Pumpkin cream cheese coffee cake is a festive fall bake that looks as good as it tastes. Bright orange pumpkin cake is layered with a whipped cream cheese spread and topped with a walnut-brown sugar topping for a dish that looks, smells, and tastes like fall.
An indulgent cake that is too good not to share, try making it for your next brunch or the next time you’re asked over for coffee.
Pumpkin cream cheese coffee cake tastes delicious with coffee, but has no coffee in it. The sweet cinnamon flavors, tangy cream cheese, and earthy pumpkin taste beautiful with a nice cup of coffee.
For something really special, try making a maple latte to have alongside your cake. If you aren’t a coffee or caffeine drinker, think about pairing it with warm spices. Have a slice alongside a mulled apple cider or warmed cinnamon milk.
When you make this cake, make sure that you allow the cream cheese to warm up before you whip it. I like to call this a dump-and-stir cake, which means it’s very easy to make. But you should still lay out all of your ingredients before you make the cake. This ‘mise-en-place’ will help you keep track of which ingredients you’ve added to the batter.
What You Need to Make Pumpkin Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
There are a few ingredients in this recipe that you may need to buy, like canned pumpkin, maple syrup, walnuts, and cream cheese. But many of the others you likely already have.
Although this recipe has a lot of ingredients, the steps to making the cake are not challenging or time-consuming. Because this cake uses oil rather than butter, it does not take much time to whip together.
In the streusel topping, you can try using other nuts. This recipe calls for walnuts, but pecans would also be tasty. If you don’t like nuts, you can omit them altogether.
You can use non-fat, 1%, 2%, or whole milk Greek yogurt and milk in this recipe—stick to what you already buy! You can also omit the vanilla extract if you do not have any on hand.
- All-purpose flour
- Canned Pumpkin
- Large eggs
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- Kosher salt
- Brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Neutral oil, like canola or vegetable oil
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Maple syrup
- Vanilla extract
- Cream cheese, softened
- Powdered sugar
- Unsalted butter
- Chopped walnuts
This recipe requires 2-3 bowls, an 8 x 8-inch baking dish, and two whisks. You will also need a piece of parchment paper to line your dish.
How To Make Pumpkin Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
Make the batter: Whisk together the oil, eggs, yogurt, milk, granulated sugar, pumpkin, and maple syrup in a bowl and whisk until combined. Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and whisk until combined. Do not overmix.
Make the cream cheese layer: In a bowl, whisk together softened cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar. The result will be thick.
Make the topping: Put the remaining flour, brown sugar, salt, and softened unsalted butter in a bowl. I like to use my fingers to cut the butter into the flour, rubbing the butter, flour, and brown sugar in my hands, but you can also use a fork or pastry cutter. Then, toss in the chopped walnut pieces.
Assemble the cake and bake: Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line and grease your pan. Add your cake batter and smooth it into one level layer.
Then, with small dollops, spread the cream cheese on top of the batter. Be careful not to mix the cream cheese with the lower layer. It is ok if there are pockets of the cake that are not covered by cream cheese. Add the streusel topping.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the side of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool before cutting into squares and serving.
Can I use different spices in this cake?
I like to keep the spices simple here because the cake already has cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup, which add a lot of complexity. However, you can make this more of a spice cake by adding other spices like ginger or nutmeg.
Can I make anything ahead of time?
The cake batter should be prepared right before you bake the cake, but the cream cheese mixture and the streusel topping can be made the day before you plan to make it.
How should I store my cake?
Because of the cream cheese layer, I recommend storing the cake, well-wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup neutral oil like vegetable or canola oil
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 16 ounces softened cream cheese
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter softened
- ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Line and grease an 8 x 8-inch baking dish.
- Whisk together 1/3 cup neutral oil, ¼ cup Greek yogurt, ¼ cup milk, 2 large eggs, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, and 1 cup canned pumpkin.
- Add in 1 2/3 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, and ½ teaspoon salt, and whisk until just combined.
- In a separate bowl whip together 16 oz softened cream cheese, ½ cup of powdered sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla until well combined.
- In another bowl, place 4 tablespoons of softened butter, 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/3 cup of brown sugar. Using your fingers, a fork, or a pastry cutter, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture becomes crumbly.
- Toss the streusel mixture with a 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts.
- Put the cake batter in the baking dish and level.
- Using small dollops, add the cream cheese on top of the cake batter and gently smooth the cream cheese, being careful not to mix the two layers.
- Top the cream cheese with the streusel layer.
- Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the side of the pumpkin cake layer comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes before slicing it into squares to serve. Enjoy!
Here are a few other recipes you might enjoy!
- Pumpkin Chai Latte
- Pumpkin Toast
- Halloween Waffles
- Pumpkin, Cinnamon & Spice Oatmeal
- 3-Ingredient Pumpkin Muffins
Arielle is a food and drink photographer based in Washington, D.C. She was previously a social science researcher before she fell in love with photography.