This fantastic pumpkin sour cream coffee cake is made with super moist and tender crumb, a layer of spiced pumpkin filling and buttery streusel on top. Thanks to the addition of the sour cream, the cake provides unique taste and holds its moist and tender texture for days.
With only simple ingredients and less than 30 minutes to make, I promise that this coffee cake will become your go-to for all the gatherings this season. It is full of that wonderful, buttery flavour, sugary crunch and hints of warming cinnamon.
Whether you are looking for a cake for that special occasion, or just a delicious, every day bake, to go with your cup of coffee, this sour cream cake is it!
Despite to the popular belief, this coffee cake doesn't actually contain any coffee. The name comes from the simple fact that it is a cake you would serve with coffee. It usually is a simple, moist, tender cake topped with streusel or crumble-like topping.
Some versions can contain coffee in it, but most simply don't. Traditional, American-style coffee cake is simply a sour cream based pound cake layered with cinnamon sugar and streusel. My version includes spiced pumpkin layer instead of cinnamon sugar.
If you are looking for a coffee flavour coffee cake, check out my Coffee Walnut Cake recipe.
This fantastic pumpkin coffee cake comes together in about 20 minutes, and you don't need any speciality ingredients. Only simple, basic kitchen staples are going into this delicious recipe.
- Pumpkin Sour Cream Coffee Cake Ingredients: To make the coffee cake, gather unsalted butter, caster sugar (granulated sugar can also be used), eggs, vanilla, plain/ all purpose flour, baking powder, salt and sour cream.
- Pumpkin filling: For the filling you will need pumpkin puree, ground cinnamon and soft light brown sugar. You could also use pumpkin spice instead of cinnamon.
- Streusel topping: The topping is made from unsalted butter, plain flour, caster sugar (or granulated sugar) and salt.
- To serve: This is totally optional but you can serve this pumpkin sour cream cake with simple cinnamon glaze made with icing/ powdered sugar, milk and ground cinnamon.
Scroll down to the bottom of this post for the recipe card and full list of the ingredients.
Easy method and simple ingredients are what makes this recipe a pure joy to bake and to eat. In about 1 hour and 20 minutes and few easy steps, your cake will be ready to eat and wow your guests!
Start with making the streusel topping. I like to use melted butter, when making streusel, but you can also use soft or cold butter for this. Simply combine all the dry ingredients with butter to get breadcrumb-like texture. Place the mixture in the freezer until it you need it.
In a separate bowl, prepare the pumpkin filling by combining pumpkin puree, 1-2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and brown sugar.
Hint: When making the streusel topping, make sure you have some small crumbs, as well as bigger ones. Avoid super-big lumps and clusters and aim for the variety of small and medium clumps.
Next, time to start making the sour cream cake batter. Beat the softened butter with sugar and add the eggs and vanilla. Mix the flour with baking powder and salt, and add it in three additions to the egg and butter mixture, alternating it with sour cream. You want to begin and end with the flour.
Transfer about ⅔ of the cake batter into the baking tin and spread it into an even layer.
Hint: I like to use ice cream or cookie dough scoop to transfer the cake batter into the baking tin. It also helps me visually to divide the batter in more equal manner.
We are now going to add the pumpkin filling layer on top. Gently spread it around, again in the even layer.
Transfer the remaining cake batter on top of the pumpkin layer and use an off set spatula or the back of the spoon to gently spread it. Try to cover all of the pumpkin filling, but don't worry if few gaps are remaining. The batter will spread out as cake bakes.
Lastly, top the cake with the streusel topping and place in the oven for about 45-55 minutes.
When making streusel topping, make sure you pay attention to the texture of it. When I was testing this recipe, the first two times my streusel turned into a puddle of melted mess. The reason? Too much butter!
The secret to a perfect streusel topping is in the right ratio of butter to the flour and sugar. If you add too much butter, the streusel will melt or sink. Traditional German streusel recipe calls for a ratio of 1:1:2, one part of sugar: one part of butter: two parts flour (or close to that).
I find that the ratio of 1:1:1.5 works best for me, but feel free to experiment and see what you prefer. If you like the topping that is more crisp, and sand-like, add more flour and sugar to your mix. You may also try to use more of a crumble topping, like in my Apple Crumble Cupcakes recipe.
Every baker will have their own favourite way of making the streusel topping. I normally melt my butter, before adding to dry ingredients, but you can also use cold butter or softened butter and rub it in with your fingertips.
Main things to remember, when making streusel:
- Use white caster (superfine), granulated or brown sugar for the best results.
- Never use baking powder or baking soda in the streusel.
- Keep the streusel in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before using it. It will keep the butter nice and cold and will prevent it from melting in the oven too quickly.
I only tried and tested this streusel coffee cake recipe with the ingredients and the method provided in the recipe card. However, I found few different variations of it online, which you may be interested in trying:
- Make it vegan by following the instructions from this Coffee Cake recipe from The Big Man's World. You can still use the pumpkin filling, as it is naturally vegan.
- To make it gluten-free, check out this recipe for Easy Gluten Free Coffee Cake from Gluten Free On A Shoestring.
