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Alaska from Scratch: Start Thanksgiving morning off with a great pumpkin coffee cake

  • Author: Maya Evoy
  • Updated: June 21, 2016
  • Published November 19, 2015

Amidst the gobs of turkey and fixin's, the mountains of mashed potatoes, the rivers of gravy and the forests of green beans, Thanksgiving breakfast is an easily overlooked thing. Is it even a thing? Let's be real. Hardly anybody is thinking about Thanksgiving breakfast fare.

I recently had a conversation with my girlfriend over breakfast about how much she adores coffee cake and, in particular, what makes a good coffee cake good. She envisioned a moist cake base that is more airy than dense, a crumble topping, how it needs some texture and crunch in the form of pecans (as opposed to walnuts, we both agreed), and a nice ribbon of buttery cinnamon goodness running through the center of the cake when you slice into it.

This coffee cake abounds with everything on her list, plus one more important ingredient: pumpkin. Make this to start your Thanksgiving off right, served warm all throughout the morning with plenty of freshly brewed coffee.

Pumpkin coffee cake with pecan crumble

Serves 8-10

For the pecan crumble:

1/3 cup flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes

1 cup chopped pecans

For the coffee cake:

1 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

8 tablespoons butter

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon fresh orange zest (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform pan.

2. For the crumble: In a small mixing bowl, stir together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and sea salt. Cut in the cold butter using a pastry blender until the mixture resembles crumbs. Stir in the pecans. Set aside.

3. For the coffee cake: In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the brown sugar, about 1 minute on medium-high speed. Add the eggs and beat to combine, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Then add the pumpkin, sour cream, vanilla and orange zest, and beat until well incorporated. Pour in the flour and spice mixture you have set aside for the cake. Beat until it all comes together and forms a thick batter. Spread half of the batter into the prepared springform pan using a small offset spatula. Sprinkle half of the crumble over the batter. Then gingerly spread the rest of the batter over top. Sprinkle the top of the cake evenly with the remaining pecan crumble.

5. Bake for 50 minutes or until set in the middle. Allow to cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before releasing from the springform pan. Serve warm. Adapted from Williams Sonoma.