Pumpkin Coffee Cake

I finally made my first pumpkin recipe this season!  It was bound to happen because it’s a yummy ingredient to work with this time of year.  I hope you guys aren’t sick of seeing pumpkin recipes yet because this one is a winner.

This five layer coffee cake is a combination of a pumpkin pie and coffee cake.  This moist vanilla cake has a layer of pumpkin custard and a swirl of cinnamon oat streusel in the middle and on the top.

14Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Pumpkin Coffee Cake Recipe
(Makes 16 servings)

Ingredients for Streusel:

  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats (aka old fashioned oats)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup pecan nuts, chopped

Ingredients for Pumpkin Layer:

  • 3 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon all spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Ingredients for Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour Measure your flour correctly!
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (equivalent to 1 stick) butter
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream

Directions for the Streusel:

  1. Melt the butter.
  2. Mix together the meted butter, flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans.  Do this while the butter is still hot, it will mix much more easily.  Set it aside once mixed.

Directions for the Pumpkin Layer:

  1. Mix together the pumpkin puree, egg, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, all spice, and nutmeg.  Set it aside.

Directions for Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease an 8 x 8 baking dish and set it aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.  Set the dry ingredients aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar.
  5. Mix in the vanilla extract and eggs.
  6. Mix half of the dry ingredients and half of the sour cream into the wet ingredients, then repeat to complete the cake batter.
  7. Pour half of the cake batter into the greased baking dish.
  8. Sprinkle half of the streusel on top of the cake batter.
  9. Pour all of the pumpkin mixture on top of the streusel layer.
  10. Pour the remaining half of the cake batter on top of the pumpkin layer.
  11. Sprinkle the remaining half of the streusel on top.
  12. Bake it in the preheated oven for about 75 minutes or until a toothpick pushed into the center comes out clean.
  13. Allow it to cool completely before cutting into it.

Store in the refrigerator or in the freezer.


Warning, this recipe involves a lot of dishes, a lot of time, and has a crap load of steps, but it’s SO worth it.  Building this coffee cake is like making a lasagna.  It’s not difficult, but it involves a lot of steps to make all the stuff for the layers and then to actually layer the ingredients into one masterpiece.  I don’t think I’ve ever used that word to describe a dish, but this is truly an outstanding breakfast treat.

I’m a bit anal so I like to weigh the layers to make sure they’re as close to exactly half portions as possible.  If you don’t own a scale then you can obviously just eyeball it.  I hope you don’t mind all of the pictures, but I thought it would be helpful.  It’s kind of like a flip book.     😉

The first layer is half of the vanilla cake batter.  Try to squish it into the corners and make it a uniform thickness.

01Pumpkin Coffee Cake

The second layer is half of the cinnamon oat streusel.  It’s a traditional cinnamon streusel with some oats added for an Autumn feel.  It’s actually a little like granola.  A hot bowl of oatmeal is perfect breakfast this time of year so anything with oats in it reminds me of this season.

By the time you have the second layer in the pan, you may already be worrying about everything fitting properly.  Well, hold on…  it gets way, way worse.

02Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Pour all of the pumpkin mixture, as the third layer.  It’s very similar to the filling in a pumpkin pie.  Pumpkin pie is my favorite pumpkin recipe of all time!

03Pumpkin Coffee Cake

The fourth layer is the second half of the cake batter.  By this time, you should be bugging out about the tiny amount of space left in the pan, but it’s going to fit.  It’ll just be really close.

04Pumpkin Coffee Cake

The fifth, and last, layer is the second half of the cinnamon oat streusel.  It juuuust fits.     😉 I strongly recommend placing the coffee cake pan on a baking sheet when you put it in the oven. The cake will rise as it cooks and push its way well out of the pan in the process.  A few bits of the topping will likely pop off the cake and the baking sheet will catch them.  A cake that completely fills a pan leaves no room for fingers.  So, as an added bonus, the baking sheet will also give you a way to move the cake around for testing or final removal from the oven without putting thumb prints in the cake or burning yourself.

05Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Tada!  Didn’t I say it was a masterpiece?!

06Pumpkin Coffee Cake

I must have checked the oven every five minutes after it got to about 40 minutes to make sure that it didn’t spill and take over the oven.  Lol.  I love thick cakes so I was determined to make it work.  Feel free to use a bigger baking pan if you prefer a shorter cake or less stress while filling the pan.     🙂  (Note that you will need to adjust the baking time.  I haven’t made it in a bigger pan so you’ll need to watch it.)

Everyone’s oven is different so please use a trusty cake tester to determine when it’s done.  The finished cake will have a dark and toasty smelling streusel topping.  The center of the cake will feel a tad wobbly, but that’s okay because it will continue to cook after you take it out of the oven.  (After 75 minutes in the oven and because of all the liquid in the middle, this cake has a LOT of heat stored in it.)

