Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze



So I dusted off the camera and got out the baking pans. Finally, I know. Like I said in my previous post, I have a new job, which leaves me little time (or energy) to get my cook/bake on. I’m sorry, please forgive me for being such an awful blogger friend.


My theory on life is this: the way to get people to love you is to feed them. We all think it, don’t act like you never have…so with my new job, I’ve decided to be the person that brings in something delicious on Monday mornings. I’ve baked muffins, breads, etc. Stuff people like to munch on when they walk in on a dark and early Monday morning. Helps put people in a good mood. It also helps soften the blow when I have to yell at people or tell them they’re not doing a good job (I'm the second in command. I’m basically Dwight, an Assistant to the Regional Manager type of situation). I think when people have a belly full of butter and sugar they work harder, they work smarter and they’re less sluggish come Monday morning.


I try to make sweet items for everyone, but not cookies or brownies necessarily. People don’t mind a sugary blueberry muffin with a streusel topping, but you put out a plate of chocolate chip cookies and everyone suddenly thinks it’s dessert and no longer appropriate for breakfast snacking. It doesn’t make any sense, I assure you there is MUCH more sugar and butter in this coffee cake than a chocolate chip cookie. And the glaze, well now you’re in sugar overload. Or should I say, sugar heaven?


Hmm, is it too late to be making pumpkin items? Are we over the whole pumpkin season thing? I’m not. I don’t think anyone else will be either. I hope not at least. This is a little bit of a cheat coffee cake. It has all the bells and whistles of a coffee cake, but it’s made with a boxed cake mix and has more of an gooey butter cake feel. It’s less traditional coffee cake, but still totally and ridiculously awesome. The addition of the pumpkin puree really takes it over the top for me. I would highly recommend making this if you need a dessert in a hurry. It comes together very quickly and what’s even better is that you don’t even need the mixer, just a fork and a wooden spoon.


I got the recipe from How Sweet It Is, one of my favorite blogs. Go check it out then come right back!




Serves 18


⅓ cups Water
1 can Pureed Pumpkin (15 Oz)
2 whole Eggs
1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 box Yellow Cake Mix (18 Ounce Box)
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Brown Sugar, Divided
½ cups Flour
4 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
¼ cups Granulated Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
¼ cups Heavy Whipping Cream


Preparation Instructions


Preheat the oven to 350F.


In a large bowl mix together the water, pumpkin, eggs, 1 Tablespoon of vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice until well combined. Add the cake mix and baking soda and mix until just combined.


Grease a 9×13 pan with butter and pour batter into pan.


In a small bowl mix together 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour and melted butter. Use your fingers to sprinkle over the top of the cake. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


For the glaze, combine the other 1/2 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and heavy cream in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir until all sugar is dissolved.


When cake is finished baking, poke holes in the top with a toothpick. Pour glaze over the cake, making sure to cover all surfaces. Serve cake warm or at room temperature.



116 Response to Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

February 15, 2012 at 7:34 AM

I have some leftover pumpkin in my pantry, so I'll definately be trying this.

And good luck on your new job. :) Glad your back though.


February 15, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Meredith, this coffee cake looks amazing! So flavorful, I bet, with the pumpkin and brown sugar. Thanks for sharing!

February 26, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Welcome back :) It's always a good idea to keep people on the sweet side (so to speak) and I'm sure your coffee cake has done wonders for morale. Hope the new job is going well for you!

March 4, 2012 at 4:17 PM

Thanks guys! :)

March 15, 2012 at 9:31 PM

This looks excellent! Hope the new job is going well!!

March 27, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Gonna steal that recipe...sounds so good!

April 6, 2012 at 6:39 AM

this looks so delicious!

April 9, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Meredith -- this recipe looks tempting! I suspect pumpkin is somehow better when it's not in season because people aren't expecting it.

Good luck with the new job! :)

May 17, 2012 at 2:32 PM

"My theory on life is this: the way to get people to love you is to feed them."

This is very true for most men :). Your cake looks great

July 12, 2012 at 5:56 PM

I love Pumpkin everything!! I am going to have to convert this to a gluten free version, probably by using two Betty Crocker GF cake mixes (yes, it takes two of her's to make one normal size cake mix).

