The Bakery

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake

If there’s one baked item that screams “easy entertaining’, it’s coffee cake. It looks beautiful on a tall cake platter and appears to have taken way more time and effort then you actually need. It makes a great breakfast and brunch centerpiece, a nice addition to afternoon coffee, or a festive holiday dessert. If there happens to be leftovers, try making french toast out of it. Ryan was one happy camper after I tested that in the kitchen. I love this coffee cake recipe in particular because it isn’t super sweet. The addition of pumpkin, ginger, and nutmeg give a great holiday taste to the cake without adding excess sugar. Add it to your repertoire this holiday season and your guests or recipients will love it.

Makes: 10-12 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes     Baking Time: 75-90 minutes    Cooling Time: 60 minutes     Total Time: Roughly 3 hours

1 cup sour cream (reduced fat or regular)
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp all spice
3 1/2 cups flour

For Glaze
1/3 cup light cream cheese
1/3 cup powdered sugar
3 tbs milk
1 tbs vanilla extract

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray and angel food cake pan well with cooking spray. Example of pan shown here.
  • Mix the sour cream and baking powder together in a small bowl with a spatula. Let sit for at least 5 minutes, or until the sour cream is visibly fluffy. This is the key to a fluffy and moist coffee cake. Remember this for any sour cream based recipes in the future!
  • Beat the butter and sugar together with a mixer until the butter is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl and letting each absorb before adding the next.
  • Add the vanilla, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and all spice to the bowl with 1 1/2 cups of the flour. Mix until just combined.
  • Add the pumpkin and another 1 cup of the flour, mix until just combined.
  • Add the sour cream and the remaining 1 cup of the flour. Mix until just combined.
  • Use a spatula to lay the batter into the angel food cake pan in an even layer.
  • Bake for 75 – 90 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out cleanly.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and let rest for at least one hour. This is the hardest part! But if you don’t wait, the cake doesn’t have time to set.
  • When the cake is cool, use the backside of a knife (or an icing spatula) to gently go around the outside of the cake. You should be able to press the bottom of the pan out from under the sides pretty easily. Be careful because the pan might still be hot!
  • Use the same knife to run under the cake and around the ring in the center. If the cake has cooled for the full hour, you will be able to pick up the cake by it’s sides and put it on a cake platter. If you are too nervous to do that, flip the cake upside down onto a plate and then back over again onto the cake platter.
  • For the glaze: whip the ingredients together with a whisk or a mixer. Gently drizzle the icing over the cake. There is not that much on purpose, it’s supposed to be a light topping, not a full glaze. If you wish to glaze the whole cake, double the recipe.
  • Cut into 10-12 pieces to serve. Keep covered with a cake dome or plastic wrap to keep fresher longer.


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