Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cake

Posted on Oct 11, 2013 in Cupcakes & Cakes | 2 comments

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cake

Fall equals pumpkins! Pumpkins actually have a very special place in my heart because the very first thing my husband and I did on our very first date, was a pick a pumpkin together.  Super cute and not even planned. He then went on to propose in a pumpkin patch and now every year we make it a tradition to try to go back to that pumpkin patch and pick pumpkins together.  I LOVE pumpkins! Even if the pumpkin and I didn’t have a special relationship, I would still LOVE pumpkins. Maybe it’s all the spices I love that traditionally go into a pumpkin dessert, like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves…doesn’t that just make you warm and fuzzy? But whatever it is, I am never one to pass on a piece of pumpkin cake.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cake


This Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cake is a variation of coffee cake that substitutes oil and applesauce for butter.  It makes a for a lighter and tender cake but the crumble on top is still rich and buttery.  Add the cream cheese layer in the middle made with greek yogurt for a slightly tangy flavor and you’ve got yourself one damn good piece of cake perfect for breakfast or dessert!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese CakeIf you have a recipe for a cake that calls for butter or shortening, next time try using oil.  When you use butter or shortening, they need to be creamed together with sugars to aerate the butter and create pockets of air.  However, because oils won’t hold air bubbles like butter will, there needs to be additional leavening agents used like baking powder or egg whites.  But what the oils do do is coat the flour proteins and reduce the amount of gluten formation which makes the cake super tender.  The lubed up proteins can’t grab water to make gluten and therefore your cake remains moist and delicious.  I also went very light on the sugar content especially in the cream cheese filling and crumb topping because of the addition of butterscotch chips which are very sweet.  I don’t like overly sweet desserts so if you want to sweeten up the cream cheese layer since it is a little tangy feel free to add a few tablespooons more of sugar.

I can’t wait for all the pumpkin I will most definitely eat this year! What are some of your favorite fall traditions?

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cake



  • 1 cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil (You can also substitute olive oil or canola oil)
  • 1/4 cup Applesauce
  • 15oz Pumpkin Puree
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour (Sifted)
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger

Cream Cheese Swirl

  • 8oz Cream Cheese (Softened)
  • 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1/4 cup Sugar

Crumb Topping

  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter (Softened)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Spice
  • 2/3 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Butterscotch Chips


Sorry, you will have to wash your mixer bowl and paddle a few times in between different stages for this recipe.  You have been pre-warned.


Step 1
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 baking pan with a light coat of baking spray. In your mixer with your paddle attachment, mix the oil, brown sugar, white sugar, pumpkin puree & applesauce. Mix to combine. Add the vanilla, each egg in one at a time.
Step 2
In a separate bowl, sift the flour together with the baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon & ginger. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in the mixer. Mix to combine and do not over mix.
Step 3
Pour the batter mix into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly with a spatula. The batter will be thick.
Step 4
Wash out your mixer bowl to begin the cream cheese layer and dry. Add the softened cream cheese, greek yogurt, vanilla & sugar and mix together. Add in the egg and mix to combine. Pour the cream cheese over the cake layer. Using a knife, cut into the cake batter in a swirl patterm to allow some of the cream cheese mixture to seep through.
Step 5
Sorry guys, wash out your mixer and paddle to begin on the crumb topping mixture. Add the unsalted butter, brown sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice, flour & butterscotch chips to combine together. Do not mix long to cream the mixture but just to make a crumble. Add the crumble on top of the cream cheese mixture on your cake.
Step 6
Bake in the 250 preheated oven for about 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Let cool before serving.



  1. Sign me up for THIS!! Looks so delicious 🙂

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