Be patient and let this cake cool before you cut into it.  I know, it’s torture, but all of the layers really need to set.  If you cut into it too early it may not be solid enough to cut.     😉

09Pumpkin Coffee Cake

I think this coffee cake looks gorgeous, if I do say so myself!  I fell in love with it by just looking at it.  Then I heard the harps when I bit into it.     😉    All of the dirty dishes and waiting time was worth it.

13Pumpkin Coffee Cake

The cake layers are moist and fluffy, perfect for a coffee cake.  Then you get to that luscious layer of pumpkin goodness!  Sometimes “pumpkin” flavored goodies tend to taste more like spiced goodies and you miss the pumpkin flavor.  There is no missing the pumpkin flavor here!  It’s packed with traditional pumpkin pie spices, but they don’t over power the pumpkin.

12Pumpkin Coffee Cake

As if the cake and pumpkin layers aren’t magnificent enough, can we talk about those dreamy layers of streusel?  It’s perfectly sweet and cinnamony, gooey in the middle layer and crunchy on top.  I added a few pecans to the streusel layers for some added crunch factor.

10Pumpkin Coffee Cake

There are so many fabulous textures going on in this thick breakfast cake.   The moist cake, creamy pumpkin layer, and crunchy cinnamon oat streusel make every bite worth the calories.     🙂

11Pumpkin Coffee Cake

The only thing missing from this picture is a cup of coffee.  It’s kind of a must when you’re eating “coffee” cake, but somehow I didn’t think to make a cup for the pictures.



5 Hats

Adapted from: Closet Cooking


Here are some other awesome breakfast goodies.

Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake



The Perfect Crumb Cake

04Crumb Cake_1024x768


Cinnamon-Sugar Crust Cinnamon-Ribbon Bread

04Cinnamon Ribbon Bread



  1. Diane says:

    Tina, just found your recipe today; decided to try to make this using the Hallowe’en pumpkin I have sitting outside. I baked it and let it rest to drain before seasoning it with cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and maple… I realize it’s not a “sugar” pumpkin….but waste not, want not. The cake is in the oven as we speak…it is rising, rising, rising…..smells Heavenly! I will try to post a photo once it’s done. I promised myself not to peek until the 70 minute mark…..and we are at 58 minutes and counting. Wish me luck! I’m just not sure when/how to get it out of the pan in the picture perfect condition you did, because I forgot the parchment paper underneath :(. Any suggestions?

    1. Tina says:

      I love how you’re making this your own by using fresh pumpkin instead of pumpkin puree! I’ve never cooked with it before. What is the texture and taste like? Did it taste sweet enough with the other layers going on? Is it more moist than pumpkin puree (I’m wondering if it had any affect on the cake layers)?

      Oh, I hate when I forget a step in a recipe. It was better to miss the parchment paper step then for example a key ingredient like flour or sugar (speaking from experience 😉 ). Honestly, if I wasn’t taking pictures of it for my blog, I would have skipped the parchment paper and gone after it with a fork and knife right out of the pan. This cake is very thick so even lifting it out of the pan with the parchment paper was a bit of a challenge. If you’d still like to try to get it out in one piece, the only thing I can think of at this point is to try to invert the cake onto a cutting board. Try it very very slowly though because if it’s not loose enough on the sides and bottom, then it won’t come out that way and I’d hate for you to end up with a cake that falls apart. Good luck! Let me know how it turned out. 🙂

  2. Ashley says:

    How did you know coffee cake is my weakness?? : ) I love it. I can’t get over the layers in yours – so different than what I normally make – in a very good way! And so appropriate for the fall with the pumpkin!

    1. Tina says:

      Coffee cake is my weakness too! That and crumb cake are my all time favorite breakfast indulgences. 🙂

  3. I really like this coffee cake and love the use of pumpkin. I also like the really clean look of your site.

    1. Tina says:

      Awesome! That means a lot to me. Thanks so much for stopping by. 🙂

  4. Tina this looks AWESOME! I love that you made it in layers. Pumpkin Coffee Cake is my favorite but totally gonna try your revamped way. So fun. Pictures are beautiful! Pinning!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much Krista! 🙂

  5. This sounds crazy good! I’m a sucker for coffee cakes and anything with a crumb topping, and the 5 layers has me swooning. The pumpkin custard layer is over-the-top!

    1. Tina says:

      I’m a sucker for coffee cakes and crumb cakes, too…yea, anything with a crumb topping, like you said! I think you would love this pumpkin one. There was not a crumb left when I served it to my family. 🙂

  6. Masterpiece is definitely the right word for this cake! I need this in my life. Best pumpkin recipe ever! Pinned, bookmarked, everything!

    1. Tina says:

      Haha! Thanks Laura. You’re the best. 🙂

  7. This is my first time at your site and I saw the pumpkin coffee cake on your home page (I was drooling)! This sounds so amazing and I can’t wait to try this!! 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Thank you so much! I’m happy you stopped by and I hope to see you again. 🙂

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