The Country Cook: Pumpkin Pie Cake

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Cake

This time of year just makes me want to get into the kitchen and bake. The weather has cooled off so we don't mind having the oven on more since it heats up the house just a bit. And I just love those spice smells that come out of my kitchen when I'm making treats like this one. Sundays are always good baking days for me. It is the one day everyone is off work, off school and we have the whole day to just be together. No matter how crazy our week was, we still have Sunday. And that is usually the day we enjoy a bigger dinner.  When I actually have time to make a good roast chicken, homemade mashed potatoes and gravy and fluffy biscuits. Note: If you haven't checked out my posts on Cream Biscuits or Butter Dip Biscuits, go check them out now. Especially if you have ever struggled with making a good biscuit!
This cake I am sharing with you today is what I like to call a good take along cake. It is great to take to any function you have going on this time of year. It doesn't require any refrigeration and it slices up easily to serve. Teacher luncheons, Bunco game time, church lunches or potlucks, you name it, this cake will get gobbled up quickly. The great thing about using pumpkin in baked goods is it brings a natural moistness to the party. So, this doesn't require a whole lotta oil because the pumpkin is going to add not only flavor but will also keep this cake super moist!
For the Cake
1 cup pure pumpkin puree*
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup milk (2% or higher works best)
¾ cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 cups all-purpose flour

For the Streusel Topping

2 tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 tbsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans

*Cook's Notes: Let me take a minute to talk about canned pumpkin. When you see a recipe that requires canned pumpkin, pure pumpkin, or pumpkin puree, this is what we're talking about right here (see image below).  It is just straight-up pumpkin, nothing else added. It will usually say 100% pure pumpkin on the label. You can make your own or buy it canned like this. Don't mistake this with canned pumpkin pie mix. Canned pumpkin pie mix has pumpkin puree plus evaporated milk and pumpkin pie spices mixed in with it. That one will mess up your recipe. So look for this can or other similar brands. Store brands will usually be cheaper.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray an 8x8" pan with nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine pumpkin, oil, vanilla and milk until smooth. If using a stand mixer, remember to scrape the sides occasionally so it all gets incorporated.

Then stir in sugar, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Mix until combined.
Finally, gently stir in flour. Mix just until combined. Don't over mix. Batter will be a little lumpy. Pour batter into baking dish.
Now, to make the streusel topping. In a small bowl, combine the melted butter with the brown sugar, cinnamon and flour.
Then stir in chopped pecans.
Sprinkle topping evenly all over coffee cake batter.
Bake for about 35-40 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean). It took closer to the 40-minute mark in my oven. But as with most baked goods, times do vary in different ovens, so just start keeping an eye on it around the 30-minute mark. 
Slice up and serve.
Note: Using an 8x8 baking dish does make for a pretty thick coffee cake. If you want thinner pieces of cake, use a larger baking dish and adjust the cooking time accordingly.


  1. yum this is on todays menu

  2. Loving this coffee cake spin with pumpkin in it, looks super tasty!

  3. Can this be doubled and cooked in a 9x13 cake pan.

  4. Mmm, this coffee cake sounds delicious, but I won't lie so does the roast chicken and mashed potatoes, can I come for dinner ;)

    1. Hahaa! It sure does make for a great Sunday meal! :)

  5. Oh my goodness, made this today! So, so good!! I was amazed that this didn't have eggs in it and I was worried it wouldn't be as moist as you said but it really was. The flavors were perfect. Thank you!!! :)

    1. Janice from MissouriOctober 16, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      Haha! I thought the same thing about the eggs. I made it as soon as you shared it and took it to a teacher's luncheon and they all went nuts over it. LOL. I directed them all to your page. This has such great flavor. I love spice flavors with pumpkin - perfect combination! Thank you for sharing and thanks for the step by step photos. Sure does help this ole baker out :)

  6. I think I can make it as tasty. Because you clearly describe with images.

  7. Moist cake and streusel topping, you've so won me over Brandi!

  8. In the oven as I write...I was browsing thru Pinterest and stumbled on this. I jumped up and made it, and I can't wait for it to finish baking......16 more long agonizing minutes!!!! Thank you so much for sharing this simple recipe.

    1. Hi Michelle! I promise the wait is totally worth it!

  9. My topping didn't turn out anything like your crumbly one that could be sprinkled. It was a gooey mess with the melted butter. If I make this again I would definitely combine the dry topping ingredients first and then cut in the butter (not melted). That's how my other regular coffee cake recipe is done.

    1. Hmmm, I"m really not sure how that happened. It's only 2 tbsp. of butter which is really hardly anything for a whole cake topping. Are you sure you only used 2 tbsp? Did you use margarine instead of butter. It just doesn't make sense, I'm sorry. I've made it bunches of times and never had issues and I go by this exact recipe. I'm sorry you had trouble!

  10. Janna (Granmda in Alabama)October 20, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    I just had to come over and say how marvelous this cake was. I took it to a family get-together yesterday (we just had a light meal with a sweet little dessert) and everyone asked for this recipe. It was the perfect ending to our meal. I just read Danika's comment and all I can say is either she didn't follow this recipe or used too much butter by accident. This turned out exactly like your picture and the topping was perfect! Thank you!! We love The Country Cook and can always depend on your recipes!!

  11. I made these last night and wanted to double it for a 9 x 13 pan. Unfortunately the only thing I remembered to double was the amount o pumpkin and the streusel topping. I didn't realize it until I took the pan out of the oven and realized they weren't as thick as your cake was in the pictures. We tasted it and it was just very dense like a bar would be, it still amazingly good! I also made a pumpkin & spice glaze to drizzle on top! Even my 2 year old twins love it and they are extremely picky eaters.

  12. I love all things pumpkin and this one looks so simple. I can hardly wait to try it!

  13. Cannot wait to make this. Can I use almond milk?

  14. Yummy, But most definitely don't melt the butter.. it will be way to wet for sure! & I will also next time use less cinnamon as with this amount it overpowered the pumpkin especially being in the batter and also in the topping. Not a cake like desert, it's quite dense but good! Yummy to eat like pumpkin pie with whipped cream or ice-cream, helped balance out the sweetness ;) enjoy!

  15. Hi there. Can you please tell me what's in the pumpkin spice mix. I live in Australia and don't think we can get this in our supermarkets. Thanks

  16. This was super easy to make and delicious! Definitely will make again. Thanks for posting!

  17. Does anyone know of another topping for this ? This is not my favorite topping.....
    This sounds like a great recipe tho, and hope to try it as soon as I find another topping idea....if you made this in a 9x13 pan, how long should it be baked ?

  18. This was so easy, not too sweet and a huge hit. However, I wasn't paying attention and added 1 CAN of pumpkin instead of 1 CUP. Needless to say, it was very dense, more like a pudding cake. My daughter loved it that way. I will definitely be making this winner again...using 1 CUP of pumpkin.

  19. Can you use walnuts instead of pecans


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