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Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel
When you think of baking with pumpkin, the first dish that comes to mind is probably pumpkin pie. as delicious as pumpkin pie is, pumpkin puree is a versatile ingredient that can – and should – show up in many other bakes in your kitchen during the fall and winter holiday season. This Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Pecan Streusel is a cake that is perfect for serving up at holiday brunches and can also serve as a wonderful alternative to pie after a holiday meal. The coffee cake is a moist pumpkin cake topped with a delicious spicy-sweet streusel that is packed with toasty pecans.

The cake itself is simple to put together. It contains pumpkin puree – and canned pumpkin is just fine in this case – along with a generous helping of pumpkin pie spices. The spices, of course, get their name because they’re frequently found in pumpkin pie and other desserts. They include cinnamon, ginger and cloves – all of which compliment the natural sweetness of the pumpkin puree. The cake also contains buttermilk, which helps to ensure you get a moist and tender cake. If you don’t have buttermilk, sour cream makes an excellent substitution.

The streusel for this cake is rich with brown sugar and warm pumpkin pie spices. It will sink down a bit into the top of the cake after it comes out of the oven, due to the sugar melting slightly, so don’t be alarmed if that happens. The cake itself is also not overly sweet, so the crisp, spicy brown sugar topping makes for a nice contrast. The streusel also contains chopped pecans, which add a little bit of extra texture to this bake. If you’re not a pecan fan, you can use walnuts or hazelnuts. Since the baking time is relatively long, you don’t need to use toasted nuts in this recipe, as they will toast up nicely in the oven.

The cake is ready to eat as soon as it has cooled, but it will keep for at least 2-3 days after baking if stored in an airtight container. Feel free to microwave a slice for a few seconds before serving, too, to recreate that just-baked warmth!

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Streusel

1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 cup butter, chilled
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 10-inch round tube pan.
Prepare the topping: In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, salt and spices. Cut butter into small chunks and rub into sugar mixture with your fingertips, making sure no pieces larger than a pea remain. Mixture should be crumbly, with some small pieces of butter visible.
Stir in nuts. Set aside.
Prepare the cake: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. With the mixer on low, blend in half of the flour mixture, followed by the pumpkin puree and buttermilk. Blend in remaining flour mixture, stirring only until the batter just comes together and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Pour batter into prepared pan and spread into a even layer.
Using your hands to squeeze the topping mixture into clumps (grab handfuls and squeeze to form clumps of streusel), sprinkle batter evenly with the topping mixture.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and cake springs back when lightly pressed.
Cool in the pan on a wire rack before slicing.

Serves 10-12

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