Hey friend! If you've been around here before, you know that I'm all about creating scrumptious treats that just happen to be gluten-free. Today, I've got a real treat in store for you: a delightful pumpkin coffee cake that's not only gluten-free but also dairy-free. And let me tell you, it's absolutely perfect for cozy mornings or anytime you're in the mood for something comforting and delicious.
Now, let's dive right into what makes this pumpkin coffee cake so fantastic. For me, it's all about capturing those warm, cozy, fall vibes, and nothing says "autumn" quite like pumpkin. This cake is like a slice of pumpkin pie's best friend. It's moist, tender, and boasts that unmistakable pumpkin spice goodness without being overly sweet. The texture is spot on, and you won't even miss the gluten or dairy. Trust me; it's a game-changer.
But wait, there's more! This coffee cake isn't just a one-trick pony. It's got a scrumptious streusel topping that takes it to the next level. The combination of cinnamon, brown sugar, and a handful of pecans adds an irresistible crunch that pairs perfectly with the soft pumpkin cake beneath. Whether you're sipping your favorite brew or sharing it with loved ones, this pumpkin coffee cake is bound to be a hit.
I love coffee cakes because they aren't too sweet and they are perfect for brunch or dessert! If you're interested in more coffee cake recipes you should check out my strawberry crumb cake, my amazing carrot cake coffee cake or our family favorite banana bread coffee cake.
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- Gluten Free Flour Blend - I used Bob's Red Mill 1-to1 flour for this recipe. You can use the gluten free flour blend you prefer, but ensure it contains xanthan gum or a similar binder. Using another brand of flour may result in a different outcome in your bake as all gluten free flour blends are a little different in their makeup.
- Baking Powder - Helps to create a fluffy cake texture.
- Salt - Salt balances the sweet flavors in dessert. Don't be tempted to skip it.
- Vegan Butter - I've used Country Crock plant butter in this recipe. You can use the vegan stick butter of your choice, but avoid margarine. If you're not dairy free, use regular butter in the same measure.
- Sugar - To add sweetness to the cake.
- Eggs - This cake needs two eggs for structure and rise. I haven't tried it with any vegan substitutes, so if you do please let me know in the comments.
- Vanilla Extract - Helps to sweeten the cake and add depth to the flavor.
- Non-Dairy Milk - This helps to keep the cake moist. If you're not dairy free, use regular milk in the same measure.
- Pumpkin Puree - Make sure to use pure pumpkin puree here and not pumpkin pie filling. If you prefer to make your own, check out my homemade pumpkin puree recipe.
- Brown Sugar & Pumpkin Pie Spice - These two are combined to create the ribbon that runs throughout the cake. It also brings all those pumpkin spice flavors to this dessert.
See recipe card for full ingredient list and quantities.
Substitutions & Variations
- Not Dairy Free - use dairy butter and milk in the same measure.
- Chocolate Chip Delight: If you're a fan of the classic pumpkin-chocolate combo, fold in some dairy-free chocolate chips into the cake batter. The melty, gooey chocolate will complement the pumpkin spice beautifully.
- Cream Cheese Swirl: Create a creamy surprise by swirling dairy-free cream cheese into the pumpkin batter before adding the streusel topping. This adds a delightful tanginess to balance out the sweetness.
- Gingersnap Crumble: Instead of the usual streusel, crumble some gluten-free gingersnap cookies on top of your coffee cake. It'll infuse a warm, spicy flavor that pairs wonderfully with the pumpkin.
- Raisin and Walnut Magic: Mix in some raisins and chopped walnuts into the cake batter for a wholesome, hearty version of pumpkin coffee cake. It's perfect for those who love a bit of texture and natural sweetness.
How to make the crumb topping
STEP 1: Combine the gluten free flour, brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir until well mixed.
STEP 2: Add the melted butter to the dry ingredients and mix together until it's clumpy.
STEP 3: Place the crumb topping into the refrigerator while you prepare the cake.
How to make pumpkin coffee cake
STEP 1: Combine the brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.
