Tasty and Tender Gluten Free Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Tasty and Tender Gluten Free Pumpkin Coffee Cake

A classic coffee cake with all the intense taste of pumpkin butter baked right into the cake—and a thick crumble topping. It’s so moist and tender, you won’t believe your tastebuds!

Tasty and Tender Gluten Free Pumpkin Coffee Cake

This gluten free pumpkin coffee cake was either going to be incredibly moist and tender, but also packed with serious pumpkin flavor, or it wasn’t ever going to see the light of blog. Baking with pumpkin used to really give me the blahs, since pure canned pumpkin just doesn’t have enough pumpkin flavor per bite to make it really worth my while. And then I started baking with pumpkin butter. The end.

Tasty and Tender Gluten Free Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Pumpkin butter is really just canned (or fresh roasted) pumpkin with a touch of maple syrup and a bit of apple cider or juice that’s been cooked down, leaving behind a much thicker, richer and more intense pumpkin experience.

You can buy it ready-made, but I much prefer to make my own (simple recipe here) from canned packed pumpkin. It’s way cheaper, and it tastes good enough not only for baking but to spread on some toast for a nice fall breakfast.

Tasty and Tender Gluten Free Pumpkin Coffee Cake, Step by Step

Please pretty please don’t shy away from this recipe because it has too many ingredients. It’s just that the crumble topping and the cake have many of the same simple pantry ingredients, but they’re made separately so the ingredients for each had to be listed separately. You can even make the crumble topping days ahead of time and store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator. The first couple of times I made this recipe, in fact, I used a crumble topping I happened to have chilling in the fridge (occupational hazard).

Tasty and Tender Gluten Free Pumpkin Coffee Cake

You don’t even have to take my word for how moist and tender this cake is—just see for yourself. You do have to take my word for how lovely the pumpkin flavor is, and how all those flavors and spices smell. Oh, the smell! I dare you not to snatch a little piece of crumble topping before you even serve the first slice. Happy fall!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 9-inch square cake


For the crumble topping
6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup (70 g) all purpose gluten free flour

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

2/3 cup (145 g) packed light brown sugar

2/3 cup (67 g) certified gluten free old fashioned rolled oats

For the cake
2 cups (280 g) all purpose gluten free flour

1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*

1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (109 g) packed light brown sugar

7 ounces pumpkin butter, at room temperature

8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

For the glaze
t1 cup (115 g) confectioners’ sugar

2 to 4 teaspoons milk or buttermilk

*Pumpkin Pie Spice: To make your own, in a small bowl, place 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves and 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg. Mix to combine.


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease or line a 9-inch square baking pan and set it aside.

  • First, make the crumble topping. In a medium-size bowl, place all of the crumble ingredients in the order listed, mixing to combine after each addition. You will have a thickly pourable mixture. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator to chill until firm.

  • Make the cake. In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the brown sugar and whisk again, breaking up any lumps in the brown sugar. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the pumpkin butter, butter and eggs, mixing to combine after each addition. The batter will be thick. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Take the crumble topping from the refrigerator and, using the tines of a fork, break the topping up into irregular crumble pieces. Scatter the crumble evenly over the top of the cake and press down gently to help the topping adhere to the cake batter.

  • Place the cake in the center of the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs attached, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • While the cake is cooling, make the glaze. In a small bowl, place the confectioners’ sugar and 2 teaspoons of milk, and mix well. Add more milk by the half-teaspoon until you have a smooth but thickly pourable glaze. Drizzle the glaze this way and that way over the top of the cooled cake. Slice into squares and serve.



P.S. Did you know I have 4 published gluten free cookbooks? If you haven’t considered a purchase, I hope you will! They’re each a labor of love, and your support of the books keeps the blog going!

Comments are closed.

  • September 29, 2015 at 12:11 AM

    I love this & I love this time of year!


  • Jennifer S.
    September 28, 2015 at 10:56 AM

    yeah! I love pumpkin stuff. I’m contemplating making some pumpkin chocolate chip bars soon!!! Since I cannot make pumpkin butter without burning myself I have to buy it and trader joe’s is best! thanks for this heavenly fall favorite! but where is the pumpkin crack cake?? :)

  • janet
    September 27, 2015 at 11:06 AM

    Unfortunately even gf oats do not sit with me any suggestions to substitute. Do you think quinoa flakes would be OK.?

  • September 26, 2015 at 2:36 PM

    This looks to die for! I’ve baked with pumpkin before, but never pumpkin butter! I;ve got to try!

  • Patti
    September 26, 2015 at 1:29 PM

    One of the very first recipes I looked up after returning to the GF life was yours for pumpkin cupcakes w/cream cheese & molasses frosting. Pumpkin butter makes a huge difference! Am anxious to try this one. Yumm.

  • Robin
    September 25, 2015 at 8:04 PM

    Hi Nicole, quick question, is the pumpkin butter by weight or fluid oz? Thanks so much for all you do to keep the hoards of GFers happy! Can’t wait to make this!

  • Stephanie
    September 25, 2015 at 7:44 PM

    What can I use to replace the xanthum gum? I have a sensitivity to gums.

  • Berni
    September 25, 2015 at 9:47 AM

    It seems fine, but…where is the coffee? :o

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