Pumpkin Crumb Cake – Dense pumpkin spice cake is covered with crispy cinnamon crumbs, making it such a great treat with a morning coffee.
Crumb cake is one of my all-time favorite coffee house treats. I call it a coffee house treat because that’s where I first discovered it. I love the super moist, yet slightly dense texture of the cake. And the crispy cinnamon sugar crumbs on top are simply divine.
Today, I am making a pumpkin version of my crumb cake. It’s got a whole can of pumpkin puree with a mixture of pumpkin pie spices. Other than those two additions, the ingredients and the process is the same as my classic version.
Say hello to my Pumpkin Crumb Cake!
Making the crumb cake
Before we start making the batter for the cake, we gotta make the crumbs. They are made with brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, flour, and melted butter all mixed together. As the mixture comes together a paste will form and then it will start to crumble. Crumble it a little and then place in the fridge to firm back up.
While the crumbs chill, it’s time to make the cake. First, you cream the butter with the sugar. Next, the eggs and pumpkin get added until the mixture is combined. The dry ingredients are mixed separately in a bowl. This helps evenly distribute them before added to the wet mixture so that everything mixes fast.
About one third of the dry ingredients are added and mixed into the pumpkin mixture, followed by half the milk and sour cream. The dry ingredients are alternated with the wet ingredients until all are gone, ending with the dry ingredients.
Assembling the cake
Spray a 10-inch springform pan with nonstick spray. Pour the batter into the pan and flatten the top with a spatula. Remove the crumbs from the fridge and crumble them over the top of the batter. They do not have to be even chunks. In fact, varied sizes gives the cake more character.
Bake in a preheated oven for about 45 minutes or until the center is set and the crumbs are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Tips and Tricks
- Crumb mix. Make sure your crumb mixture turns crumbly as it comes together. This ensures there is enough flour in the mix.
- Alternate wet and dry ingredients. The process of alternatively adding wet and dry ingredients ensures the cake has no lumps. It also makes sure you don’t overmix the batter and produce a dense, tough cake.
- Adjust for dark pans. If you have a dark metal pan, make sure to adjust the oven temp to 325 degrees.
Pumpkin Crumb Cake
For the crumbs:
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter unsalted, melted
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons flour all-purpose
For the cake:
- 2 cups flour all-purpose
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ stick butter unsalted, softened
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup sour cream
For the crumbs:
- Whisk sugars, cinnamon, and salt together in a medium mixing bowl. Add melted butter and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon to combine.Add flour 1/3 of a cup at a time. Mix until fully combined and forms crumbs. Place in refrigerator while you make cake batter.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (325 if you have a dark-coated pan). Prep your 10-inch springform pan by greasing it.
For the cake:
- Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt in small bowl to combine. Set aside.
- Whip butter and sugar together with a stand mixer or a hand mixer until it becomes light and fluffy. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment. With mixer on low, add eggs one at a time.
- In a separate small bowl, mix sour cream and milk together.
- Add 1/3 of flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Add 1/2 of the milk mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Repeat again until flour and milk mixtures are fully incorporated into the butter mixture. Now you have the batter ready to go!
Assembling the cake:
- Take a spatula, scrap down the sides of the bowl of the cake batter to make sure you have all the ingredients mixed in. Pour batter into prepared dish and spread into an even layer.
- Remove crumb mixture from the fridge. Using both hands, break apart the mixture into chunks and cover evenly over the batter. They do not have to be even chunks. In fact, varied sizes gives the cake more character.
- Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. If you want a crispier top layer, cook for full 50 minutes.
- Once finished baking, place on rack to cool for 10 minutes while still in cake pan. Then release from cake pan to finish cooling on the rack. Can be served warm or cooled.