STEP 3: Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until fluffy.
STEP 4: Add the eggs and vanilla to the creamed butter and sugar. Beat again on medium speed for about 60 seconds.
STEP 5: Combine the milk and pumpkin puree and mix well.
STEP 6: With the mixer on the lowest speed, add half of the flour mixture followed by half of the pumpkin. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.
STEP 7: Spread half of the pumpkin cake batter into your prepared baking pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar-cinnamon mixture over the top.
STEP 8: Dollop the remaining cake batter over the cinnamon layer. It will be easier to spread this way. Use an offset spatula to spread the batter in an even layer to the edges of the pan.
STEP 9: Sprinkle the crumb topping over the cake and bake!
To get perfect drips of icing over your cake, wait until the cake is completely cool and apply using a refillable condiment squeeze bottle.
Coffee cake is typically a single layer cake and almost always has a cinnamon of fruit layer in the middle. It's topped with streusel and icing (sometimes). Coffee cake is made to be served with coffee, so while it is sweet it doesn't have the dessert appeal of a frosted layer cake.
There could be a few reasons - first, if you're using homemade pumpkin puree it tends to have more water than the canned version. Second, if you have added too much pumpkin your cake will be very dense and wet. Third, if you haven't baked it long enough for the moisture to begin to evaporate in the oven.
Two things could cause dry coffee cake - either you've used too much flour or you've baked it too long. Be careful when measuring ingredients, especially gluten free flour. A scale is the most accurate way to measure, but if you don't own a scale you will want to spoon flour into your measuring cup and level off the top. Never scoop the cup into the flour.
Other pumpkin recipes to consider:
If you try this recipe, please leave a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 star rating and let me know how you liked it in the comments below.
Pumpkin Coffee Cake
For the streusel topping
For the cake
For the streusel topping
- Combine the gluten free flour, brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir until well mixed.½ Cup Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend, ½ Cup Light Brown Sugar, ½ Cup Pecans, ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
- Add the melted butter and continue to stir until it forms wet clumps. You want it to be chunky, not smooth. Place the bowl in the refrigerator while you make the cake.3 Tablespoons Vegan Butter
For the cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Combine the brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl. Stir well and set aside.½ Cup Light Brown Sugar, 2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
- In a second bowl, combine the gluten free flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk until well mixed and set aside.2 Cups Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend, 2 ½ teaspoons Baking Powder, ½ teaspoon Salt
- Add the sugar and butter to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.¾ Cup Sugar, ½ Cup Vegan Butter
- Add the eggs and vanilla to the creamed butter and sugar. Beat for another 60 seconds until well mixed.2 Eggs, 2 teaspoons Vanilla
- Combine the pumpkin puree and milk in a measuring cup or bowl.⅔ Cup Pumpkin Puree, ½ Cup Non-Dairy Milk
- Turn the mixer to the lowest speed and add half of the dry ingredients followed by half of the wet ingredients. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Stir until just incorporated. Make sure to scrape down the bowl to make sure all of the dry ingredients are mixed in.
- Transfer a little more than half of the pumpkin cake batter into your prepared pan. Use an offset spatula to spread it into an even layer.
- Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture over the bottom layer of the cake.
- Dollop the remaining pumpkin cake batter over the cinnamon layer. Gently spread it into an even layer.
- Remove the streusel topping from the refrigerator and sprinkle it (in large chunks) over the top of the cake.
- Bake the cake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the center springs back when gently poked. Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the pan for about 1 hour then remove from the pan to cool completely on a wire rack.
For the icing
- Combine the powdered sugar, cream and cinnamon in a small bowl. Drizzle over the cooled cake and allow to dry for about 15 minutes before slicing.1 Cup Powdered Sugar, 2 Tablespoons Non-Dairy Cream, ¼ teaspoon Cinnamon
Tiffany is the recipe developer, stylist and food photographer behind Well Fed Baker. As a lifelong baker who had to go gluten free and dairy free in 2016, Tiffany strives to share allergen friendly recipes that never feel like they are free from anything.