cream cheese

pumpkin streusel coffee cake

If you live in the northeast, or anywhere in the U.S. for that matter, you’ve probably noticed something if you’ve been outside lately.

pumpkin streusel coffee cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

It’s pumpkin season!!!

pumpkin streusel coffee cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

Even though the weather still feels relatively summery here in NYC, there are pumpkins EVERYWHERE lately! Grocery stores, farm stands, corner bodegas, hardware stores, front porches, brownstone stoops, even apartment windows. Some of them are being nestled just so amidst colorful pots of hardy mums, while others are getting carved up into jack-o-lanterns with big toothy grins. You just can’t step out the front door without seeing a bunch of big orange squash all over the place.

pumpkin streusel coffee cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

And guess what! Pumpkins aren’t just decorative, they’re also pretty damn tasty! Canned or cubed, roasted or boiled, baked into pies and cakes or simmered into stews and curries. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!

pumpkin streusel coffee cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

Pumpkin’s so adaptable and so universally loved this time of year that a huge part of the blogging community is coming out today to share their favorite pumpkin recipes in the Virtual Pumpkin Party! This pumpkin recipe sharing event has been hosted by Sara from Cake over Steak since 2015. Head over to her blog to see this year’s full list of links and check out all the drool inducing pumpkin recipes that speak to the versatility of the pumpkin, along with the limitless creativity of the blogging world.

pumpkin streusel coffee cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

Speaking of versatility and creativity, I decided that the Virtual Pumpkin Party was the perfect opportunity for me to take my spice cake bundt recipe out for a spin and really show you what she can do. I could have just made the pumpkin purée substitution and baked a simple, yet delicious bundt cake, but I knew that I could take this recipe even further. If you’ve been reading this blog long enough you’ve probably already noticed that I’m actually a curmudgeonly old lady living in the body of a 34-year-old gay man. So, true to form, I decided to use my humble spice cake recipe as the base for a show stopping coffee cake.  A layer of toasted pecans and brown sugar, and a topping of buttery crunchy streusel may seem simple enough, but they seriously transform this cake.

pumpkin streusel coffee cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

The only slight change I made to the base recipe was to add just a bit more oil. The additional ingredients and thick layer of streusel mean this cake has to bake a long time before it’s fully cooked inside, and the extra oil helps keep the bottom and sides of the cake from drying out before the interior is done. I also decided to bake the cake in an angel food pan rather than a bundt pan, because bundts are meant to be turned out of the pan and served upside down, but I wanted that gorgeous streusel topping to be the star of the show. If you don’t have an angel food pan though, just bake it in a bundt pan and serve it with the streusel side up!

pumpkin streusel coffee cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

This cake is dense and rich and packed with heavenly, homey fall flavors. The cake itself is almost like a rich spiced pumpkin bread, the filling adds a lovely bit of toasty nutty texture, and the streusel is crunchy and buttery and salty in the best possible way. A light drizzle of cream cheese glaze adds just a touch of extra sweetness and a bit of creamy tang. I could go on, but I’m sure you get the picture. Now go preheat the oven already.

pumpkin streusel coffee cake | Brooklyn Homemaker

Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake

Streusel:
1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans
1 2/3 cups flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

Filling:
1 cup roughly chopped pecans
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)

Cake:
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
4 large eggs
3/4 cup peanut oil (or vegetable or canola oil)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup (1 15oz can) canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)

Preheat oven to 350F.
Coat a large angel food pan with a removable bottom with butter and flour, or baking spray that includes flour. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Toast the pecans for the filling and the streusel together on a sheet pan for about 6 to 8 minutes or until fragrant. Let the nuts cool before making the streusel.

To make the streusel:
Put the flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, espresso powder, and cold butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix the streusel slowly on low-speed just until it begins to clump together, which should take between 5 and 10 minutes depending on how cool everything is. Add the 1/2 cup of cooled toasted pecans and mix until well-distributed, about a minute.
Transfer the streusel to a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate.

To make the filling:
Mix the pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, and espresso powder together with a fork in a small bowl. Set aside.

