Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze

by Heather on October 7, 2010

Angela is on Faces of Beauty today with an incredible story.  Come say hi!

Last day to vote for me to advance to Round 4 in Project Food Blog!  It’s easy:  just click here :)

Well y’all, it appears that my love for butter and cream is going nowhere fast.  You see, last night we went out to eat, ate too much, and subsequently passed out on the couch before I could make my weekly treats for work.

Too bad the whole time I was half-asleep all I could think about was whether or not we had enough butter to make anything.  Sure, I have shortening that I randomly bought for one recipe one time, but nothing compares to butter.

Oh sweet, sweet nectar of the gods, the butter to my bread (literally), how I love thee.  I love thee in all thine creamy, slightly salty, subtly sweet goodness.  You make my heart go pitter-patter.

Well, maybe not as much as this guy does:

But in the realm of food, you are THE ONE.  And that’s a mighty big title.

Sorry y’all, I just had to take a minute there.  Butter seems to get me a little hot and bothered!

So the cake – oh the cake.  I still hadn’t made anything when I woke up this morning.  I ran downstairs in a panic, only to be met with an empty pantry and an almost equally empty refrigerator.  CRAP! I wanted to make something so that I didn’t have any dishes to carry home on Friday.  Yes, these are the things I think about when making treats.  So sue me.  No, wait, don’t do that – that’s the opposite of what I want you to do. (Name that quote anyone?)

As I was about to give up, inspiration struck in the form of a boxed yellow cake mix and a can of pumpkin.  And a bag of walnuts.  And Pumpkin Coffee Cake was born!


  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1/4 cup flour (this is if you’re at high altitude – if you’re not, omit this ingredient)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 350.  In a large bowl mix together the water, pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice until well combined.  Add the cake mix, baking soda, and flour (if applicable) and mix until just combined.  Grease a 9×13 pan with butter (duh) and pour batter into pan.  In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, walnuts, and melted butter.  Use fingers to sprinkle over the top of the cake.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

In a saucepan combine all ingredients 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.

Now doesn’t that sound nice?  It also sounds easy since the cake mix company did the work for us!  But y’all, I think the real proof is in the photos:

This is so moist and (ahem) buttery….

You know it’s good when it doesn’t stay in one piece!

At least that’s what I told myself when my piece broke apart when I tried to plate it too soon…

The end :)

Remember, it’s the last day to vote for me to advance to Round 4 in Project Food Blog!

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jessica @ How Sweet October 7, 2010

Ahhh I want this for breakfast! And that first picture of the butter is GORGEOUS!


2 Puppy Dog Tales October 7, 2010

Oh Heather this looks amazing. Yet another thing I need to bake this weekend. I can’ tget enough pumpkin…or butter for that matter. I think I’m secretly Paula Dean’s daughter!


3 Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman October 7, 2010

I’m not exactly sure how you come up with that, adding all those extra ingredients, but it looks awesome. First off, yellow boxed cake is my favorite–it’s even better than bakery cakes. But the topping on this and the pumpkin? Oh goodness.


4 Emily October 7, 2010

Ditto on wanting this for breakfast! Question – do you guys snack on baked goods til they are gone? Or do you pawn them off on family and friends? I make your husband take remnants of my baked good to work with him. He doesn’t help with the eating usually and me eating an entire batch of cupcakes no es bueno!


5 Heather October 7, 2010

This sounds so yummy! Wish I could have some right now for breakfast! I can’t get enough of pumpkin these days…love it!


6 KeepItSweet October 7, 2010

this looks awesome, nice work improvising!!!


7 eatingmachine October 7, 2010

mmm now i want cake. and it’s 6:30 am.


8 Heather C October 7, 2010

jessica’s onto something up there – Breakfast? YES. With a nice warm cup o’ joe.

I need to take some “high altitude” baking lessons from you, my friend. I realized, not too long ago, that I keep forgetting to factor that in! Ha, rookie. ;)


9 Tabitha (From Single to Married) October 7, 2010

mmmm… you make the best desserts!


10 Angela October 7, 2010

This looks so good. I love coffee cake. I haven’t had it in years though and mines always come from a box. :) Very nice twist with the pumpkin!


11 couchpotatoathlete October 7, 2010

That looks really good — there is an old Weight Watchers “secret” recipe, where you mix a can of pumpkin with a box of spice cake mix — it turns out pretty decent!


12 Anna October 7, 2010

Oooh, I LOVE that crackled top!! This looks SO good!


13 Amy @ Second City Randomness October 7, 2010

Good luck in Project Food Blog! I voted! :)


14 Shanna, like Banana October 7, 2010

Heather this looks FAB! I wonder why it didn’t stay together…too moist? Hmm, maybe some oats would punch it up.

I love it though!


15 Liz @ Tip Top Shape October 7, 2010

Butter is a cook’s best friend. What is it about it that just makes everything better?? ESPIECIALLY if it is browned.


16 Katie October 7, 2010

I love butter, also! Like, I love it so much I want to marry it LOVE.

And I’m trying so hard to figure out what that quote is from cause I know I’ve heard it somewhere and now it’s driving me crazy! :)


17 Salah October 7, 2010

bring some of this one of the weeks i get to see you ;-0 hahahaha jk but seriously


18 Nic October 7, 2010

Butter and beards, does a girl need anything else ;)


19 Maria @ Oh Healthy Day October 7, 2010

Sure you aren’t related to Paula Deen? You aren’t? Well, I’m pretty sure she thinks you’re fantastic (as do I).