July 13, 2012 at 4:53 AM

Baking this cake now. House smells wonderful! Can't wait for the work bunch to try it!!!!

July 15, 2012 at 10:43 AM

I just made this! I am waiting to pull it out of the oven. I cant wait to try it! Thanks for posting!

July 17, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Pumpkin is one of my favourite desserts. I will certainly try this one.

July 17, 2012 at 6:45 PM

I made this cake Sunday...gone Monday morning. Made it again tonight, already gone! My family loves this cake! It is fabulous! Thank you!

July 18, 2012 at 9:14 AM

I made this for my team at work... they ate the WHOLE thing by 10AM... I also made this for my grandfather who is a sweets lover.. the cake is fantastic and super easy.... THANK YOU FOR SHARING

July 18, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Made this today for a work meeting and everyone loved it!

July 25, 2012 at 10:09 AM

I was wondering if anyone had a gf version. I would love to know how this turns out if/when you make it.

July 28, 2012 at 5:58 AM

Im curious if this would bake well inverted in a Bundt pan?

July 29, 2012 at 6:14 AM

I recently discovered that I have allergies to dairy and possibly gluten. What is the best butter substitute? I've tried shortening in cookies, and they were the consistency of sand... Help!!

July 29, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Try Earth BAlance vegan buttery sticks. They also make a butteryspread. In Tx. Whole Foods and Kroger carry both.

August 1, 2012 at 11:44 AM

is the batter suppose to be real thick

Kelly Cavallo
August 5, 2012 at 2:28 PM

I only had spice cake in the pantry so I used that instead of the yellow cake mix and it came out amazing. I think it went well with the pumpkin!

August 12, 2012 at 8:11 PM

Made this a week or so back! Couldn't wait for fall ..... It was awesome! Thanks for sharing

August 15, 2012 at 4:11 PM

When I was dealing with my daughter's dairy allergy, I found that Nucoa was a decent substitute while cooking. You should google food allergy support groups near you as they're a WEALTH of information!

August 16, 2012 at 6:24 PM

Love, love, love this receipe. It is soooo good. Highly recommend.

August 18, 2012 at 7:58 PM



August 20, 2012 at 1:51 PM

I just baked this cake. It is great. Very very rich.

August 23, 2012 at 9:46 AM

Just pinned it!

August 27, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Cooking this cake right now. Very easy and doesn't take long at all. Smells delicious. Can't wait to take a bite!

August 28, 2012 at 12:28 PM

I love the way this looks i am sure it tastes just as good as it looks. I am going to make it this weekend.

August 28, 2012 at 7:41 PM

I made this tonight, and it is amazing!

August 29, 2012 at 5:32 AM

I made it GF by using a Betty Crocker yellow cake mix and literally just tossing in (about a quarter of a cup?) a handful of GF Bisquick to make up for the cake mix being a few ounces less. As for the flour called for in the topping, I also used GF Bisquick instead. It turned out AMAZING!!! The cake was spongy and delicious! Couldn't tell it was GF at all! My gluten-eating kids all loved it! :) The topping comes out slightly crispy and delicious but after covering with a lid turns soft, still delicious, mind you, just soft. Next time I may let the air get to it by not closing the lid tightly....Good luck!

August 30, 2012 at 5:51 AM

Looks like a great recipe for fall! Think I will try it with a spice cake mix.

August 30, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Dang.....wish it was a recipe without the packaged stuff.

August 31, 2012 at 9:38 AM

I like making things dairy free for religious purposes and there are a lot of margarines (which work the same as butter) which are dairy free. Some brands that make non dairy margarine are mother's and fleishmann's but there are also other ones.

August 31, 2012 at 11:41 AM

I'm wanting to make this in muffin form- would that be ok?

September 1, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Umm...heck YES! So excited to make this over the Holidays!!! Thanks for sharing!

September 2, 2012 at 1:59 PM

I made this and took it to church for Sunday school class and everyone loved it. It is a moist and really yummy. I definitely will put this in my recipe book.

