Pumpkin is in my mind these days. Maybe it is because Thanksgiving is just around the corner, or maybe its just the chill that I encountered during my walk this morning…. daily reminder that fall is definitely here. I wanted to do something with the little pumpkins often labeled as “pie pumpkins”. Since I am not much of a pie confectioner, the thought of working with these pumpkins always left my mind rather quickly. The thought came back as I wanted a fresh alternative to the canned pumpkin that I had been using till now.

The small amount of labor that goes into turning these pumpkins into puree is definitely worth it. Actually, once you do this and taste the difference, you may turn your nose at the Libby’s orange can.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Pumpkin Coffee Cake

1 small pie pumpkin
2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of sugar
1 1/2 sticks of butter, melted
4 eggs
1 TB vanilla extract
3 cups mashed fresh pumpkin
2 TB pumpkin pie spice
1 TB cinnamon
1 TB ground cloves

1/4 cup baking cinnamon chips
2 TB light brown sugar
1/4 cup toffee bits

1. For the pumpkin puree, simply cut the pumpkins down the middle and scoop out the seeds. Place in a glass baking dish, cut side down, and add enough water to rise approximately 1/4″ on the sides of the pan. Bake uncovered at 350 for approximately 40 minutes, till they are fork tender. Once cooled, scoop out the pumpkin with a large spoon into a bowl and mash with a potato masher or a fork. Set aside to cool.

2. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, mix together the sugar and butter until the color turns a pale yellow (3 -5 minutes). Add the eggs one at a time till combined. Then add the vanilla extract, pumpkin, and dry spices.

4. Begin adding the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Add in three steps, making sure that the mix is well blended before adding additional flour.

5. Pour half of the mixture in a bundt cake pan that has been prepped with butter and flour**. Add half of the streusel mix, pour the other half of the batter and top with the other half of the streusel mix.

6. Bake at 350 for 35 – 40 minutes, cake is done when a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake.

** Personally, I prefer the no hassle method of using a non-stick spray that contains flour, such as Baker’s Joy.