vanilla crème anglaise! Hello, decadence! The cake is also incredibly moist and tender and it is topped with an outrageous amount of pumpkin spice crumb topping.
Sure, there are healthier pumpkin spice options here on CLF like my Pumpkin Spice Bran Muffins or these Pumpkin Spice Energy Bars, but sometimes only crumb cake will do. It is a very particular craving much like my occasional cravings for Pumpkin Spice Cake Donuts, and pretty much all-things-pumpkin, like these 25 Best Pumpkin Recipes for Fall!
Table of Contents
How to make the best Pumpkin Spice Crumb Coffee Cake?
The best pumpkin spice crumb coffee cake starts has a tender cake flavored by both pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice mix. The cake is extra moist from the sour cream and pumpkin puree combination. There is pumpkin spice in the brown sugar filling and in the buttery pumpkin spice crumb topping.
Ingredients for Pumpkin Spice Crumb Coffee Cake
- Butter: I use unsalted butter for baking, because you want to control the amount of salt you are adding. Every brand is different and it makes adjusting the recipe a challenge.
- Sugar: I use granulated sugar for my coffee cakes. It is here for the more obvious flavor reasons, but also to aid in leavening, moisture, texture and stability.
- Light Brown Sugar: Using light brown sugar adds sweetness along with a little moisture. This will keep the cake softer while adding a nice, rich molasses flavor. You can substitute this for coconut sugar or dark brown sugar if you like.
- Eggs: Whole eggs allow you to emulsify all that oil into the batter, resulting in moist, not greasy, cake.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla Extract adds a beautiful flavor itself but it also boosts the flavor of other ingredients around it like pumpkin and spices!
- Sour Cream: Sour cream is essential for the moist texture of coffee cake It has just enough moisture to hydrate the flour and fat to inhibit the gluten formation. It also adds a beautiful flavor.
- Whole Milk: I generally use whole milk in my coffee cakes for the added flavor. It has a lower water content and the extra fat helps keep the cake tender and moist.
- Pumpkin Puree: I use Libby's pumpkin puree because it is consistent and that is what I use to develop all my recipes. Use whichever brand you prefer. Just be sure to grab pure pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie mix! I would not suggest substituting homemade pumpkin puree due to the varying moisture content. Canned pumpkin puree is tightly controlled within a certain percentage.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix: My Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix recipe is fine-tuned to work in pumpkin pie as well as it does in muffins, rolls, coffee cake, or cookies!
- Kosher Salt: Kosher salt is lass salty than table salt and a teaspoon weighs less than other finer ground varieties. It heightens the flavor here and will keep your coffee cake from tasting dull or flat.
- Baking Powder: Double acting baking powder reacts instantly when it mixes with an acid and then again when it interacts with heat Because it is double acting, it has a slower, more stable rise than baking soda alone.
- All-purpose flour: All-purpose flour has just the right amount of gluten to hold all the sugar, oil and puree without making a chewy, tough cake texture.
- Sour Cream: I almost always bake with full-fat dairy because the fat adds to the texture and intensity of flavor, but low fat versions or even Greek yogurt can be substituted in most cases. Lower fat sour cream also breaks easier than the full-fat varieties when heated or an acid is added. This is generally not catastrophic but it will impact the final texture in a subtle way.
- Baking Soda: Double acting baking powder reacts instantly when it mixes with an acid, which is sour cream here, and then again when heated. Baking soda only reacts once when mixed with an acid. Baking soda is also more powerful than baking powder. You can substitute half the amount of baking powder for baking soda but the resulting cake will not be as tender. Be sure to bake the cake as soon as it is mixed.
- Pumpkin Puree: I would not suggest substituting homemade pumpkin puree due to the varying moisture content. Canned pumpkin puree has a certain moisture percentage set by the manufacturer. Too much moisture will make the cake gummy.
- Dark Brown Sugar: If you don’t have light brown sugar on hand, you can absolutely substitute dark brown sugar in equal amounts. The flavor will just be a bit more robust but you will still get all the benefits of the added moisture and caramel notes.
- Pumpkin Spice Mix: This recipe calls for my Pumpkin Spice Mix. I make this in large batches and keep it in the cabinet for seasoning all manner of things during the Fall. If you would rather not, I have included measurements for the individual spices in the Notes section of the recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Store Pumpkin Spice Crumb Coffee Cake well wrapped at room temperature or freeze it!
Pumpkin Spice Crumb Coffee Cake will keep at room temperature for 3 days, refrigerated for a week or frozen for up to two months!
Absolutely! Crumb cake is best within two days of baking, so I like to slice the cake and store any extras in the freezer for later snacking. You can store it in a zip top baggie or layered between parchment paper in a resealable container.
Thaw covered at room temperature or in the freezer. I do not suggest thawing it in the oven as that will dry it out. You can microwave the cake from frozen at 50% power.
If you would like to make pumpkin spice crumb coffee cake ahead, I suggest baking right after preparing the batter. Then cool completely, wrap well and freeze. This way it can be made weeks in advance without loss of quality. I would not suggest making the batter more than 24 hours in advance.
I have tested this crumb cake recipe in a professional commercial bakery setting. We baked them into muffins! You are only limited by the capacity of your particular mixer. I would strongly suggest measuring by weight when multiplying cake recipes. They are particularly sensitive to minute adjustments of flour and hydration.
Chef Lindsey's Recipe Tips
Different pans and baking dishes bake differently! A glass dish will take longer to bake than a metal one. Be sure to keep a firm eye on your baking crumb cake. Testing is the only way to ensure a perfectly baked cake!
Pumpkin Spice Crumb Coffee Cake
- 1 cup Butter (room temperature)
- 1 cup Sugar
- ⅔ cup Light Brown Sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla
- ¾ cup Sour Cream
- 1 cup Milk
- 14 tablespoons Pumpkin Puree
- 2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix (individual spice measurements in notes)
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 tablespoon Baking Powder
- 2 ½ cups All-purpose Flour
- 3 tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
- ¼ cup All-purpose Flour
- 2 teaspoons Pumpkin Spice Mix
- 4 ½ tablespoons Butter (Melted)
- ½ cup Light Brown Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix
- ½ cup All-purpose Flour
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- Preheat oven to 325°F convection or 350°F conventional.
- Spray a 9x13 inch baking dish and line the bottom with parchment paper.
Make the Crumb Topping:
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. Can also be made easily in the stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Set aside.
Make the Filling:
- Combine light brown sugar, flour, and spice mix in a bowl and set aside.
Mix the Batter:
- Whisk together pumpkin spice mix, kosher salt, baking powder and all-purpose flour in a bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar together.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time until emulsified.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, sour cream, pumpkin puree, and vanilla. Then with the mixer on low alternately add the dry and the wet ingredients, starting and ending with flour.
- Pour about half the batter into the prepared pan. Cover with the filling mixture. It will seem like a lot, but it is just the right amount!
- Spread remaining batter over the top and crumble the topping over the entire top.
- Bake in preheated oven for 35-45 minutes until a cake tester or skewer comes out with just clinging crumbs.
3 ¾ teaspoons cinnamon; 1 tablespoon ground ginger; ¾ teaspoon cloves; ⅜ teaspoon nutmeg; ⅛ teaspoon allspice. The most accurate way is to mix a larger batch because the recipe doesn’t always divide perfectly into ⅛ teaspoon increments.
Before You Go!
Check out our other delicious, chef-developed recipes for Breakfast + Brunch!
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