To make the cake:
Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, & nutmeg together in a bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, & brown sugar together on high-speed until light and fluffy, about three minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, scraping between additions. In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together oil, vanilla, & pumpkin purée. In the bowl with the butter and sugars, alternate additions of the flour and buttermilk mixtures at low-speed, beginning and ending with flour. Mix just until combined and do not overwork the batter. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure all ingredients are well incorporated.

Pour about half the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top. Sprinkle the filling over the batter in an even layer, then top with remaining batter and smooth out. Firmly pound the pan against the countertop several times to tap out any air bubbles, then add the topping in an even layer. Bake in the center of the oven for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean from the center of the cake.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cool, remove the cake from the pan and drizzle with cream cheese glaze (recipe below) if desired.

Cake should keep, in an air tight container at room temperature, for about 3 or 4 days.

Cream Cheese Bundt Glaze: 
4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 to 8 tablespoons milk

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until it’s soft and smooth and light. Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and 3 tablespoons of milk and blend until there are no lumps. If necessary, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition until the glaze reaches the desired drizzle-able consistency. It should be about the consistency of thin melted ice cream to drizzle correctly.

Place a tray under cake and cooling rack to catch any drips. I used a small squeeze bottle to get a thin even line of drizzle and let some of the streusel show through. You could also do this by cutting a small hole in a sandwich bag, or you could make your life easier and just pour the glaze over the whole top of the cake.

This recipe will probably make more glaze than you need, but it’s tough to make a smaller batch with an electric mixer, and without a mixer it won’t come out as creamy and smooth.
It’s great though, so I promise you won’t be sad that you’ll have extra.

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graham cracker bundt cake with key lime cheesecake swirl #bundtbakers

I’m sorry, but I really hate the phrase, “made it by the skin of my teeth”

graham cracker bundt cake with key lime cheesecake swirl | Brooklyn Homemaker

A) Seriously, how gross is that?
B) What the heck does that even mean? Teeth don’t have skin.
Unless we’re talking about gums here, in which case, that’s even weirder/grosser/more nonsensical.

Anyway, even though I don’t like or understand that saying, in this case it’s true. I made it. Just in the nick of time.

graham cracker bundt cake with key lime cheesecake swirl | Brooklyn Homemaker

If you’ve been paying attention, you already know that my oven has been broken (along with my heart). My landlord, in tandem with Brooklyn’s slowest appliance repair company, have been taking their sweeeeeeet time fixing it.

As difficult as going oven-less has been for me, my biggest concern through this whole agonizing experience has been that I might not be able to bake along with the bundt bakers this month. It may have been painful to have cookies taken off the menu and chicken taken out of the oven and put on the back burner (literally), but DO NOT mess with my bundts. I’ve baked a bundt cake each and every month since I found this rag-tag (though truly well organized) team of bakers, and having to bow out because of an ancient apartment oven and a foot-dragging repairman was seriously bumming me out.

graham cracker bundt cake with key lime cheesecake swirl | Brooklyn Homemaker

Luckily the repair man pulled through at the eleventh hour. On Monday he came through with the backordered fuse in hand and within an hour my baby was back in working order. I was at work at the time, but Russell was filling me in from home and once the oven was purring again we were sending jubilant texts back and forth for the rest of the day. I was like a giddy school girl. 16 days with no oven can do that to a guy.

graham cracker bundt cake with key lime cheesecake swirl | Brooklyn Homemaker

With no time to spare, I assembled the ingredients for my cake and set to work. The lovely Anshie of Spice Roots is our group’s host this month, and she chose “Hidden Surprise” as our theme (which is appropriate, because my ability to even make this cake was a total surprise!).
The idea was to bake a cake with a filling or ingredient inside that isn’t visible until it’s sliced. From the outside it looks like any ordinary cake, but once sliced a whole universe of delicious is revealed.

graham cracker bundt cake with key lime cheesecake swirl | Brooklyn Homemaker

At first I was having a really difficult time deciding what to do with this theme. My mind immediately went toward berries and chocolate, but in my experience berries always want to sink through the batter and settle into what, once un-molded, is the top of the cake. That wouldn’t really be much of a surprise would it? I pawed at a few other ideas in my head but nothing really seemed to take.

That all changed about two weeks ago when I caught a nasty bug and couldn’t get off the couch for a few days.

