Crazy for Crust

Aug 18

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

This Pumpkin Coffee Cake will get you in the mood for pumpkin season! Filled with pumpkin flavor, topped with a cinnamon pecan streusel, this is Fall in a bite.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake | | #pumpkin #breakfast #brunch

Yep. I’m going there. I’m starting pumpkin. In August.

You’re welcome.

On Friday, I asked on Facebook what sort of recipe I should post today: Pumpkin or Apple. Pumpkin won by a landslide – but don’t fret apple lovers. The apple recipe is coming later this week!

Remember the movie Field of Dreams?

{One of the best movies ever. Plus, James Earl Jones: I want his voice for my ringtone.}

If you build it, he will come.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake | | #pumpkin #breakfast #brunch

If I make Pumpkin Coffee Cake…Fall will come. Summer can kind of suck it. It’s been in the 90s or higher since the beginning of May and I know, from past experience, we will not have relief for a very long time.

I want cooler weather. Not cold, mind you. Cooler. $200 PG&E bill weather would be awesome.

So…if I make Pumpkin Coffee Cake…Fall will come. Eventually. In the meantime, I can pretend it’s fall while I have coffee and coffee cake flavored like my favorite season.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake | | #pumpkin #breakfast #brunch

You may be thinking…hmmmm. This coffee cake looks familiar. It might, because it’s a re-do. I posted a version of this a looooong time ago.

Maybe it’s better you don’t remember. It tasted good back then but man-I thought those photos were GOOD. Prime photos, right there.


Anyway, the recipe is pretty much the same, but I did change a few things. I reduced the butter in the topping because OMG that must have been a typo. And I subbed greek yogurt for vegetable oil.

Let’s talk about greek yogurt vs. oil. In a perfect world where calories are free and I am a size 2, I’d use oil. Until someone invents a teletransporter to take me to that place, I’ll use greek yogurt.

I am really loving using yogurt in place of oil, but it does change the texture of the cake. It’s a little chewier and has less crumb. I like that just fine, especially because I’m not hitting myself over the head with my fat pants as I eat my second slice.

If you don’t have yogurt on hand, or prefer to use oil, you can substitute vegetable oil. I’ve even mixed yogurt and oil in recipes where I want to…mix it up. Get ambitious in the kitchen. If there’s one thing I want to teach you from reading this blog besides “pie is perfect” and “sugar is life” it would be to try new things in the kitchen. Try a substitution…you never know what will work.

Kind of like I’m trying to rain dance Fall into Sacramento.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake | | #pumpkin #breakfast #brunch

Chances are, you’ll have more luck than me!

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Yield: 9 servings


For the Cake

  • 2 cups flour, divided
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup non-fat vanilla or plain greek yogurt (or you can sub vegetable oil, see note)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup milk

For the Streusel

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional (or use walnuts)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9x9” pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk in pumpkin, greek yogurt, vanilla and milk in a large bowl until no lumps remain. Whisk in sugar, then baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Stir in flour with a spatula or wooden spoon. Batter will be thick. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. In a small bowl, stir butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of flour with a fork. Stir in pecans. Spread on top of pumpkin cake layer.
  4. Bake about 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted 2” from the side of the pan comes out clean. Cool until you can’t stand it anymore, then cut into squares and serve. It can take up to 30 minutes to bake, depending on your oven. Take it out as soon as a toothpick comes out clean along the edges. Remember, the yogurt will change the texture of the cake. It will be chewier.


If you prefer to use oil, you can substitute vegetable oil for the greek yogurt.

Other recipes you’ll love:

Sugar-Free Pumpkin Snack Cake (can be made with sugar)

sugar free pumpkin cake 1 words

Single-Serve Mug Coffee Cake


Sweets from friends:
Caramel Apple Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake by Shugary Sweets
Skinny Pumpkin Pie for One by Back for Seconds
Pecan Pie Bread Pudding by Something Swanky

Thanks for reading!

74 Responses to “Pumpkin Coffee Cake”

  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks posted on August 18, 2013 at 2:19 am (#)

    And so it begins! First pumpkin recipe on any blog that I’ve seen for the season! Wow – this gets me in the mood for fall and there is nothing better than pumpkin coffee cake when it’s moist, soft, and done right. Love the streusel, too! I’d love a big piece of this!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 18th, 2013 at 8:02 am

      Ha, that was my goal, with such a “simple” recipe. :) Plus, last year I was so unprepared for pumpkin in August that I felt left behind, ha!


