Pumpkin Streusel Cake

pumpkin streusel cake

Pumpkin Streusel Cake

A wonderful friend shared a melt-in-your-mouth recipe for pumpkin bread, and it was just too delicious and moist to allow it only bread status. We felt compelled to do a Gilded Fork variation on the recipe, which adds even more decadence with a rich streusel topping and rum-infused glaze. Enjoy it on a chilly day with your favorite cup of tea or coffee.

12 servings


For the cake:
2 whole eggs
¾ cup sugar
½ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 ounces canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 ¼ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon salt

To make a homemade version of Pumpkin Spice Mix blend the following spices together:

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice

[Chef’s Note: We found that for this recipe, the canned pumpkin purée has just the right flavor and texture. Many eating pumpkins don’t have the intensity of flavor we need here and may be too watery when puréed, so the prepared pumpkin works very well. Be sure not to use canned pumpkin pie mix, as it is not the same.]

For the Streusel Topping:
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¼ cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
½ cup chopped walnuts

For the glaze:
1 ¼ cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons soft butter
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon dark rum
2 tablespoons milk


8” springform cake pan
Stand mixer or hand mixer
Parchment paper
Wax paper
Cake tester
Large spatula
Mixing bowls
Wire Whisk
Cooling rack


Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease the bottom and sides of the 8” springform pan lightly with butter. Place the pan upside down on top of a piece of parchment paper and cut a circle to fit the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

[Chef’s Note: This helps to keep the cake from sticking and makes it easier to slide the cake onto your serving dish.]

Prepare the cake batter:
In a medium bowl of a stand mixer with the batter beater attached, beat together the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the canola oil, vanilla extract, canned pumpkin and blend well.

[Chef’s Note: Since pumpkin is a semi-fluid food, it is best to measure it with a liquid measuring cup and not a dry measuring cup that is typically used for flour and sugar.]

In a large bowl, blend together the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt with a wire whisk. Stir the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture by hand and blend until all the dry ingredients are moist. Do not overwork the batter. Pour into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top.

Prepare the streusel topping:
In a small bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, brown sugar, butter and walnuts. Blend this mixture by pressing it together with your fingers to mix the butter with the other ingredients. It is done when the streusel looks like small clusters. Sprinkle the streusel topping over the top of the pumpkin batter.

Place the cake in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out of the middle of the cake cleanly.

Place on a wire cooling rack and cool completely before removing from the pan. While the cake is cooling, place strips of wax paper around the edge of your serving dish. [Chef’s Note: Placing wax paper around the edge of the dish will keep it clean when you pour the glaze over the cake.] Once cooled, remove the side of the springform pan, place a large spatula under the cake and slide (with parchment) onto your serving platter. Set aside.

Prepare the glaze:
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, butter, vanilla, rum and 1 ½ tablespoons of milk. With a wire whisk, beat the mixture until it is well combined. If the glaze is too thick, thin it with a bit more milk. If the glaze is too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar.

Pour the glaze in small streams decoratively over the cake. Allow at least 30 minutes for the glaze to set. Remove the wax paper carefully from under the cake and serve.


There are many variations that can be made with this cake, including substituting pecans for the walnuts. In addition, you can change the flavor of the glaze by using a different flavored liquor or extract.

Recipe and photo by Lia Soscia