Friday, 9 October 2015

Sour Cream Spiced Pumpkin Streusel Cake

With Thanksgiving just around the corner there have been pleas for pumpkin pie from the only pumpkin pie lover in the house...I made this as a compromise and it has been enjoyed by everyone, even the pumpkin hater!

A cross between a coffee cake with a streusel topping and pumpkin pie, it satisfies everyone. The cake is tender and moist, the pumpkin layer pays tribute to pumpkin pie and the streusel topping using oats and pumpkin seeds adds texture and crunch.

Part of the inspiration was a small container of pumpkin seed streusel in the freezer, leftover from the Pumpkin Streusel Tart and Pumpkin Loaf with Orange and Raisins last year. It has been sitting in a tightly closed container waiting to be used, and I have been waiting for the right time to use it. I added it to the streusel for the coffee cake...finally it's used up!

Start by greasing a 9" X 13" ovenproof dish, and turning the oven on to 350F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, measure out:

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 oz cold butter, cubed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Using the paddle attachment mix on low speed until the butter is incorporated and large clumps begin to form.

Remove the crumble from the mixer.


1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup streusel (see the post Pumpkin Streusel Tart for the recipe)

Mix together using your fingertips to break up any really large clumps.

Set aside.

Make the pumpkin layer by whisking together:

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
Generous 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch ground nutmeg

Set aside.

To make the coffee cake, place the dry ingredients and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. You will need:

2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 ounces cold butter, cubed

Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until the butter is incorporated, and the mixture is fine and crumbly.

Add the wet ingredients all at once:

1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix until everything is just combined, finishing it by hand with a rubber spatula.

Spread the cake batter evenly over the  bottom of the greased dish.

Place the pumpkin filling on top of the cake batter and gently spread that as evenly as possible, making sure that the cake batter does not get mixed in with the pumpkin filling.

Scatter the streusel over the top of the pumpkin layer.

Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
Allow the cake to cool to room temperature before portioning. It can be served as is, or heated again and accompanied by ice cream or whipped cream.

  • I was sure that there were some toffee bits left in the cupboard, and I had planned to also add that to the streusel. Someone must have used them, as I couldn't find them. They will add a sweet crunch to the topping.
  • Any nuts can be used; I felt that pumpkin seeds were called for in this instance, and I had quite a few to use!
  • Other things to add to the streusel include chocolate or butterscotch chips, orange zest, minced candied ginger.
  • As I mentioned, the streusel can be kept in a tightly sealed container in the freezer for up to a year, so make as much as you want. An option is to omit the pumpkin seeds from the recipe, and add in nuts or seeds when you take the streusel out of the freezer to use. That way you can make a large batch, and customize it each time you use it.
  • If you want to make pumpkin pie, double the pumpkin filling recipe and pour it into a pie crust and bake at 350F until it is just set in the centre.
  • The pumpkin filling can also be used to make a swirled pumpkin spice cheesecake. Make a vanilla cheesecake batter and set aside 1/4 of the batter. Pour the vanilla batter onto the baked crust. Stir the pumpkin filling into the reserved batter and drop blobs of pumpkin batter onto the vanilla, using a toothpick to swirl the two together before baking.
  • I used canned pumpkin puree; if you choose to cook your own pumpkin make sure you buy a baking pumpkin and not a carving pumpkin. Look for varieties that are labelled sugar pumpkin or pie pumpkin. These have denser, sweeter flesh than the stringy, watery and flavourless flesh found in carving pumpkins. Cut the pumpkin into smaller pieces and place on a baking sheet to roast until the flesh is tender, placing the cut side up to obtain a richer roasted flavour. The pumpkin can also be cut in half and placed cut side down for roasting. Roast until the flesh is tender, about 1 hour at 350F. When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, scrape the cooked flesh out of the skin and mash or puree to the consistency you prefer.
  • Alternatives to pumpkin are butternut squash, sweet potato or yams. 
  • This cake can be made into muffins, or loaves.

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