September 4, 2012 at 4:53 PM

I made them in muffin form so my boyfriend could take them on the road... it made 23 to my liking (as I like them just a little over the top of the liners)
I only put the glaze on the ones we were eating in the couple of days- as it of course was messy with the paper cups!
very good- he loved them and I will make them again!
I also added cinnamon- because it adds flavor to anything!

September 6, 2012 at 6:26 AM

So good and very moist. And looks beautiful! We love crumble, so I made a little extra. I think next time I will cut the pumpkin pie spice a little, but that is just a personal preference. I topped it with a powdered sugar/vanilla/soymilk/melted margarine glaze instead and that worked too! Thanks for a great recipe for fall!

September 6, 2012 at 12:50 PM

how many cups of water?

Kelly Jackson
September 8, 2012 at 12:33 PM

I wondered about spice cake, because I don't have a yellow cake mix and do have spice. Thanks for posting.

September 9, 2012 at 2:28 PM

I did use those and both the cake and the house smelled like fish.

September 11, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Sounds sooooo good! I love to use a cake mix and turn it into something magical! Thanks

September 13, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Coconut oil can be used as a substitute.

September 13, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Just pulled this cake out of the oven and it looks awesome. The whole house smells wonderful too!! It is very good, but I somehow underestimated how sugary it would be! I know, it was stated in the description. I think next time I'll put only the glaze and topping on half and the other half leave it plain. My family loves the topping and glaze, but sadly my teeth can't handle that much sugar. Thank you for posting the recipe...it was very good!!

September 15, 2012 at 7:12 AM

It is in the oven right now. As my daughter has dairy allergies, I used Fleishman's unsalted margarine for the butter and made a simple glaze of vanilla soy milk, powdered sugar, pumpkin pie spice & vanilla. I also substituted a spice cake mix since that is what I had on hand. Can't wait to try it!

September 15, 2012 at 9:23 AM

Do you have to add all of the ingredients for the yellow cake mix into this recipe or do yOu just add the cake mix alone?

September 16, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Can I cut this recipie in half and bake in a 9 x 9 pan?

September 18, 2012 at 12:12 AM

made this today, so yummy!
The cake was spongey and the glaze was pure brown sugar heaven. Went back for seconds and thirds! Everyone loved it

September 18, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Making this now. Very easy can't wait to try it. Smells awsome!!!!!

September 18, 2012 at 6:48 PM

This is sooooo good! So moist, just the right amount of sweetness. Can't wait to take this to work and impress everyone! LOL!

September 21, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Thank you from another GF chef who oogles over "regular" recipes, and then tries to convert them at home. I can't wait to try this!!!

September 21, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Took to work and it was a big hit!

September 22, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Can't wait to try this tomorrow! It looks delicious and the weather will be extremely cool, so it will feel like pumpkin baking weather! Thanx for posting this!

September 23, 2012 at 10:07 AM

Just put this in the oven, but I'm wondering what I did wrong. My brown sugar and flour with the melted butter became a paste, not a crumble. It doesn't matter to me, I'm just curious if anyone else had the same thing happen, or if I'm the only one to goof that up somehow. Can't wait to taste this!

September 23, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Am I the only one who can't see how much water goes in this? I'm ready to bake! Help!

September 23, 2012 at 3:48 PM

1/3 cups water

September 26, 2012 at 7:18 AM

Wonder if you could use a Bundt Pan instead???? Just makes a prettier cake.

September 26, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Baking now, and my entire house smells incredible! I added some finely chopped pecans to the crumble to give it a little texture, used a spice cake mix, and used the canned 'pumpkin pie' version (spices already in the pumpkin). I think this recipe will be added to the thanksgiving day breakfast menu!!

September 29, 2012 at 8:46 PM

I've made this twice in the past week, and it is absolutely de-lish!!! My flour/brown sugar/butter mixture did turn a little more like paste instead of crumbles so I had to work very hard to "crumble" it over the cake by rubbing between my fingers. Also, despite the slight extra effort it took, I actually doubled that part of the recipe the second time I cooked it. Extra yummy-ness!!

