Pumpkin Coffee Cake Bars

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When I was a little girl, (so typical to start this way, but stick with me..) I used to spend a lot of afternoons with my grandmother. She actually shared a two-family home with her in-laws, who essentially became my family and my other set of grandparents. My grandmother Jill always loved having me over after a school day finished, and brought me the most delicious snack: coffee cakes. You know the type: individually wrapped, perfect amount of streusel on top, ultra sweet and super delicious. I had one almost every time I visited, and it made my day.

I spent a few times trying to perfect my coffee cake recipe, even without adding any fun ingredients like particular version, and I'm happy to say I nailed it. Sure, it may not have that swirl in the center, but why try to be like everyone else? I LOVE the way these coffee cake bars came out, and to add a little flare, they're enhanced with... PUMPKIN. I know you're likely rolling your eyes saying "MORGAN, LET IT GO, PUMPKIN SZN IS GONE!" but alas, I don't care. Pumpkin season will live on forever. These pumpkin coffee cake bars are moist, flavorful, topped with a generous amount of homemade streusel, and are so easy to make any day of the week.

These coffee cake bars are insanely easy to make. Oh, and the streusel? BEYOND delicious. This recipe takes a little work at the beginning to prep and chill the streusel, make the coffee cake batter, top with the streusel and bake for half an hour, let rest and you're all set to serve. What I really love about this recipe is the memory the bring me. The minute my tastebuds graze the streusel as I chew, I am instantly transported back in time to when my grandmother would give me that mini, individually wrapped coffee cake from that classic white box. The color of these coffee cake bars come from the added pumpkin puree, but if you wanted to leave the pumpkin out, no harm done, the color just wouldn't be as vibrant as these. No judgment I swear.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake Bars Ingredients:

  • Pumpkin puree: this is what gives the texture, color, and added flavor to these bars
  • Flour, butter, sugar: the trifecta for all cakes!
  • Eggs: eggs are always a staple in baked goods, and give the end result a beautiful texture and rise.
  • Cinnamon: this goes into the coffee cake mixture as well as the streusel topping.
  • Cane and light brown sugar: a combination of these sugars help add to the overall structure and taste of these coffee cake bars.
  • Sour cream: adding sour cream to ANY recipe adds additional fat, aka making it moist and adds lots of flavor.
  • Oil: a little oil goes a long way. More fat = more delicious crumb and mouthfeel

Coffee Cake Tips:

  1. Make the streusel ahead of time and let chill. You're adding melted butter to flour and sugar, so you want to allow the butter to stiffen again, and form crumbles. When you take out the streusel mixture to add on top of the batter, it'll crumble perfectly, and trust me, you'll use ALL of the crumbles.
  2. You are free to swap out the pumpkin if you'd like. Remember though, the pumpkin gives flavor and texture, so add a touch more oil and sour cream if your choice is to take the pumpkin out.
  3. Be gentle when making the batter. I've tested my coffee cake recipe several times, and had to discard or retry a few of those tests because I severely over-mixed the batter. Over-mixing works the gluten too much causing a gummy texture and loss of flavor. NO BUENO.

You virtually can't go wrong with this recipe. Whether it's a snack, breakfast, dessert, or all of the above, you'll love having a batch handy. I cannot wait to make these again, as I still have a can of pumpkin open in the fridge, and several more in the pantry. If you love the feeling of reminiscing with childhood favorite snacks, you are going to adore this recipe and make it over and over again.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake Bars

Is there really ever a reason to make coffee cake? I mean, the streusel is the best part. In this case, make it pumpkin. These deliciously fluffy pumpkin coffee cake bars are perfect for any time of day, and are simple for anyone to make!

Author:
Morgan

Ingredients

For the Bread:

  • 192g all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g cane sugar
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ c olive oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the crumble:

  • 100g flour
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tsp apple pie spice or cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Mix together the ingredients for crumb topping and set in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350º and line a Pullman loaf pan with parchment.
  3. Mix together the wet ingredients (eggs and egg yolk, milk, sour cream, oil, vanilla, and cane sugar). Set aside. 
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and pinch of salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until the batter just comes together.
  5. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and sprinkle the top of the loaf with a generous amount of crumb topping.
  6. Bake at 350º for 35m.

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