15 Oct Pumpkin & Chocolate Chip Crumble Cake
Before last weekend, it had been far too long since I’d baked something. Like, three weeks too long. Now, I understand that for a normal person, that may seen like a perfectly reasonable, nay, healthy, interval of time to let pass between the baking, making and consumption of any variety of buttery treats. But me, and this thing I have going with butter, not normal, not in the least (ask the guy who lives with me and is forced to organize groceries around the the 4 to 45 sticks I have in the refrigerator at any given time).
Somehow, over the last five to fifteen years, baking has become so habitual, so part of my weekend routine, that it’s undeniably my happiest place.
The measuring, sifting and pouring. The hum of the oven fan. Heck, even the part where I spend three hours completely destroying my kitchen, and then next two putting it back together again.
All of it. It’s kind of my thing. It’s how I decompress. So, you can image the gargantuan sigh of relief that was breathed out when, at long last, I crawled out of bed last Sunday morning and pulled flour & sugar bins out of the pantry. PHEW.
And what does one bake when the baking withdrawals are in full force, and when we’re lucky enough to be smack dab in the middle of the best of all seasons?
The answer: Something familiar. Something quick (need.cake.now). Something with pumpkin (obvi). Thus, I arrived at this Pumpkin Crumble Cake.
Yes, I know it’s typically called a crumb cake, and I’m likely getting docked on sorts of search engine-y things for something as silly as a measly le, but bydammit, it’s my party and I’ll bring poor language skills if I please. Really, I just remembered the name incorrectly the first time I had the non-pumkiny version this cake (shout out to Big Val!) and it’s forever engrained in my mind as crumble cake. So there.
As you may have deduced, this is one of my all-time favorite, simple cake recipes. It’s a from-scratch crumble (crumb) cake that, swearsies, comes together perfectly every.single.time. I adapted the recipe to indulge my obsession with fall, subbing pumpkin for part of the yogurt/sour cream and, even though I was a little concerned about removing some of the acidity and fat, perfection.
And can we talk about how deliciously pumpkin and chocolate pair together? Why don’t we do that more?
My favorite part though, is the crumble topping. The brown sugar and butter caramelize in the oven forming an almost candy-like crust that is peppered with melty pockets of chocolate and crunchy bits of walnut. YUM. Sometimes, when I make this cake just for me, I find myself returning to the pan again and again, slowly picking away at tiny bits of the topping until all I’m left with is the cake. Which, especially when pumpkin is involved, is a pretty great place to be, too.
A Few Notes About This Recipe:
You can substitute sour cream or buttermilk for the greek yogurt. I’ve used all three, though I typically try to stick to full-fat yogurt or sour cream for moisture, though this time I used non-fat yogurt since it was all I had on hand and still got great results! If you don’t have any of the above, mix 1/3 cup of milk with a tablespoon of lemon or vinegar, instead.
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons butter, slightly chilled
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/3 cup greek yogurt, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
- In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and flour. Work the butter into the mixture until crumbly.
- Mix in the chocolate chips and walnuts then place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 350F and grease an 9X9 pan. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Whisk to combine and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars until fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the eggs one a time, then add the vanilla and mix to combine.
- Add the pumpkin and green yogurt and thoroughly incorporate into the batter. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips by hand.
- Spread the batter into the greased pan and spread the crumble mixture evenly over the top.
- Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack. Best served warm but will keep for 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container at room temperature.