Home » Pumpkin Coffee Cake (Gluten Free & Egg Free)

Pumpkin Coffee Cake (Gluten Free & Egg Free)

This pumpkin coffee cake is the perfect fall dessert: packed full of pumpkin puree and warming fall spices, it’s deliciously soft, moist and tender, with a buttery, crisp crumb topping. It’s a great no-fuss, easy recipe that comes together in no time and doesn’t require any special equipment (no stand or hand mixer, no food processor). And it’s both gluten free AND egg free – not that you could possibly tell.

Pumpkin coffee cake, with a slice already cut, on a sheet of brown parchment paper with small pumpkins in the background.

As you can probably tell, I’ve been on a pumpkin spice EVERYTHING kick lately. This year so far, we’ve made the fluffiest gluten free pumpkin roll and a really fun (and terribly delicious) marbled twist on the classic pumpkin bread… and trust me when I say that there’s plenty more pumpkin goodness to come.

Seriously, my pumpkin recipe to-do list is about a mile long and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

Today’s offering is as simple as it is delicious: a gluten and egg free pumpkin coffee cake, with a soft, moist and tender pumpkin cake and a buttery, crisp crumb topping. The whole thing is packed with pumpkin puree and warming fall spices, and it’s about as easy and fuss-free as a recipe can be.

I’ve received many a request for a fall dessert recipe that’s both gluten free *and* egg free, and I hope you’ll love this one – I certainly do. And the best part is that you really can’t tell that it doesn’t contain any gluten or eggs. Because the cake is perfectly tender and fluffy and moist (without being too crumbly or too dense) and the crumb topping is just the most delicious thing ever.

Close-up of a slice of pumpkin coffee cake on a small white dessert plate.

Why is it called a coffee cake… when there’s no actual coffee in the recipe?

No, this cake doesn’t contain any coffee. The name “coffee cake”  in the way it’s used here doesn’t mean a cake that contains coffee as a flavouring. Instead, it’s a cake that is meant to be eaten with coffee. (Though feel free to enjoy it any way you like, even without coffee!)

You’ll sometimes also see this type of cake called a “crumb cake” or a “crumble cake” because of its crumb topping. Regardless of what you call it, it’s really REALLY delicious and I can’t wait for you to try it.

Pumpkin coffee cake, cut into slices, on a sheet of brown parchment paper with small pumpkins in the background.

Before we get to the bits and bobs of making this amazing pumpkin coffee cake – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

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Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.

How to make pumpkin coffee cake

This gluten and egg free pumpkin coffee cake is almost ridiculously easy to make. You don’t need any special equipment (no stand or hand mixer, no food processor) and no unusual, difficult to find ingredients.

Instead, it comes together easily and quickly, with just a couple of bowls, a balloon whisk and a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. And all you need are a few pantry staples – and plenty of all those delicious, warming fall spices.

The buttery, crisp gluten free crumb topping

I recommend making the crumb topping first and then chilling it in the fridge while you prepare the pumpkin cake batter.

Making the crumb topping is incredibly straightforward:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the plain gluten free flour blend, light brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and salt.
  2. Add the cubed cold unsalted butter.
  3. Using your fingertips, work the butter into the dry ingredients until you get a crumbly mixture that sticks together and clumps up when you press it together. You want a mixture of small “crumbs” and larger pea- and hazelnut-sized pieces.
  4. Chill the crumb topping in the fridge for at least 20 minutes or until needed.

The gluten free & egg free pumpkin cake

While the crumb topping is chilling out in the fridge, you can prepare the pumpkin cake batter. This part is *even easier*:

  1. Whisk together all the wet ingredients: pumpkin puree, melted butter, caster/superfine or granulated sugar, room temperature milk and apple cider vinegar.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients: plain gluten free flour blend, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk it all together into a smooth cake batter with no flour clumps.

Assembling the pumpkin coffee cake

To assemble the cake:

  1. Transfer the cake batter to a 9-inch/23cm square baking tin that you’ve lined with some parchment/baking paper (leave some overhang, this will help you with removing the cake from the tin later on). Smooth it out into an even layer.
  2. Evenly scatter the crumb topping all over the pumpkin cake batter.
  3. Bake!

Yes, that’s really all there is to it. This recipe genuinely couldn’t be easier or more fail-proof. And the results are just fabulous!!

Pumpkin coffee cake, cut into slices, on a sheet of brown parchment paper with small pumpkins in the background.

How long does pumpkin coffee cake need to bake?

Oven temperature & baking time

Once you’ve assembled the pumpkin coffee cake, you’ll need to bake it at 350ºF (180ºC) for about 45-50 minutes. No need to cover it with aluminium foil to prevent it from browning too much or anything like that – the crumb topping will come out of the oven perfectly golden, even with the long-ish baking time.

