When it comes to pumpkin—particularly during this time of year—I lean on the more maximalist side of things. Am I the person with 15 cans of pumpkin in her pantry at all times? Absolutely. But it’s only because pumpkin season can seem so fleeting that I want to fit in every pumpkin-centric recipe I can. And while I have my favorites, the list is always open to an addendum—case in point, this pumpkin snack cake.
We’ve written previously about the magic of snack cakes. They’re easy to prep and pop in the oven and can be enjoyed for dessert and breakfast, too. So it only made sense to add a pumpkin-themed snack cake to my repertoire. This pumpkin snack cake is reminiscent of your go-to coffee cake, with a crunchy streusel topping and a moist, spice-forward crumb. It all gets dusted in a soft snowfall of powdered sugar. Trust me: You’ll want to make this asap (or at least, before pumpkin season comes to a close).
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What ingredients do I need to make this pumpkin snack cake?
This recipe is incredibly easy and makes the most of a few pantry staples. It’s the perfect weeknight baking endeavor.
Oil. I used avocado oil, but this will work perfectly with vegetable oil, olive oil, etc.
Sugars. A blend of brown and white sugar gives this pumpkin snack cake the perfect balance of sweetness without going overboard. I’m all about reducing sugar where I can, so I was careful to land on an amount that felt perfect for this recipe.
Eggs. Two eggs bind everything together.
Pumpkin. We’re using a whole can of pumpkin in this recipe. That’s right. There’s nothing worse than having half a can of leftover puree, so toss the whole thing in here.
Spices. Cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg bring all the cozy flavor.
Flour. A classic all-purpose flour serves as the base of our cake, sifted with baking soda and baking powder to get the right rise.
Tips For Getting Your Streusel Just Right
Intimidated by streusel? I hear you. I’ve screwed up many bowls of streusel in my day. But truth be told, even a streusel that melts in the oven will still be delicious. However, if you’re going for that signature crunchy top, here are a couple of things to keep in mind.
Let your butter cool. Because we’re using melted butter from the microwave to make the streusel, if the butter is too hot when you add the sugars in, they will melt while mixing. Letting the butter cool ensures a perfect, crumbly topping.
Don’t over mix. Streusel isn’t like a cake batter. You’ll have to force yourself to stop mixing at a certain point. Once you add your flour and sugars to the melted butter, use your hands or a fork to combine the ingredients. As soon as it becomes cohesive, step away from the streusel! Letting the butter hydrate the flour gives you wonderful little crumbles. The beauty of streusel is that it doesn’t need to look perfect. Instead, it should feel rustic and crumbled.
How do I serve and store this pumpkin snack cake?
When the cake comes out of the oven, let it cool completely before topping it with powdered sugar—otherwise, the sugar will just melt away. I like to cut mine into squares, but if you go at it with just a fork, more power to you.
To store, I line a Tupperware container with parchment and place the cake into it. The cake will keep on the counter in an airtight container for a couple of days. To extend its shelf life, store in the fridge and microwave any leftovers to enjoy with your morning coffee.
P.S. Looking for more pumpkin recipes to round out the season? These are the ones I have on repeat.
Pumpkin Overnight Oats
Banana Pumpkin Muffins
Chewy Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Cinnamon Glaze
Pumpkin Spice Cinnamon Rolls
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/2 cup white sugar (110 g)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (50g)
- 2 eggs
- 1 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups flour (240g)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
for the streusel:
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (100g)
- 1/4 cup white sugar (55g)
- 1 cup flour (120 g)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 F and line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, start making the streusel, add the 1/2 cup of butter and melt in the microwave in 15 second increments. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Add the sugars, flour, salt, and cinnamon, and combine with your hands until crumbly. Set aside.
- Make the cake batter. Add the oil and sugars to a large mixing bowl and whisk together.
- Add the eggs, and whisk until smooth. Add the pumpkin and spices and whisk again.
- Add the flour, baking soda, and baking powder, and fold into the wet ingredients until combined.
- Pour the cake batter into the baking pan, then crumble over the streusel into an even layer.
- Place in middle rack of oven and bake for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool, top with powdered sugar, and enjoy!
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Can this be made with sweet potatoe instead?
Hey Nichelle – yes you could use canned sweet potato puree if you prefer!
How much pumpkin puree do you use? Cans come in different sizes. Can you update the recipe?
Hi Joanna – I used a standard 15oz can of pumpkin puree!
This sounds wonderful! How much grated nutmeg did you use? Can you use ground nutmeg?
Hey Courtney – I normally eyeball grating fresh nutmeg, but if using ground nutmeg, I would use about 1/4 tsp!
Delicious cake. I did make a few tweaks as my family does not like the traditional ‘pumpkin pie’ type spices, so I just used cinnamon. And instead of melting the butter for the topping, I just used room temperature butter. The crumbs are a bit softer this way. This is a holiday keeper.
So happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe, Nicki! Love your streusel tweak too – we’re a crunchy topping household, but totally agree using softened butter makes for nice soft crumbs!