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Pumpkin crumb cake

Updated: Oct 2, 2022

This is my favorite recipe to make in the fall, and I promise it's a crowd pleaser! I am a total sucker for crumb cake, and the pumpkin and spices makes it that much better in this recipe. 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!

The cinnamon sugar crumb in this recipe is inspired by 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. If you're in the mood for a crumb cake without the pumpkin, I recommend my cinnamon sugar crumb cake which is a recipe I created based on this one.

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 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 quickly 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, eggs and sour cream, 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 120g

  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon brown sugar 60g

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour 135g

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons, 1/2 cup) unsalted butter melted 113g

Cake batter:

  • 1 + 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup, 12 tablespoons) butter melted 170g

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar 144g

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar 48g

  • 1/4 cup sour cream 60g

  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin 130g

  • 2 large eggs + 1 extra yolk

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour 180g

  • 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: 30-33 minutes

Chill time: 30 minutes to an hour


  • 9x9 square pan (or 8x8 and increase the bake time)

  • Parchment paper

  • Spatula and whisk (recommended or you can use a large spoon and fork respectively)

  • Various bowls - large, medium, and small

Cooking instructions:

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 fork 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 into the fridge.

Next, make your cake batter. Melt the butter for your cake batter and combine it in a large bowl with both sugars using a whisk.

Next, pour in your canned pumpkin and sour cream. 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!

Add in each egg and your additional egg yolk one at a time to your mixture, whisking in completely until your mixture has become glossy and slightly thickened. Add in your vanilla extract and whisk to combine.

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 from the fridge 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 30 to 35 minutes. I recommend checking at 30 minutes to ensure you don't over bake, and know that you can always add time. Once 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 or at room temperature and enjoy when you're ready!

Carb and serving info:

Servings: 16 squares

Carbs for full recipe: 646

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.

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