Note that the oven temperature above refers to a conventional/non-fan oven. If you’re using a convection/fan oven, reduce this temperature by 25ºF (20ºC). This is a general rule of thumb that holds true for most recipes.

The toothpick test

The best way to determine when your cake is done is to insert a toothpick, a skewer or a cake tester into the centre of the cake: it should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached.

If it’s covered in any half-baked batter, return the cake to the oven and continue baking until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Removing the cake out of the baking tin

Once baked, allow the cake to cool in the baking tin until warm or lukewarm before you remove it out of the tin and onto a wire rack. I don’t recommend trying to move the cake out of the tin while it’s still hot, as it will be too fragile and it could break as you attempt to lift it.

When you transfer it out of the tin, use the overhanging parchment/baking paper to help you. Also, don’t stress if you see a few cracks in the crumb topping here or there – that’s perfectly normal.

You can then serve the cake either (luke)warm or once it’s cooled completely to room temperature. It will be delicious either way.

Pumpkin coffee cake, with a slice already cut, on a sheet of brown parchment paper with small pumpkins in the background.

Top tips for making the PERFECT gluten free & egg free pumpkin coffee cake

The flour-to-butter ratio of the crumb topping

I spent A LOT of time testing out different crumb topping compositions when I was developing my Gluten Free Coffee Crumb Cake. The flour-to-butter ratio is absolutely crucial, as it determines how much the crumb topping will spread during baking, and how crumbly and crisp it will be. The one in the recipe below is absolutely perfect, so don’t be tempted to change the ingredient ratios.

Optional: add chopped walnuts or pecans to the crumb topping

These are an optional add-in, but they will add a wonderful extra crunch to the crumb topping and, of course, make the whole thing even more scrumptious. Add them after you’ve prepared the crumb topping but before you chill it in the fridge.

Xanthan gum acts as a gluten substitute

Xanthan gum adds just enough structure and elasticity to the pumpkin cake to prevent it from being too delicate or too crumbly – it basically acts as a glue that holds the bake together (much like gluten does when you use regular wheat flour). You don’t need a lot of it, a small amount (½ teaspoon in this recipe) goes a long way. You can read more about the role of xanthan gum in gluten free baking here!

Vinegar gives an extra boost to the raising agents

The acidic apple cider vinegar reacts with the basic/alkaline baking soda and the alkaline component of the baking powder, essentially giving them an activity boost. This makes the pumpkin cake even softer and squishier.

Be generous with the spices

As you’ve probably noticed, I used quite a generous amount of warming fall spices in this recipe – cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Don’t be tempted to reduce this amount: this is what gives this cake its depth of flavour and makes it so amazingly delicious.

If you don’t want to use the individual spices, you can use an equal amount of the pumpkin spice mix instead – either option will work great.

Optional: add a cinnamon-sugar ribbon

I personally don’t find it necessary (the cake is plenty delicious and packed with flavour as it is), but if you fancy adding some cinnamon sugar to the centre, you absolutely can – much like I’ve done with my Coffee Crumb Cake here!

The cake is done when a toothpick comes out clean

The easiest way to determine when your cake is perfectly baked is to take a toothpick, skewer or cake tester, and insert it into the centre of the cake for a second or two. If it comes out with raw or half-baked batter attached, the cake needs longer in the oven. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumb attached, then it’s done and you can take it out of the oven.

And that covers pretty much everything you need to know about this truly fabulous pumpkin coffee cake. You’d honestly never guess that it’s made without any gluten or eggs – both the texture and the flavour are just absolutely spot on.

And it’s such a great no-fuss, easy recipe! I just know that I’ll be making it all fall long, and I hope that you will too.

Happy baking!

Signature of the author, Kat.

Slices of pumpkin coffee cake on small white dessert plates.

More amazing pumpkin desserts

If you’re looking for more incredibly delicious pumpkin desserts, you’re definitely in the right place!

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Pumpkin Coffee Cake (Gluten Free & Egg Free)

This pumpkin coffee cake is the perfect fall dessert: packed full of pumpkin puree and warming fall spices, it’s deliciously soft, moist and tender, with a buttery, crisp crumb topping. It’s a great no-fuss, easy recipe that comes together in no time and doesn’t require any special equipment (no stand or hand mixer, no food processor). And it’s both gluten free AND egg free – not that you could possibly tell.
Print Rate
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook/Bake Time 45 mins
Chill Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Servings 12

Ingredients

Crumb topping:

  • 180 g (1½ cups) plain gluten free flour blend (I used Doves Farm Freee plain gluten free flour that doesn't have any xanthan gum added. You can also mix your own gluten free flour blend using this recipe. Note that for this homemade blend, 1 cup = 150g, so ideally use a kitchen scale for best results.)
  • 125 g (½ cup + 2 tbsp) light brown soft sugar
  • tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 100 g (¾ stick + 1 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cubed

