Spiced Pumpkin Crumb Cake


Have you noticed everyone’s obsession with pumpkin lately?  It’s seriously everywhere – in muffins, doughnuts, pies, cakes, cookies, it’s now even in coffee!  Not that pumpkin coffee is a new thing, it’s been in Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts for a while now.  But every year when the days start to get shorter and the air is a bit cooler, I walk by these “coffee shops”, and can’t help but wonder why this has turned into a craze.  Maybe I’m just old fashioned in liking normal traditional lattes, but I wonder what a barista would do if you wandered into a cafe in Rome and tried to order a “skinny, soy, non-fat, pumpkin caramel latte, per favore.” They’d probably laugh in your face and serve you an espresso.  


Don’t get me wrong, I love everything about the sweet, savory pumpkin and particularly enjoy all the wonderful spices that complement the squash so well. Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, they just go so well with pumpkin that the baked good possibilities for this lovely fall ingredient are endless. There’s a reason why pumpkin is everywhere, and let it invade everything!  Cake, muffins, bread, cookies, even beer, yes please!  Just don’t put it in my coffee.  Now when it comes to Pumpkin Coffee Cake, yea now that is something I can totally get on board with.   Let’s jump on the pumpkin bandwagon, shall we?  

This isn’t just any pumpkin coffee cake, it’s pumpkin coffee crumb cake.  When testing out this recipe, I channeled my childhood of eating Entenmann’s Coffee Crumb Cake as a treat on Sunday mornings, and tried to spice it up with homemade pumpkin pie spice and of course, cooked pumpkin. The result is a moist, spicy pumpkin coffee cake, topped with an equal amount of buttery, brown sugary crumbs.  It’s the perfect ratio of cake to crumb in my opinion, and the fall flavors really shine.  This coffee cake is out of control good, and it just as good for breakfast as it is for dessert (or lunch, or even dinner if you’re feeling spicy – we don’t judge).  


Spiced Pumpkin Crumb Cake

20-25 servings
Note: I like my pumpkin recipes spicy – meaning lots of spices and flavor.  If you like less, feel free to adjust the spices to your taste.  

Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Crumb Topping:

  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (see recipe above)
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks butter), slightly softened


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (homemade or canned)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice mix
  • Powdered sugar for topping


Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Generously butter a 9×12 inch rectangular baking pan.

Whisk together the spice mix in a small bowl and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, flour, salt, and 1/2 the spice mixture (about 1 tablespoon).  With a pastry blender, a knife and fork or your hands, cut in the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles course cornmeal, make sure you don’t overwork so that you have large crumbs.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar until smooth.  Whisk the eggs, pumpkin and vanilla extract until incorporated.  In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and the remaining spice mix.  With a wooden spoon, incorporate the flour mixture into the wet mixture until fully incorporated.

Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan, and smooth evenly.  Sprinkle the crumb topping over the cake batter so that it evenly covers the surface. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out just a little bit wet (you do not want to overcook)!  Allow the cake to cool, and then sift powdered sugar on top.  Serve at room temperature with a nice cup of steaming coffee – but please not pumpkin coffee 🙂

10 thoughts on “Spiced Pumpkin Crumb Cake

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