This sour cream pumpkin coffee cake can be enjoyed on its own, and I can guarantee that you will love it as it is. However, if you would like to try few variations, here are some suggestions for you:
- Add some chopped pecans or walnuts to the streusel topping or to the cake batter. They will not only add more delicious flavour, but will also add an extra crunchy texture!
- Add your favourite spices - You can add some pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, or cardamom to the cake batter or to the streusel.
- Serve it with cinnamon glaze: simply combine about 100 grams of icing sugar with ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon and enough milk to have runny consistency.
- Swap the pumpkin filling for cinnamon sugar - That will pretty much turn this cake into more traditional coffee cake. Use about 130 grams of brown sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon instead of the pumpkin filling.
- If you don't have any sour cream available, you can also use Greek yoghurt (full fat) or buttermilk. The crumb will be ever slightly different, but still super moist and light.
- Pumpkin puree - I use store bought pumpkin puree from Baking Buddy. It is available in most of the supermarkets in the UK. But you can also use pumpkin pie filling or your own, homemade pumpkin puree.
This easy pumpkin coffee cake requires a baking tin with just a bit of depth to it. As it is a generous recipe, it yields a big cake. The tin that I used was 23 x 33cm (9 x 13in), and it's from Nordicware.
You can also use glass or ceramic tin, similar in size and dimensions. Try to use baking pan that is least 4cm (1.5in) deep. When lining the baking tin with baking paper, make sure there is plenty of overhang on the longer sides of the tin. This way the removal of the cake will be much easier.
Alternatively, you could also use a bundt tin, which is at least 2 litres in capacity. Make sure to adjust baking time by adding another 10- 15 minutes, if using this type of tin. Another option is to use 25cm wide, deep, round loose-bottom or springform baking pan.
One of the best things about this cake is that it will stay moist even days after it was made! Store any leftovers of this cake in the airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. The streusel topping will become softer with time, but will still taste delicious.
Pumpkin sour cream coffee cake also freezes really well. You can freeze it for up to 3 months. Wrap each individual slice in the double layer of clingfilm or reusable kitchen wrap and place in the freezer friendly bag. Thaw at room temperature.
My favourite way to serve this cake is while it is still warm. You can also re-heat it in the microwave or pop it in the warm oven for a couple of minutes, if you would like.
Before you start making the cake batter, bring all of the ingredients to room temperature. Remove the butter, eggs and sour cream from the fridge about 40 minutes before starting the recipe. If your kitchen is warm, or you are based in a warm climate country, remove these items about 10-15 minutes prior to starting the recipe.
If you tried this Pumpkin Sour Cream Coffee cake or any other of my recipes, feel free to leave me a comment or a rating below. I love hearing from you! To pin this recipe and save it for later, use the button on the recipe card or on any of the photos above.
Pumpkin Sour Cream Coffee Cake
- 23 x 33cm ( 9 x 13in) baking tin
- baking paper
- hand-held electric mixer or freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment
- mixing bowls
For the streusel topping:
- 125 g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the tin
- 185 g plain flour
- 125 g caster sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the pumpkin filling:
- 425 g pumpkin puree
- 3 tablespoon soft light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the cake:
- 175 g unsalted butter softened
- 300 g caster sugar
- 315 g plain flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 180 ml sour cream
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (170°C fan). Grease the baking tin and line it with baking paper, leaving plenty of overhang on longer sides. Set aside.
For the streusel topping:
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Pour the melted butter over the mixture and using fork, mix to combine, until you have a mixture that resembles the texture of the wet sand and there is a selection of small and big crumbs and clumps. Place the bowl in the freezer, while you prepare the cake.
For the pumpkin filling:
- Place all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix to combine. Set aside until needed.
For the cake:
- In a bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix to combine. In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: the flour, baking powder and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, add the flour in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream. Make sure you begin and end with the flour. You should have thick, fluffy and smooth batter at the end.
- Transfer roughly about ⅔ of the cake batter into the prepared baking tin and spread an even layer using spatula or the back of the spoon. Next, add spoonful's of pumpkin filling on top of the cake batter, and spread it gently on top. Spoon out the remaining cake batter on top, and gently spread it, trying to cover all of the pumpkin filling. Don't worry too much if few gaps are remaining, just try to cover as much of the filling as possible.
- Remove the streusel topping from the freezer and sprinkle it all over the to of the cake in an even layer. If you have any really big clumps/ clusters of streusel, try to break them with your fingers. Transfer the cake into the preheated oven and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool for about 20-30 minutes, before lifting it from the tin using the overhang baking paper. Slice the cake into 12-16 pieces and enjoy!
Please note that all my recipes are developed and tested in metric grams. I recommend that you use digital scales for a more accurate results. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
- If no sour cream is available, use the same amount of full-fat Greek yoghurt.
- Store the cake in the airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. It will stay moist for days, but the streusel topping will loose it's crunch with time and will become softer.
- To freeze, wrap individual slices of cake in a double layer of clingfilm or reusable kitchen wrap, and place in the freezer friendly bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for 2-3 hours.
- To make cinnamon glaze (optional), combine 100g of icing sugar with ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon and about 1 tablespoon of milk and mix until you have runny consistency, suitable for drizzling.