October 1, 2012 at 10:35 AM

I made this yesterday and it is amazing! I forgot to pick up heavy whipping cream but substituted almond milk instead and it still came out great! Definitely a new fall favorite :)

October 1, 2012 at 10:36 AM

Excellent....Will be making this again. It is a quick tasty dessert.

October 1, 2012 at 5:07 PM

Mine turned out the same way. Any ideas on this? I wasn't sure how to sprinkle it over the batter so I ended up swirling it in a bit. Any suggestions would be great!

October 2, 2012 at 6:06 AM

I stink @ baking. This was VERY easy (I may have been comforted by the box cake in the ingredients, lol). It tastes wonderful. Definitely making again.

October 2, 2012 at 1:56 PM

When I added the cake mix, I couldn't get all the lumps out. Should I have used a mixer? The batter was very thick with little white balls of cake mix in it. I stirred and stirred, but couldn't get them out. The directions said to just stir until moistened - that's what I did, but it bothered me that it had all those white lumps in it. Cake is in the oven now - hope it turns out ok. Also, how do I store it. I plan to serve it tomorrow morning. Do I put it in refrigerator or just covered on the counter. Please answer today. My email is maxinemoates@hotmail. com Thanks. Maxine Moates

October 3, 2012 at 5:15 PM

The butter has to be softened, but not melted or it will be more of a paste than a crumb. I hope that helps!

October 4, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Can I get an answer to the storage question too? I'm making it for tomorrow morning, how should I store it overnight?

October 4, 2012 at 12:29 PM

My suggestion would be to cover it with tin foil and pop it in the fridge, when you're ready to eat it, set your oven on warm, and let it heat through :)

October 7, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Hi! This cake is super easy and delicious. I hope you don't mind that I linked it on my blog!

October 11, 2012 at 7:00 PM

I'm sorry, this is where you can find the link to your recipe. If you have a trackback please let me know and I will add it.

October 12, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Great fantastic super easy cake.

October 14, 2012 at 1:45 PM

All I have is a 28oz cake mix from Trader Joe's. Will this be too much? The recipe says 18oz.

October 15, 2012 at 6:00 PM

I made this cake yesterday my family loves it! Will be making it more

October 16, 2012 at 8:56 AM

This cake is so yummy!! I halved the recipe and it turned out great. Will definitely be making this again.

October 18, 2012 at 3:29 AM

I followed instruction except one reviewer said to throw a handful of brown sugar in with pumpkin and I did, this cake came out wonderful and even with the glaze onto it still was crunchy. I brought this in Sloan for the nurses and patients and everyone was raving about it, today I am making another batch and bringing I volunteer at a food pantry o I will bring a batch over there a few people I hear love pumpkin, I will be bringing some cool whip for the top like I did yesterday goes great onto. Definitely a keeper. Thank you so much for this recipe :-)

October 18, 2012 at 6:25 PM

This is delicious! I followed the directions exactly and it turned out perfect. I am bringing to to work for breakfast tomorrow. I will definitely be adding this to my collection!

October 19, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Now that cake mixes are 15oz, will this recipe still work?

October 21, 2012 at 10:06 AM

anyone know if its ok to use the cake-mix that has the pudding inside??

October 22, 2012 at 8:17 PM

1/3 cup

October 25, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Just made this for my husband's faculty lunch during parent-teacher conferences today... It got an A from the entire staff!!! My hospital coworkers get their taste tomorrow. I'll definitely keep this in my "go to recipes" database!

October 26, 2012 at 9:34 AM

YUM!! On my list to make this weekend!

October 26, 2012 at 5:48 PM

Yummy!! This is the best coffee cake! Very moist! I can't wait to make it again!

October 27, 2012 at 6:51 AM

Made this this morning! Great!

November 1, 2012 at 11:58 AM

I have made this twice already and EVERYONE loves it!!! Great recipe!! Thanks for sharing!!

November 2, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Great recipe! Simple to make. I took to a work potluck and it was a favorite. I cut it into smaller squares and it served twice as many.

November 5, 2012 at 7:44 AM

Has anyone thought about or tried substituting apples for the pumpkin ? Would any additional ingredients be necessary ?

November 5, 2012 at 9:45 AM

I made this over the weekend. It was delicious!!!!

