Pumpkin crumb cake
Updated: Dec 18, 2021
I am excited to share my last pumpkin recipe of the season, and this one promises to be a crowd pleaser! I am a total sucker for crumb cake, and this one just might be my new favorite. It has just the right amount of pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavor, with an overload of cinnamon sugar crumb on top.
Though this recipe packs a lot of sweet elements, the end result is just sweet enough while still carrying the almost savory flavor of pumpkin and butter. Similar to my Cinnamon sugar pound cake recipe, I also added a bit of sour cream in this cake to make sure it had enough moisture. The balance of pumpkin, pumpkin spice, cinnamon, and of course lots of butter comes together so nicely to create a cake that can be enjoyed at any time of day and is a perfect Thanksgiving day treat for during the day, the dessert table, or even breakfast the next day!
I based the cinnamon sugar crumb off of my Strawberry crumb bar recipe. That crumb is one of my all time favorite things to eat (both on the bar, and separately!) so I knew it would bring the perfect texture and taste to this cake, minus the strawberry of course.
There are two main pieces to this recipe - making the crumb and then the cake batter. Though there are two separate things to make, there is no fancy equipment needed and it really does come together in a pinch. You certainly could use a stand or hand mixer for the cake batter, but I used a whisk and a medium bowl for both and everything came together quite smoothly. I baked my final recipe in a 9x9 square pan, but you could also absolutely bake this in a round 9x9 pan. In fact, I used one for the first round of this recipe because my square pan was in the freezer with another recipe! In the end, I like the utility of a square pan best, because it allows you to more easily lift up your crumb cake and slice it out of the pan into 16 perfect squares. Regardless of the shape, I also would recommend using a metal pan rather than a glass one. If glass is all you have on hand, just know that you may need to increase the bake time a bit!
This recipe calls for melted butter both in your crumb and your cake. For that reason, it's also easy to make this recipe in a pinch since you don't need to wait for the butter to come to room temperature. When you start making your crumb, I do recommend though taking your other cold ingredients out of the fridge as it will help to more easily combine all of your cake batter ingredients when the time comes.
Cinnamon sugar crumb:
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons, 1/2 cup) unsalted butter melted
1 + 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup, 12 tablespoons) butter melted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs + 1 extra yolk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
Total time: 2 hours including chill time
Prep time: About 20 minutes
Bake time: About 35 minutes
Chill time: 30 minutes to an hour
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
First, make your crumb. In a small bowl melt a stick of butter and set it aside.
In a separate, medium bowl add your dry ingredients - brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, flour, and salt. Give them a mix to combine.
Pour in your melted butter and use a spoon to mix until clumps begin to form. Once your dry ingredients are combined in fully with your butter but there are still small and medium sized clumps formed, stop mixing and set your bowl of crumb aside.
Next, make your cake batter. Melt the butter for your cake batter (12 tablespoons) and combine it in a large bowl with both sugars using a whisk.
Add in each egg and your additional egg yolk one at a time to your butter and sugar whisking in completely until your mixture has become glossy and slightly thickened.
Next, pour in your canned pumpkin, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Use your whisk to keep stirring until everything is truly incorporated. Note: if your sour cream is cold, this may take a bit more muscle so keep going!
Finally, add in your dry ingredients - flour, salt, baking powder, and pumpkin spice. Begin mixing with your whisk to break up any clumps, and once your dry ingredients are about halfway incorporated, I recommend switching to a spatula or large spoon to ensure you don't over mix your cake batter. Once you see no more dry ingredients, you can stop mixing.
Assemble and bake your cake. Line a 9x9 square pan with parchment paper (you can also use a round 9x9 or square 8x8 pan just know that the time may be slightly different). Scoop in and spread your cake batter to ensure it goes all the way to the edges and is evenly spread across. Grab your bowl of crumb and use your hand to pick up and sprinkle your crumb evenly over your cake batter. When I do this, I like to either break apart any pieces of crumb that are too big, or squeeze together pieces that have broken up smaller than I would like. Once your crumb is evenly spread across your cake batter, use the back of your hand to gently press it down - you don't want to press it in too hard, but you do want to lightly secure it into your cake batter.
Place your cake into the 350 degree oven to bake for about 35 minutes. You can check it at about 30 minutes if you're concerned about it over baking, and know that you can always add time. Once a toothpick or sharp knife comes out clean and your cake doesn't wiggle when you shake it, you'll know it's done! Your crumb should also be ever so slightly more brown than it was when you placed your cake into the oven.
Allow your cake to cool for about 30 minutes to an hour, slice, and enjoy!
You can store your cake in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge for a few days and it will remain fresh. I always recommend lightly microwaving day old cake for about 5-10 seconds just to refresh it. You can also freeze the full cake or slices as long as it's wrapped well in plastic wrap. You can defrost it in the fridge and enjoy when you're ready!
Carb and serving info:
Servings: 16 squares
Carbs for full recipe: 634
Carbs per serving (1 of 16): 40
Note: Carb information is calculated based on the specific ingredients I used to cook with to help guide my own insulin to carb ratio when dosing before I eat my home cooked recipes.