Pumpkin Maple Coffee Cake

November 21, 2014
4 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

There are two types of people in this world: the ones that resist baking with pumpkin because it is an annual fad, and the ones that go full-tilt cuhrazy until bars and muffins and cookies and pie tumble out of every shelf in their fridge and pantry when you open the door like a messy teenager closet in a cartoon. And this coffee cake is the world's great unifier: A little different, so you don't need to feel like you're falling into some overdone seasonal hype, and a little different, so it'll go nicely next to the 14 other orange baked goods on your dessert table. See? I've got you. —Kendra Vaculin

What You'll Need
  • For the cake:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 cups packed pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • For the crumble and glaze:
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cold
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices together in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix pumpkin, brown sugar, oil, syrup, buttermilk, and vanilla until well blended. Add wet mix to dry ingredients and fold to incorporate. This will be the thickest batter of your whole life. You will be very sure you did something wrong, but you did not. Press on with confidence; there is pumpkin cake in your future, by God. Fold until just combined, trying not to overmix.
  4. Next, assemble the crumble. Place butter, flour, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, and cinnamon together in a bowl, cutting the cold butter into the rest with a fork, mixing until small chunks form. Set aside.
  5. Pour half of the batter into a prepared pan that has been well greased. I used a medium-sided bundt pan, which worked out really nicely, but a loaf pan or a small casserole dish situation would also be clutch. After the first half of the batter has been poured, sprinkle the crumble all over the dish, and then top with the remaining batter. This does not have to be perfect. Accept your own shortcomings. Additionally, any cake that smells like this pumpkin magic is automatically a success regardless of how clean your crumble layer is.
  6. Bake cake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. Let cake cool while you assemble glaze (whisking milk and remaining 1/4 cup maple syrup into powdered sugar). If using a bundt pan, invert cake onto a wire rack to cool. Drizzle glaze over cake once it has completely cooled. Slice and serve cake to every person you know.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ida
  • Karen Burns
    Karen Burns
  • Roger Dube
    Roger Dube
  • Paula Hunter
    Paula Hunter
  • Chaline Beekmans
    Chaline Beekmans
A fan of female driven comedies, a good beat, your hair today, and making foods for friends.

45 Reviews

Ann @. March 23, 2019
So sorry I did not read the reviews for this recipe before stirring it up. First, the recipe is not well written as it lumps together the ingredients for the "crumble and glaze." Made it very confusing as I first thought the crumble and glaze were one and the same... ? Better to have separated the ingredients for the "cake batter", the "crumble", then the "glaze." Also, the impact of the crumble is lost in this cake as it's practically the same color as the cake. I passed on the glaze -- enough with the sugar. End result? A passable muffin-like texture, though a bit rubbery. It might have benefitted from the addition of an egg or two. Not something I will try again.
Ida October 13, 2018
This recipe is incredible! I made a test batch of the cake per the recipe, and my only alteration the second time around was using a lot less liquid in the glaze. The friends I gave the second one too L O V E D it. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Karen B. September 16, 2018
Oh my goodness ~ I decided to make this, so printed the recipe, then read the comments. Has this recipe been revised to work any better? It sounds wonderful, now I'm hesitant to try it.
Roger D. November 24, 2017
WAY TOO MUCH liquid in glaze. Just soaked into the cake and killed the crumble. Tasted great otherwise.

Paula H. October 28, 2016
This was a huge waste of time and ingredients. I was wondering why there were no eggs, and wish I had added a couple. The cake was dense, but not rich. The "crumble" was barely noticeable (even with a half cup of added walnuts). So wish I took the time to read the comments. I won't even try to make this one better, just find a totally new approach.
Chaline B. October 23, 2016
Crumble is not crumbly. Still looks underdone after 30 minutes. Not a good recipe.
eatlikeachef October 3, 2016
the flavor was fine but the crumble IN the cake was a big mistake. It made for pockets of gummy texture like the cake was underdone, but the whole cake would have been over cooked and dry if I'd cooked it longer. If I make it again (doubtful), I'll just put the crumble on top (with less butter, more flour + nuts, as others have recommended). I added salt and extra spices.
Donna H. October 3, 2016
Made it!
Stefanie S. October 2, 2016
There are some things that could and should be changed with this recipe, but it wasn't as catastrophic as many of the comments below want to make out. Obviously there should be eggs, or something to lighten the density, as this not only affected the overall flavor, but also how the crumble sat.

