Sigh, pumpkin, how I love you. What is it about this orange stuff that makes so many of us go nuts in the fall? When you think about it-- pumpkin really is an odd substance-- in color, in smell, as an addition to baked goods. I mean, we're not talking about chocolate here! Yet I love it, and just tell me you've slipped some pumpkin in a dish-- whether it's cake, bread, lattes, pasta, or soup and I'll show up. Judging from the amount of pumpkin products I'm seeing displayed all over the place right now I can see I am not alone in my obsession.
In all seriousness, pumpkin, when not mixed with copious amounts of butter and sugar, is extremely healthy. Low in fat, high in fiber and brimming with vitamin A (which aids vision) pumpkin is a handy as well as tasty vegetable to have around. Also, as a side note, I've noticed that baked goods always turn out moist and fluffy whenever I use pumpkin puree in a recipe.. so I got that goin' for me, which is nice--name that movie!
Anyway, if you like pumpkin, and if you like pumpkin lattes, and if you like cinnamon streusel, you will love this coffee cake. It's all of those yummy things rolled into one cake with a latte cream cheese swirl. (So, this is not one of those healthy pumpkin dishes). As I said above, the pumpkin makes the cake deliciously moist and tender, not dried out like so many coffee cakes. The cinnamon streusel was great, as how can you not love streusel? And, the coffee drizzle had just the right hint of coffee flavor to complement the pumpkin and spices without overpowering the whole cake. I made this for my family a few weeks ago and they declared it one of the best things I had ever made for them.
The recipe calls for pumpkin pie spice in both the cake and the streusel but I just use a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. I've included the amounts I used in the ingredients in case you'd rather use that or, like me, don't have pumpkin pie spice. I prefer to make my own because then I can mix it to my liking-- which is always heavier on the cinnamon and lighter on the nutmeg. And you'll see that my measurements add up to slightly more than the called for amount of pumpkin pie spice, but that is on purpose-- I always add more cinnamon than the recipe calls for. If you aren't a cinnamon fiend like me, than you can adjust accordingly. Finally, instant espresso powder can be tricky to find depending on where you live. I found mine at Whole Foods, but did some searching with no luck before finding it there. You may also be able to find it in the international foods section of your well-stocked grocery store.
Pumpkin Latte Coffee Cake
2 tsp. instant espresso coffee powder or instant coffee granules
1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbs. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or use 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. ginger, and 1/4 tsp. cloves)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup buttermilk
1 recipe Streusel (see below)
1 recipe Coffee Drizzle (see below)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13x9x2 inch baking pan; set aside. In a small bowl stir together
2 of the eggs and the espresso powder; set aside. In a medium bowl beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in the 2/3 cup sugar, the 2 tbs. flour, the 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, and the vanilla until smooth. Beat in egg-espresso mixture; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl stir together the 3 cups flour, the baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt. Set aside
3. In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds; gradually add the 11/2 cups sugar, beating until fluffy. Add the remaining 3 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in pumpkin. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to pumpkin mixture, beating after each addition until combined. Spread half of the batter in prepared baking pan. Spoon half of the cream cheese mixture by small spoonfuls on top of the batter. Add remaining batter in spoonfuls; carefully spread over the cream cheese mixture. Top with spoonfuls of remaining cream cheese mixture. With a knife, swirl batter to marble. Sprinkle with Streusel.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 45 minutes. Spoon Coffee Drizzle over coffee cake in lacy pattern. Cool completely on wire rack. Makes 12 servings.
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. nutmeg (scant), 1/8 tsp, ginger, and 1/8 tsp. cloves)
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter cut into cubes,
Pinch of salt
Combine all of the ingredients. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the cold butter until crumbly.
Coffee Drizzle Recipe:
In a small bowl stir together 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar and 1 tsp. light-color corn syrup. Stir in enough cooled espresso or strong brewed coffee (1-3 Tbs.) to make a spreading consistency. Start by adding 1 Tbs. and then slowly add coffee while whisking, teaspoon by teaspoon, until you reach the desired consistency. Drizzle over cooled coffee cake.
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens "Fall Baking 2012"