Beautiful recipe and photos as always :)


20 Joslyn @ missfitbliss October 7, 2010

Oh me, oh my, pumpkin pie. I mean, cake. Creativity at its finest. Yet again my friend…


21 Estela @ Weekly Bite October 7, 2010

Ok, I’m making this this weekend! Nuff said!


22 lindsay October 7, 2010

wowza, so good! I love the combinations here. thanks heather!


23 Kara @ MyWellnest October 7, 2010

Love butter, nothing else compares.


24 Tina October 7, 2010

And I think I may have found the treat for next week’s small group. This looks delicious!


25 Katie @ Health for the Whole Self October 7, 2010

Haha, I love your ode to butter!!!

And this, my dear, looks amazing. Your creativity in the kitchen is downright awesome.


26 Lauren October 7, 2010

This is by far, the best pumpkin dessert I have ever seen!


27 LiveForTheRun October 7, 2010

OK that totally has my vote on so many levels.

Is the quote Arrested Development? Sounds like Gob thing to say, lol.


28 Shari (aka: fruitloopgirl) October 7, 2010

This looks awesome. Just added a cake mix to my shopping list!

just wondering – do you have a link to a printer friendly version of the recipe. am I blind and just missed it?


29 Heather October 7, 2010

I actually don’t…I haven’t got that far yet! But I can email it to you if you’d like!


30 Shari (aka: fruitloopgirl) October 7, 2010

Thanks Heather. I can just copy and paste it into my editor.

Can’t wait to make this! Thanks so much for sharing your talent with us!


31 spabettie October 7, 2010

Mmm, YUM. this looks great!


32 Rachel @ The Avid Appetite October 7, 2010

I want this immediately. Do you think it’d be an appropriate substitute for dinner tonight? :)


33 Molly October 7, 2010

We love to hear that you love Butter!
Have you ever tried Kerrygold Butter from Ireland? It has a fresh, creamy taste, made with milk from cows that eat the green lush grass in Ireland.
We’d love to send you some Free Coupons to try it out if you are interested?


34 janetha October 7, 2010

um. yes please.


35 Jean@RoastedRootsandPumpkinSpice October 7, 2010

This is amazing. I think I can eat just this for every meal for a week.


36 Aimee October 9, 2010

Oh for the love of pumpkin!! This looks so tasty. I am going to have to find a way to try this and convince my hubby that it is low in calories. LOL.


37 Leah October 13, 2011

I’m making this tonight! Looks awesome!


38 Pammy October 16, 2011

Looks great! Quick question: In the directions, when you say “add water if applicable” do you mean “add flour if applicable”? If not, what do you mean by “add water if applicable”? THANKS!


39 Heather October 16, 2011

i actually mean add water – at high altitude things can be a lot drier than normal, so adding a little extra water to make the batter the right consistency is key!


40 Debbe October 17, 2011

Quick question, I see the above clarification about the water, but the ( ) are around the 1/4 cup flour…I am not at high altitude, so do I add the 1/4 cup flour or not?..Many thanks for this recipe, it looks fabulous and I am off to make it as soon as I hear from you…I can taste it now!! Thanks!


41 Heather October 18, 2011

Ah! so sorry debbe…you do NOT add the flour, but you do add the water since you’re not at high altitude. sorry for the confusion!


42 Katie October 19, 2011

I just finished making this and I can’t wait to try it. I think I better make another one right away since I actually made this one to share with our kind neighbor who mowed our yard yesterday and my children’s teachers. I had noticed the typo and wanted to make sure you caught it since this is such a wonderful recipe. Thank you so much for sharing. I (re)discovered your blog recently and have so many of your recipes in my “to try” ASAP notebook.


43 RaShelle October 24, 2011

Oh. My. Yum. I’m def going to make this over the weekend. Thanks for the recipe. And I’ve got the same sort of feelings about butter as you do. Love it!


44 Leslie October 28, 2011

Thank you for the great recipe! I just tried it myself, and my partner and I are in love with it! We both had second helpings. Thank you again!


45 christina @ ovenadventures November 5, 2011

i made the brown sugar glaze and poured it all over some banana monkey bread and seriously this glaze is sooooooooooooooo good. like eat with a giant spoon good! mmmmmm


46 DavetteB November 13, 2011

looks delicious! adding to the pumpkin collection


47 Kelly Blackwell November 13, 2011

I am so going to make this for a office party treat! Thank you for sharing it! This recipe looks like a little slice of heaven!


48 Skye Elizabeth February 15, 2012

i love this recipe, but i’m also in love with a Sweet Potato Pie recipe that a friend gave me, which includes imitation coconut flavoring. so, i thought “what if i combine them” and i just finished my first batch of Sweet Potato Coffee Cake. boil or bake 2 lg sweet potatoes, enough to equal a can of pumpkin. peel and mash, follow recipe above, but use 1 tsp coconut flavor (goes along way) in place of pumpkin pie spice. Amazing!!!!!! just remember, no pumpkin or pumpkin pie spice. from a girl in Michigan..


49 Heather February 16, 2012

ooooooooh, that sounds dreamy!


50 April December 18, 2012

Thank you so much for posting! This was amazing! I didn’t have a box cake mix in the house so I made a homemade pumpkin cake with the crumb topping and brown sugar glaze. WOW oh WOW is all I can say. Definitely making this every fall, and maybe in between.


51 Heather December 19, 2012

Homemade pumpkin cake sounds amazing! YUM!


52 terri January 5, 2013

please print this for me


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