Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

pumpkin-coffee-cake-with-maple-glaze

Hey there! How was your weekend? Mine was perfectly autumn-y. It was a wonderful combination of blustery, rainy weather and radiant, colorful sunshine. Plus, hubby and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary on Saturday, which was fun. Hard to believe it’s been 5 years already! I’m sure we’ll say the same thing at 50, God willing. In honor of our anniversary, I let Justin pick which recipe I would post first this week. He totally surprised me by choosing this pumpkin coffee cake with maple glaze. Justin proclaims himself to be pumpkin-ambivalent. He reckons that he is above the pumpkin-spice-everything craze that runs rampant this time of year. But. One bite of this pumpkin coffee cake…. Actually, one taste of the spiced maple glaze that I offered while finishing the cake, and all that went out the window. I offered to send the leftovers with him to work, because this recipe makes a very generous 9×13 pan of decadent coffee cake, and he declined. Which means he plans to eat the entire 9×13 pan of pumpkin coffee cake over the upcoming week. Don’t worry, he’s training for the Philly marathon in November, he’ll burn it off. #wifebrag.

This pumpkin coffee cake fits perfectly into the autumn of my dreams. The one where I host a lovely outdoor brunch for friends and family on picnic tables under vibrantly colored trees with an expertly selected menu of cozy, seasonal fare. The centerpiece, of course, would be this coffee cake. Surprisingly light and incredibly tasty, this cake is decadent and wholesome. Sweet enough for dessert but totally acceptable for a weekend breakfast. Hey, pumpkin is a vegetable, right? While I may fall short of my fall brunch goals this season (the days are flying by! we just finally bought our mums this weekend!), this coffee cake will not disappoint. Don’t hate me for suggesting that this would be a fantastic breakfast while the whole gang is in the house come Thanksgiving.

pumpkin-coffee-cake-with-maple-glaze

I hope it goes without saying that this pumpkin coffee cake with maple glaze is delicious. But in addition to being delicious, it’s also fairly simple to make. There are a few steps, between making the cake batter, mixing the streusel and preparing the glaze, but nothing is very complicated and it all comes together pretty quickly. The result is so worth it. The cake itself is warmly spiced and tender. Not at all heavy or dense, as pumpkin confections can sometimes be. The classic streusel topping is what makes it coffee cake, which means you’re well within your rights to pick sweet, buttery pieces from the top of the cake as it cools. And the maple glaze… Well, that’s what makes this recipe truly worthy of a special occasion. Powdered sugar, pure maple syrup and heavy cream combine to make a divine topping for an already heavenly cake. The glaze recipe makes a generous amount, so drizzle about half over the cake once cooled and reserve the rest to drizzle (or,  um, douse) individual servings. I might give Justin a run for his money this week. I’m already planning to have a piece of this coffee cake with a cappuccino after work tomorrow.

pumpkin-coffee-cake-with-maple-glaze

Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Maple Glaze

Ingredients:

For Cake:

  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp salt

For Streusel:

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter,cut into small cubes, at room temperature

For Maple Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp heavy cream, plus more as necessary
  • 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In bowl of stand mixer, add eggs, oil, sugars, pumpkin and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until combined, about 3 minutes. In medium bow, whisk together dry ingredients. With mixer on low, add dry ingredients to wet in 3 batches, allowing each to incorporate into wet ingredients before proceeding. Pour batter into prepared pan.

In medium bowl whisk together the following streusel ingredients: flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Add butter to bowl and incorporate into dry ingredients, using either pastry blender or fingertips. Mix until mixture resembles coarse sand and holds together when pressed but will still easily crumble. Sprinkle streusel over top of cake batter. Bake cake for 30-35 minutes, or until skewer inserted into center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool completely before adding glaze.

To prepare maple glaze, add all ingredients to medium bowl and whisk until thoroughly combined and glaze drizzles easily from whisk. Add additional cream if necessary to achieve desired consistency. Drizzle about half of the glaze over the coffee cake and reserve the rest to drizzle over individual servings. Or just go for it and put entire glaze recipe over cake.

Serves 12-16, depending on size of pieces.

pumpkin-coffee-cake-with-maple-glaze

Autumn Quinoa Salad with Maple Cider Vinaigrette

autumn-quinoa-salad

Hi there! How was your first weekend of fall 2016? Mine was an ideal mix of productivity and active relaxation. A couple of spin classes, ALL the laundry and a Thanksgiving style turkey dinner on Sunday evening have left me renewed and invigorated…and just a little sleepy. I’m no good at inactive relaxation (aka sitting on the couch.) I need to be doing something, which is why this blog makes such a great hobby. If I have the time during the weekend, I love to prep something healthy and yummy for easy lunches or dinners for the week ahead. One of my favorite make-ahead dishes is a veggie filled quinoa salad. I vary the ingredients based on the season. This time of year, butternut squash, kale, cranberries and pumpkin seeds are in season and heavenly. Nothing brightens up a long work-day like a hearty bowl of fall’s bountiful goodness.

This Autumn Quinoa Salad fits the bill. I’ll be happy to face plant  in a bowl of this salad during lunch this week. All of my fall favorites make an appearance in this dish. The butternut squash, in particular, steals my heart. It’s roasted in a bit of butter until caramelized, browned and tender. It’s sweet and slightly savory and all autumn. The secret to perfectly roasted squash is two-fold. First, of course, is the butter. Second, you have to let it cook longer than you think it needs to. After about 20 minutes in the oven, the squash will be tender and almost too soft, but have faith. With time, more of the water evaporates from the squash and it caramelizes beautifully. A few handfuls of hearty kale add a healthy, delicious bitterness. Sweet dried cranberries are a must in any fall salad. Pumpkin seeds add a seasonal nuttiness and cheese (of your choice- I used parmesan, but blue or goat cheese would be divine) round out the additions. Toss everything in a sweet and savory maple cider vinaigrette that I would gladly eat with a spoon.

Start by preparing and roasting the butternut squash and everything else will be ready by the time the squash is through roasting. Serve the salad immediately and it’s warm and toasty, or prepare in advance and let the flavors mingle in the fridge. This makes a great side dish to roast chicken or pork. Or, top with grilled chicken or shrimp and serve as a light but satisfying main course.

autumn-quinoa-salad

 

Autumn Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 ½ inch cubes
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups chopped, cleaned kale
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • ½ cup cheese (parmesan shreds, blue cheese crumbles or goat cheese crumbles)
  • Maple Cider Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Instructions:

First, prepare butternut squash. Preheat oven to 425.

Spray large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and add butternut squash, butter and 1 tsp salt and black pepper to taste. Mix ingredients until squash is coated. Bake squash 25-30 minutes, until side resting on baking sheet is browned. Then flip squash and return to oven for an additional 5-10 minutes, until it reaches desired brownness.

While squash is cooking, prepare quinoa. Bring water to a boil in medium saucepan and add quinoa. Once water returns to a boil, reduce heat, cover pan and simmer 12-15 minutes, until water is absorbed. Allow quinoa to rest, covered, for about 5 minutes, then fluff with fork and add to large bowl.

Once quinoa is in bowl, add kale, cranberries, pumpkin seeds and cheese. Add butternut squash once it is done. Season with 1 tsp salt and pepper to taste. Add about half of the maple cider vinaigrette and taste. Add more vinaigrette as desired. Serve hot, room temperature or chilled.

Makes 4 main course servings, 6 side dish servings.

Maple Cider Vinaigrette: 

In mason jar, add:

  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place lid on jar and shake thoroughly, until ingredients are well mixed.