When I was growing up, my grandmother always prescribed the same “medicine” whenever I was sick. The patient always needed canned chicken noodle soup, plain vanilla ice cream, warm ginger ale, and graham crackers. Now that I’m older the chicken soup seems to make sense, but the vanilla ice cream just seems like a bad idea. I don’t really get the warm part of the ginger ale, but I guess the lack of ice was supposed to be easier on the stomach, and I suppose graham crackers are easy on an upset tummy too.
To this day, whenever I get sick, I always crave these things. Once I was well enough to actually eat, I went through an entire box of graham crackers in like two days. All that was left was a small trail of graham cracker crumbs.

graham cracker bundt cake with key lime cheesecake swirl | Brooklyn Homemaker

That’s when it hit me, what if I made a cake using crushed graham cracker crumbs in place of some of the flour?
And what better flavor to pair with graham cracker crumbs than key lime pie?
Better yet, key lime CHEESECAKE!!!

Surprise!

graham cracker bundt cake with key lime cheesecake swirl | Brooklyn Homemaker

I can’t accurately describe how amazing this cake is. Words like moist, tender, flavorful, warm, & homey come to mind to describe the graham cracker cake, but really don’t do it justice. This cake is out of this world. Why hasn’t this been done before? If it has, why haven’t I been informed? Graham cracker cake, filling or not, is something I’d like to be buried with. Hillary should choose graham cracker cake as her running mate. Seriously. Clinton/ Graham Cracker Cake/ 2016.

I could have paired this cake with any number of fillings and knocked it out of the park. Chocolate and marshmallow “S’mores” cake would have been amazing, but KEY LIME CHEESECAKE was a real stroke of genius. Seriously, out of this world. I want to use words like tangy, rich, creamy, silky, & decadent; but like I said, words cannot describe the otherworldly levels of deliciousness happening inside this cake.

Go make this. Now.
(you can thank me later)

graham cracker bundt cake with key lime cheesecake swirl | Brooklyn Homemaker

Graham Cracker Bundt Cake with Key Lime Cheesecake Swirl

  • Servings: 12 to 16-ish
  • Print
Filling:
1/4 cup sugar
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
pinch of salt
1 large egg
4 tablespoons key lime juice
finely grated zest of 1 lime

Cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for pan)
1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham cracker crumbs (plus more for topping)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks, plus more for pan)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup buttermilk

Glaze:
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons key lime juice
pinch of salt
1 cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 and move the rack to the center position.  Generously butter and flour a 10 to 12 cup bundt pan. Tap out extra flour and refrigerate.

To make the filling; cream sugar, softened cream cheese, and salt together in a stand mixer (or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer) on high speed. Beat until fluffy and completely free of lumps, about 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add egg, and mix to combine. Add lime juice and zest and mix to combine. Scrape filling out into a small bowl and set aside. Wash bowl or at least scrape it out well.

In a medium bowl, whisk together graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking soda, baking powder, & salt. Set aside. In the same bowl as before, cream the butter with sugars on high speed until pale, light, & fluffy; about 4 to 5 minutes. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating on low to combine after each addition. On low speed, alternate three additions of flour and two additions buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, scraping the bowl between additions. Do not over-mix. Scrape batter out into prepared pan and use your spatula to push the thick batter up the walls of the pan to create a well in the center.
Pour the filling into the center of the well, and use a small icing spatula or butter knife to swirl the filling into the cake batter. Try to avoid scraping the bottom or sides of the pan.
Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before turning out of the pan onto the rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth and lump free. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add lime juice and salt. Beat again until smooth and lump free. Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. (I used all 3 tablespoons)

Pour or drizzle glaze evenly over the top of the cake and sprinkle a few tablespoons of graham cracker crumbs over the top.
Cake should keep, tightly covered at room temperature, for about 3 days. If you refrigerate it bring it back up to room temperature before serving.

graham cracker bundt cake with key lime cheesecake swirl | Brooklyn Homemaker

Are your taste buds ready for a few more delicious surprises? There are a whole lot of tasty secrets hidden within these recipes y’all. Check it out.

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BundtBakers

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Interested in learning more about us? #BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the BundtBaker home page here.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com. If you are just a lover of Bundt baking, you can find all of our recipe links by clicking our badge above or on our group Pinterest board.