The crumble could use either a tablespoon less butter, or a higher ratio of brown sugar and flour. Walnuts were a must and a lifesaver -- after all, this is coffee cake.

I feel like there was an opportunity missed with the glaze. I added a few tablespoons of rich espresso, as well as a melted pat of butter. Cut the maple syrup down by half. Topped with walnuts.
Gail G. October 1, 2016
Just made it and I've had better. Not a great recipe. Disappointed.
Tiffany T. March 22, 2016
I like the flavor BUT I used gluten free sorghum flour, and when I turned it out of the bundt pan the cake fell apart!! I agree w/ other posts that the texture is a bit gummy. I think it needs eggs. That might hold it together and make it less dense.
stacy February 1, 2016
Forgot to mention didn't follow posted recipe for glaze or crumble
stacy February 1, 2016
I added 2 beaten eggs to the wet ingredients and just to mention fresh pumpkin puree not canned. I made a streusel in food processor with 1 1/4 cups flour whisked with 1 cup sugar, 2 T cinnamon, and 1/4 cup brown sugar. I then removed about a cup of this and added 1/4 cup more brown sugar whisked together until fine. I layered cake batter, whisked sugar layer, cake batter, whisked sugar layer, and a final layer cake batter. To the remaining food processor mix I added a cup of pecans mixed with almonds processed a bit then added 2 T butter and processed I topped the caked with this and baked for 1 hour 15 minutes. Super flavorful, again texture is a bit more like a pumpkin bread but moist and delicious. Let cake cool in pan for 45 minutes flipped onto a cookie sheet then flipped over so streusel was on top. It turned out great.
Pam November 19, 2015
I made this with a few alterations and it turned out well. It is definitely a dense cake but it was a hit with my coworkers. I baked this in a springform pan instead of a bunt pan, and instead of the glaze I saved some crumble to add to the top. I also threw some chopped walnuts on top which was a fantastic addition; if I made this again I would also include toasted walnuts in the middle crumble layer to add some texture. Great pumpkin and spice flavors.
Amber R. November 9, 2015
DON'T DO IT. Gross, man. Just stodgy and useless and bad. Needs leavening, salt.... needs therapy.
Trinidad P. November 3, 2015
I wanted this to be good. It tasted more like pumpkin bread than cake. The crumb layer didn't really stand out.
Courtney October 16, 2015
Oh, this cake made me sad-- I so wanted it to work, especially as I'd spent $8/can of imported pumpkin to make this cake in Australia. It took 50 minutes to bake and still came out uncooked in most places (I also made this in a medium-sized bunt pan and was very careful not to over-mix the batter). I'm disappointed that Food52 featured a recipe with mostly negative reviews in a feature email. I never would have wasted my time and ingredients on this had I checked the comments before making it, but I trusted that this was a winner because it had been highlighted by the editors. Lesson learned.
Susan R. October 16, 2015
I made this last night to share with my co-workers. This morning on the way to work I stopped at the store and bought Danishes for everyone instead. This cake was dry, dense and inedible. I followed the instructions to the letter and it looked terrible and tasted worse. The most disappointing part is that I wasted perfectly good maple syrup.
PennyReeder October 10, 2015
I made the maple pumpkin coffeecake. It smells and tastes delicious, but I'm not crazy about the texture. I'm wondering, is there a way to add eggs to the batter, and would that addition change the texture (making it more cakelike?) I followed the recipe exactly, baking in a loaf pan, and using coconut oil for the oil called for. It did take about 20 extra minutes to get done. Anyway, delicious, but not perfect!
Elizabeth Z. October 8, 2015
I was very careful not to overmix this, and it still came out like a doorstop.