November 6, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Mine wasn't very "crumbly" either. I just kind of dropped it in chunks over the cake. It was still very tasty! Next time I wont melt the butter completely.

November 9, 2012 at 7:14 PM

Made this today to take into work tomorrow - delicious!! Thanks for a great recipe!!

November 10, 2012 at 3:25 PM

Just made this...it is baking now. My kids are as excited as I am to try it!!

November 21, 2012 at 7:40 AM

I'm making this cake right now, its been almost 30 min. in the oven but the middle is still really gooey! Anyone else had this problem??

November 21, 2012 at 8:11 PM

Me too. I'm up to 35 minutes right now.

November 21, 2012 at 8:18 PM

I just got done baking and had to go about 35 minutes. I think it's done. Looks beautiful.

November 23, 2012 at 8:32 AM

I made this yesterday and it was a beautiful and YUMMY part of our Thanksgiving spread. Everyone, even non-pumpkin and non-cinnamon lovers, LOVED it! This recipe's a keeper for sure! Thanks for sharing :-))

November 24, 2012 at 6:27 AM

I made this for dessert on Thanksgiving and I got a high five from my brother! It was a big hit! Thank you!

November 26, 2012 at 11:33 AM

I wanted to let you know that I made this today and it is beyond good. I doubt that this cake is going to make it through the day though. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.

January 7, 2013 at 5:18 PM

oh man this looks good. I wish I had some now.

January 12, 2013 at 4:45 PM

I made the topping before I made the cake and let it sit a bit and cool. the topping then had time to be crumbled with my fingers before I put it on top. I had a few leftover chopped walnuts so added them to the topping.

March 30, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Wow! Made this today it is wwonderful!

April 19, 2013 at 1:27 PM

I am going to try this cake on my family and make one for work. I lobe trying new recipes. I love pumpkin

June 13, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Making this right now to take to work tomorrow. I can't wait to try it. :-)

July 2, 2013 at 7:17 PM

Loved your post! I, too, use food (especially baked goods) to work my way into people's hearts and stomachs. Pinning this one!

August 18, 2013 at 4:34 PM

The weather today put me in a pumpkin mood and I took that as a sign that I should try this recipe that I had pinned a while ago. Now my house smells amazing and I can't wait to taste this cake!! Thanks for sharing!!

August 30, 2013 at 8:57 PM

I just made this recipe in a cupcake form and it is amazing. One of the best recipes I have ever made.

September 24, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Melted butter and sugar will always do this. The butter should be cut into the flour/sugar mixture while it's COLD. Mix the butter in until you've achieved your desired crumb size. This should really be amended in the recipe.

October 10, 2013 at 10:07 AM

I've made this 4 times, twice in the summer time, ( why wait til fall ), got raves everytime, love the other suggestions of putting nuts in the glaze, never thought of that, I cooked it a little longer then 35 min. I had the same problem with the margarine/butter & flour & brown sugar, I just plopped it on & threw it back in the oven til it warmed & then smeared it on, the glaze sealed the deal, So glad you posted this. Thank you.

October 11, 2013 at 8:48 AM

Just made this this morning for a group of 16 women everyone LOVED it! It was so yummy!!!

October 23, 2013 at 8:52 PM

I made this last year and decided to make it again today, and all my roommates immediately got super excited. Awesome recipe :)

November 27, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Making this tonight, for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Can't wait to taste how it turns out!

January 29, 2014 at 1:43 PM


March 7, 2014 at 11:02 AM

This is SOOO good!!!

April 12, 2014 at 11:41 AM

The crumble ratio has too much butter to dry ingredients. Suggestion: The next time you write out a recipe list the ingredients in the order they are used. This one goes from 6 to 1 to 2 to 10 to 3 etc.

October 7, 2014 at 12:00 PM

This is the third year I have made this coffee cake for work. People will line up to get a piece. It is amazing.

October 31, 2014 at 1:26 PM

I have made this 4 times in the past 6 weeks! It is always a Huge hit. So quick and easy and so so delicious :)

November 27, 2014 at 10:17 AM

Making this today for Thanksgiving - smells delicious in the oven!! Can't wait to try it!

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