Friday, September 20, 2013

pumpkin coffee cake {recipe}

Since it had been about 36 hours since I last ingested pumpkin, I was starting to feel a little pekid. My eyelids were droopy as I was sitting at my desk and my enthusiasm for Excel spreadsheets was really lacking.  I decided to bust out my old tried and true pumpkin muffin recipe - but muffins sounded unimaginably lame for a Friday afternoon.  I needed a little more drama in my snack - chutzpah, if you will.

BEHOLD: Pumpkin Pecan Coffee Cake with a Mascarpone swirl. 


Oh yeah, I did. The recipe is at the bottom for all you who want to try this at home. So mascarpone is basically italian cream cheese. It's a little bit softer and twice as expensive. Naturally, I'm too cheap to use all of the mascarpone, so I went halvsies with a block of cream cheese. 

Question - why does pumpkin spice come in such tiny jars? I've already cashed my second pumpkin spice jar of the season. This is no joke! It's so expensive, too - plus, I always put about 3x of what's called for in the recipe or else I can barely taste it.  I'm wondering if my taste buds have become desensitized because I've overdosed on pumpkin spice lattes over the past ten years. 

Anyway, this little cake was the perfect afternoon pick me up (or perhaps that was the ginormous iced coffee that I drank alongside it).  I will also eat this for breakfast with a schmear of apple butter on it… or perhaps PUMPKIN BUTTER??? A little pumpkin on pumpkin action early in the morning is always exciting.

(I'm calling this cake, but I guess it's technically pumpkin bread. I will put streusel on anything and call it cake. But this is an ideal coffee cake for me, because it's not too sweet - the bread is richly spiced and it balances with the tanginess of the cream cheese and the nutty sweetness of the streusel.  Yummy!)


Recipe: Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Pecan Streusel. 

You'll need to make 3 components for this bad boy. 

But first, preheat your oven to 350*

Pumpkin Bread
  Side note: The original source of this recipe is from years and years ago - I patched together several different recipes, and over time, I have tweaked it to improve upon the original. 

     Dry Ingredients: 


  • 7.5 oz all purpose flour (1.5 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (that's the sugarbomb adjusted amount!)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
     Wet Ingredients: 
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin (I only had 3/4 cup left over from my waffles, so I used that and a big glob of pumpkin butter)
  • 8 oz sugar (about 1 and a scant 1/4 cup)


  • 1 oz unsalted butter, really soft (1/4 stick)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans


  • 6 oz cream cheese, warmed in a little pot or microwave so it's mad spreadable (I used 4 oz cream cheese and 2 oz mascarpone) 


  • Make your streusel: Put all ingredients in a bowl and squish with your hands until clumpy. 
  • Whisk together your dry ingredients in one bowl
  • Whisk together the wet ingredients in a second bowl
  • Dump the dry on top of the wet
  • Stir together with a spatula until JUST COMBINED
  • Dump half of the pumpkin mix into a greased loaf pan
  • Spread the warmed mascarpone/cream cheese over the pumpkin mix evenly
  • Dump the rest of the pumpkin batter on top of the cream cheese mixture
  • Distribute the streusel evenly atop the loaf
  • Bake for 1 hour at 350*.  The streusel might stick to the pan, so let it cool a bit before you turn it out of the pan.
  • EAT IT! 


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