Pumpkin Coffee Cake with Beef Jerky Recipe

Moist, perfectly spiced & filled with pumpkin flavor, this pumpkin coffee cake is the perfect autumn treat!

Pumpkin Coffee Cake W/ Pumpkin Spice Beef Jerky Streusel

Don't mind us. We're just over here trying to pretend we're not basic by leveling up pumpkin coffee cake. Though, after the most recent Test Kitchen Beef Jerky release, it might be too late to pretend. 

Enter: Pumpkin Spice Beef Jerky.

I guess you could say we're leaning into this basic thing after all. And honestly, it's pretty sweet. 

The goal of this dessert (or breakfast–we won't judge) recipe was to embrace the basic fall flavor while incorporating our Pumpkin Spice Beef Jerky in a unique style. We executed the incorporation of jerky via the streusel. It was a natural fit–we're always looking to come out on top. 

Once you take a bite of this delicious dessert, you'll be feeling on top too. 

Looking to lean into the fall flavors with us? Pour yourself a fresh cup of coffee to enjoy with your first slice, and you'll unlock all the flavors of a PSL!

Jump To Recipe

Pumpkin Coffee Cake W/ Pumpkin Spice Beef Jerky Streusel ingredients

What You Need

  • Pumpkin puree adds the essential pumpkin flavor and contributes to the ultra-moist final cake. Buy canned, or make your own! 
  • Pumpkin spice fills the cake with that warm fall flavor you know and love. Make your own at home or grab some from your local supermarket. Trader Joe's is always stocked with this stuff!
  • Pumpkin Spice Beef Jerky fresh from the Test Kitchen adds another dimension of pumpkin spice to the final cake and salty crispiness to the streusel topping. 
  • All-purpose flour is essential for a cake that's perfectly tender and chewy. It's also a key component of the streusel. King Arthur is always our go-to!
  • Eggs add richness to the cake and helps it rise.
  • Butter brings the rich and sweet streusel topping together.
  • Canola oil keeps the pumpkin cake rich, tender, and moist. 
  • Granulated sugar and brown sugar work together to create a perfectly complex sweet flavor.
  • Vanilla extract deepens the warm, spiced flavor of the cake.
  • Pecans add another element of crunch to the streusel. Gotta love that textural contrast!
  • Cinnamon & cardamom is the perfect filling to compliment the pumpkin spice cake.
  • Kosher salt makes all the flavors POP!

How to Make

This pumpkin coffee cake recipe may sound intimidating, but it's super easy to make! Here's how it goes:

First things first; preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and lightly grease an 8" square pan or 9" round pan.

Pumpkin Spice Beef Jerky Streusel ingredients

Next, whisk together all of the "dry" streusel ingredients in a medium-sized mixing bowl until evenly combined. That is, all except for the beef jerky, chopped pecans, and melted butter. Once the dry ingredients are evenly combined, add the beef jerky, chopped pecans, and melted butter. Stir together with a fork until the streusel comes together–it should be a little clumpy. Once the streusel has come together, set it aside and move on to the filling.

Pumpkin Spice Beef Jerky streusel

Next, we're going to make the spiced brown sugar filling. In a small bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and cardamom. That's it. Congratulations. You should be filling very proud of yourself for accomplishing such an arduous task! 

Spiced brown sugar filling

Next, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk all dry cake ingredients together except for the sugar, and set aside. In a large bowl, add the oil and sugar, and whisk together to combine. Then add the eggs and whisk vigorously until thoroughly combined. Next, add the pumpkin puree and vanilla extract, and whisk until all ingredients are well combined.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake ingredients

Finally, we're going to add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Be sure to either fold in the dry ingredients or mix gently to keep the cake nice and tender!

Dry ingredients ready to be folded into the wet ingredients

Now that we have all of the components ready, we can start to build our cake!

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake components

Pour half of the cake batter into the greased pan and spread until it's evenly distributed and flat on the surface. Then sprinkle the spiced sweet filling over the top of the cake batter.

Pumpkin Coffee Cake filling and toppings

Sprinkle just enough brown sugar filling to create a layer over the cake–you may not end up using all of your prepared filling. Next, pour the remaining batter over the filling and spread evenly across the cake pan. Finally, sprinkle the Pumpkin Spice Beef Jerky streusel over the top of the cake. 

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake ready for the oven

Now, throw it into the preheated oven and bake for 40-45 mins, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Wait until cool, and enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake with Pumpkin Spice Beef Jerky Streusel

Tips & Tricks

  • Don't overmix! It's best to gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Overmixing the batter will make for dense and chewy baked goods, so only mix until the wet and dry ingredients are just combined. 
  • Let the cake cool for 10-15 minutes before you start cutting into it. It's tempting to reach for a knife as soon as the cake comes out of the oven. But, if you can restrain yourself and wait for 10-15 minutes or so, it'll be worth it. It's a tender cake, so giving it a chance to cool makes the cake less likely to crumble when you cut into it. 
  • Feel free to double up. The provided recipe makes just enough batter to fill one 8x8 square cake pan. However, if you're like me, that's just not enough for the weekend–especially if you plan on sharing. You'll have leftover pumpkin puree already and can easily stretch the streusel and filling to cover two cakes.