  2. ThisBakerGirlBlogs posted on August 18, 2013 at 2:24 am (#)

    Fall is my favourite season and a pumpkin coffee cake would be the perfect way to welcome it! Summer really can suck it :)


  3. Susan posted on August 18, 2013 at 4:26 am (#)

    Never too early to start pumpkin recipes and this looks like a winner, XOXO


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 18th, 2013 at 8:00 am

      My thoughts exactly Susan!!


  4. Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet posted on August 18, 2013 at 5:31 am (#)

    We have had a very fall like weekend. This goes perfect with that!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 18th, 2013 at 8:01 am

      I am so jealous of your Fall weather! We are overcast today, with chances of rain…but still in the 90s.


  5. Kristin posted on August 18, 2013 at 5:40 am (#)

    Pinning this! I think I’d mix yogurt and oil, for the texture.
    I’ve already been on a hunt for candy corn. Fall is in the air.


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 18th, 2013 at 8:00 am

      I wish it was here! LOL! Thanks for the pin!


  6. Tieghan posted on August 18, 2013 at 5:48 am (#)

    Oh geez, I am now so excited for fall! I love pumpkin recipes! Actually I love pumpkin everything! Food, decorations, picking pumpkins. I just really love fall. It is my favorite season!

    These looks awesome!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 18th, 2013 at 7:59 am

      I know, Fall is the best season. I cannot wait for all the recipes!


  7. Tahnycooks posted on August 18, 2013 at 6:00 am (#)

    I love Field of Dreams!! Totally agree that, that movie is one of the best movies ever!!

    The pecan crumb topping on these cake squares looks divine! I would have a hard time not picking off all the pecans, the cake looks so moist and delicious too! Great recipe, and I’m all for yogurt vs oil!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 18th, 2013 at 7:58 am

      Yes, I think the pecans are my favorite part!


  8. Miss Messy posted on August 18, 2013 at 6:39 am (#)

    Is pumpkin puree the stuff in the can? I recently got some in the UK and am looking to use it! :)


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 18th, 2013 at 7:58 am

      Yes! Pumpkin puree is just pure pumpkin, nothing added (no seasonings or sugar; it’s not pumpkin pie filling). Enjoy!


  9. Jennifer @ Not Your Momma's Cookie posted on August 18, 2013 at 8:05 am (#)

    I really hope these usher in fall – I’m beyond ready! We’ve had a taste of somewhat cooler weather in VA and it has been a welcome relief. These pumpkin coffee cake looks amazing!


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  12. Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent posted on August 18, 2013 at 2:47 pm (#)

    Fall is one of my favorite seasons, and I love anything pumpkin!


  13. Laura posted on August 18, 2013 at 4:02 pm (#)

    Is the cooking time correct? It took almost an hour for it to bake through this says only 20 minutes…


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 18th, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      I’m sorry it took so long! That’s so strange. Mine took about 20, although some coffee cakes I’ve made (from the same base; different ingredients) have taken up to 30-35 minutes to bake. What altitude are you at?


      • Elizabeth replied on August 19th, 2013 at 1:05 pm

        The exact same thing happened to my Pumpkin Coffee Cake–I had to bake 30 minutes. The additional cooking time left the cake rubbery on the sides. Will try again using oil added to yogurt. Possibly add an egg? I am 8 ft above sea level so I don’t think it’s the altitude.

        • Dorothy Kern replied on August 19th, 2013 at 7:03 pm

          Hmm, I’m sorry Elizabeth! The yogurt does change the texture. Try the combo and find the ratio that works for you!

  14. Ashley @ Kitchen Meets Girl posted on August 18, 2013 at 8:10 pm (#)

    Eeeee! I am soooooooo ready for pumpkin recipes! Bring on fall!!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 19th, 2013 at 6:54 am

      I’m beyond ready. For baggy clothes too, ha.


  15. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious posted on August 18, 2013 at 10:47 pm (#)

    Yessssss pumpkin!!!! That is all 😉


  16. Rachel Cotterill posted on August 19, 2013 at 1:20 am (#)

    I developed a major pumpkin addiction when I was in the States last fall. I even brought some tins of pumpkin home with me so I can make some of my favourite dishes for myself. This is definitely going on the list!