Pumpkin cake:

  • 300 g (1⅓ cups) canned pumpkin puree
  • 200 g (1 cup) caster/superfine or granulated sugar
  • 115 g (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until lukewarm
  • 80 g (⅓ cup) whole, full-fat milk, room temperature
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 240 g (2 cups) plain gluten free flour blend (I used Doves Farm Freee plain gluten free flour that doesn't have any xanthan gum added. You can also mix your own gluten free flour blend using this recipe. Note that for this homemade blend, 1 cup = 150g, so ideally use a kitchen scale for best results.)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum (Omit if your gluten free flour blend already contains xathan gum.)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Instructions

Crumb topping:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour blend, light brown soft sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  • Add the cubed cold butter and rub it into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until you get a crumbly mixture that sticks together and clumps up when you press it together. You want a mixture of small “crumbs” and larger pea- and hazelnut-sized pieces.
  • Chill the crumb topping in the fridge for at least 20 minutes or until needed.

Pumpkin cake:

  • Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, pre-heat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and line a 9-inch/23cm square baking tin with parchment/baking paper.
    Tip: Leave some parchment/baking paper overhang, this will help you with removing the cake from the tin later on.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients: pumpkin puree, caster/superfine or granulated sugar, melted unsalted butter, milk and apple cider vinegar.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients: plain gluten free flour blend, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk them all together into a smooth cake batter with no flour clumps.

Assembling & baking the cake:

  • Transfer the batter into the lined baking tin and smooth it out into an even layer.
  • Evenly scatter the chilled crumb topping all over the batter – make sure that it forms a fairly even layer, all the way to the edges of the tin. If there are a few too large pieces in the crumb topping, you can break them up.
  • Bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for about 45-50 minutes or until the crumb topping is golden brown and an inserted toothpick/cake tester comes out clean.
    Tip: You shouldn't need to cover the cake with aluminium foil during baking to prevent it from browning too much – the crumb topping will come out of the oven perfectly golden, even with the long-ish baking time.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the baking tin until warm or lukewarm before you carefully remove it out of the tin and onto a wire rack.
    Tip 1: I don’t recommend trying to move the cake out of the tin while it’s still hot, as it will be too fragile and it could break as you attempt to lift it.
    Tip 2: When you transfer the cake out of the tin, use the overhanging parchment/baking paper to help you. Also, don’t stress if you see a few cracks in the crumb topping here or there – that’s perfectly normal.
  • You can serve the cake either (luke)warm or once it’s cooled completely to room temperature. It will be delicious either way.

Storage:

  • The pumpkin coffee cake keeps well in a closed container in a cool dry place for 3-4 days.
Tried this recipe?Mention @theloopywhisk or tag #theloopywhisk!

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10 thoughts on “Pumpkin Coffee Cake (Gluten Free & Egg Free)”

  1. Going to try it with your “other” flour, rice-free. I will assume you didn’t, because, really, how many versions of this can you make? Unless you have lots of grateful neighbors. 😀

    Reply
  2. I was SO excited to try this recipe due to my son and a friend being egg and dairy free; it is so hard to find egg free recipes! This was so delicious. I doubled the recipe, but only made one recipe of the crumb topping, and it was more than enough for both pans of coffee cake. The topping was also a little dry which I assume was my dairy free butter, so I’ll have to just add a bit more. I subbed oat milk for regular milk, and used King Arthur measure for measure bc I didn’t have a xantham-free blend and no corn flour to make my own. I used country crock and Mykonos, but can’t remember which for which. Other than needing to adapt for the salted dairy free butter, it worked fine. The cake had an awesome crumb, one that is super hard to get with gf/vegan baked goods. I really want to try this as a sheet cake with “cream cheese” frosting; I could even see using it for a pumpkin roll. Thank you so much!

    Reply
  3. Kat, I’m new to gluten free baking and can’t wait to make this as a gift to a friend. I also just bought your book (US Amazon). Question: I’d like to use giant muffin tins instead of a cake pan for this recipe. Do you see any problem with that? Thanks a lot!

    Reply
    • Hi Kevyn, I haven’t tried making this recipe in muffin form yet but I know that quite a few other readers have and apparently it worked great. Happy baking and I hope you’ll love my book as well!

      Reply
  4. Hello Kat,
    Would this cake work if I steamed fresh pumpkin and strained really well.
    I’m not a fan of canned pumpkin.

    Cheers,
    Emilia

    Reply
  5. Tried with soy milk, vegan block butter, and homemade pumpkin purée, and it is absolutely amazing.
    Will be making it as a sheet cake during the week, for a larger crowd.
    Cannot recommend enough!!

    Reply
    • I haven’t but I think something like oat, almond, soy or rice milk should work. I don’t recommend coconut milk as it could make the cake too oily/greasy due to its higher fat content.

      Reply

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