  17. Nancy A. posted on August 19, 2013 at 2:53 am (#)

    Thank you for the pumpkin recipe! I love all things pumpkin!!! Like the idea of yogurt instead of oil, I use that quite a bit in some recipes and you would never know the difference. Love your name, my mother-in-law’s name is Dorothy and she is such a sweet lady, much like you. Do you have a mug coffee cake recipe with pumpkin? My husband doesn’t like pumpkin anything and then I eat it all!!!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 19th, 2013 at 6:53 am

      Oooooh. That sounds like a great idea Nancy. It’s going on the idea white board right now!! And, so true. My husband is the same way! I sliced this into 9 squares and froze them. I reheat when I want a treat, and the only difference is that the topping melts in the microwave, but I don’t mind it a bit. :)


  18. sally @ sallys baking addiction posted on August 19, 2013 at 4:57 am (#)

    Love love LOVING the early intro to pumpkin Dorothy! Pumpkin for breakfast – there is quite nothing like it. This coffee cake look wonderful!


  19. Sarah | The Sugar Hit posted on August 19, 2013 at 5:28 am (#)

    This looks like one HEAVENLY coffee cake! As luck would have it, I have actually just made a batch of pumpkin puree!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 19th, 2013 at 6:51 am

      Perfect! I cannot wait to make MORE pumpkin!


  20. Chris posted on August 19, 2013 at 6:25 am (#)

    There’s leftover pumpkin in the freezer from last fall… sounds like I’ll be making a treat for the people at work asap!


  21. Ida posted on August 19, 2013 at 8:28 am (#)

    Thanks for sharing! This looks so yummy. Have you made this without pecans? I am allergic and was wondering if it was still yummy without the nuts, some recipes aren’t!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 19th, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      Yes! You can make with or without nuts. As a matter of fact, I should put the optional in the recipe. You might want to add some more crumble to make it go farther, maybe 1.5 times or double it!


  22. Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner posted on August 19, 2013 at 10:49 am (#)

    Pumpkin in August! Well if the fashion world can be a season ahead of schedule then why not a food blogger! Love it because it inspires me to get my list going for what I’ll be making soon. :) Love love love coffee cake and I can’t wait to try a pumpkin one! Pinned to make.


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 19th, 2013 at 7:04 pm

      Thanks Tina! I know, I thought it was strange last year, but I felt so behind by September, ha!


  23. Lisa @ Wine & Glue posted on August 19, 2013 at 11:12 am (#)

    This looks awesome, Dorothy!! And gorgeous photos :)


  24. Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry posted on August 19, 2013 at 1:07 pm (#)

    This pumpkin coffee cake has me so excited for fall!


  25. Trish - Mom On Timeout posted on August 19, 2013 at 4:26 pm (#)

    I am SO ready for the Fall! This coffee cake looks delish Dorothy!


  26. Jamie @lifelovelemons posted on August 20, 2013 at 3:52 am (#)

    Both pumpkin and coffee cake remind me that fall is coming! So excited, definitely going to give this a try!


  27. Amy posted on August 20, 2013 at 7:09 pm (#)

    Baseball reference = best thing ever! (It’s kind of my favorite sport…) But I’m with you on this weather thing. Since when is it okay to be 100° when school is about to start?? Looks like a fabulous coffee cake — and I’ll gladly eat 2 slices if it’ll lower these crazy temperatures!


  28. Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen posted on August 20, 2013 at 7:25 pm (#)

    I am soo ready for pumpkin season now!! YUM!


  29. Melanie @ Just Some Salt and Pepper posted on August 21, 2013 at 3:42 pm (#)

    I’m so, so ready for all the pumpkin treats. This looks delicious!


    • Dorothy Kern replied on August 21st, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      Me too. I want to post, like, 1,000 more. NOW!


  30. Jocelyn @ BruCrew Life posted on August 21, 2013 at 7:52 pm (#)

    I am SO ready for Fall too! It’s my favorite season, and it can just hurry up and be here already!! This coffee cake looks like a dream….a fabulous dream!!


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  32. Maria posted on August 23, 2013 at 7:10 am (#)

    Mmm this looks so good! I’ve been looking for new pumpkin recipes to try this fall, I’ll have to add this one to my list! Your coffee cake looks delicious!


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  36. Diana Costello posted on September 25, 2013 at 6:13 am (#)

    It is yucky and rainy today…the perfect day to make this yummy looking coffee cake. It may still be 87 out, but that feels like fall in Florida. :)


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