Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Vegan pumpkin coffee cake with rosemary, cornmeal, and cinnamon crumble

Vegan pumpkin coffee cake with rosemary, cornmeal, and cinnamon crumble

Of all the fall recipes I’ve posted as of yet, of all the pumpkin recipes I’ve made so far this wonderful season, this is by far the best.

I kid you not. My family, ever-unadventurous eaters, may have been mildly disturbed by the presence of normally-savory rosemary, but do not let that deter you. The combination of warm pumpkin pie spices and cooling rosemary and the rich olive oil and hearty cornmeal and, by god, pumpkin! is just heavenly. I don’t know how it works, but it does. 

yeah science bitch meme
Just...go with it. source

If you have ever had a fresh sugar pumpkin, butternut squash, or any other autumn-y, squash-y vegetable fruit on your hands, you will be familiar with this dilemma—sweet or savory? To roast and peel and puree and strain and set aside for baked goods, or to slice up and roast with some olive oil, S&P, and rosemary? Often, being rather lazy, Baby June likes to go the latter route. And then proceeds to eat a half pound only to get a raging stomach ache and end up hitting the sack at, like, 8:30 PM (which has actually become a common occurrence lately regardless of squash consumption).

Or whatever. Don’t they say “early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”, anyway? 

rolling in dem benjamins
Get up too early and you end up being referenced in every rap song ever. source


This time around, we made puree.

And then we made THIS. 

vegan pumpkin coffee cake with rosemary, cornmeal, and cinnamon crumble
When a man and a woman really love pumpkin...

I know I have too many cookbooks, but I also happen to have a latent food blog addiction which results in having a recipes-to-make list that increases seemingly exponentially every other day. So naturally, when I saw The Baking Bird’s incredible-looking recipe (adapted from a cookbook, mind you), I just had to make it. The flavor combinations seemed a bit excessive, but, you know. That’s standard fare in the food blog world, where adding salted caramel and bourbon and an extra layer of whatever shit you found in the back of the pantry is basically the equivalent of ten thousand extra pins on Pinterest. This? This is sensible, mild-mannered-grandmother stuff. The addition of unusual structural ingredients like cornmeal and olive oil are hardly the focus here—no, it’s all about the fresh rosemary and fresh pumpkin and sweet, sweet pumpkin spice.

Oh. And the streusel. 

vegan pumpkin coffee cake with rosemary, cornmeal, and cinnamon crumble
Well duh.

So here I present a veganized version of that very same recipe. Normally, when making another blogger’s recipe, I tend to fuss around with it for the sake of originality, but here? Nah. It’s perfect enough.

And so it tasted.

Here is that recipe.


Vegan pumpkin coffee cake with rosemary, cornmeal, and cinnamon crumble

Adapted from The Baking Bird



3 grams • minced, fresh rosemary • 2 tablespoons

1 grams • lemon zest • ½ tablespoon

120 grams • powdered sugar • 1 cup

104 grams • all-purpose flour • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons

40 grams • cornmeal • ¼ cup

4 grams • baking powder • 1 teaspoon

3 grams • cinnamon • 1 teaspoon

2 grams • nutmeg • ½ teaspoon

2 grams • cloves • ½ teaspoon

2 grams • allspice • ½ teaspoon

1 gram • salt • 1/8 teaspoon

56 grams • vegan yogurt • ¼ cup

55 grams • silken tofu, blended until smooth • ¼ cup

55 grams • olive oil • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons

122 grams • pumpkin puree • ½ cup


55 grams • brown sugar • ¼ cup, packed

32 grams • all-purpose flour • ¼ cup

2 gram • cinnamon • 1 teaspoon

27 grams • coconut oil, softened • 2 tablespoons


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch cake pan and set aside.

To make crumble, simply whisk together brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl, then add in coconut oil with your fingers. Set aside.

For cake: in a medium bowl, whisk together rosemary, lemon zest, powdered sugar, all-purpose flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and spices. Mix until combined, rubbing the rosemary and zest with your fingers to combine.

In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, tofu, olive oil, and pumpkin puree. Stir until thoroughly combined and smooth.

Pour batter into prepared pan, then sprinkle crumble on top. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for ten minutes before removing from pan and cool for another ten minutes before slicing and serving. Or you could leave it in the pan, like me. Boom, you’ve got coffee cake.


vegan pumpkin coffee cake with rosemary, cornmeal, and cinnamon crumble
It's actually that orange in real life. Really.

So how does it taste?

Well, the first impression is the softness. I hate to describe foods as, you know, soft, since it’s not exactly that desirable of a texture in a lot of contexts—however, this is absolutely an exception. The moist—I’M SORRY—and tender crumb just melts in your mouth, beckoning to become one with your taste buds, yearning for your teeth to gnash down and homph gomph down that slice and slide another hunk down your lipid-coated gullet. The mildness of the olive oil and the earthiness cornmeal and the pure freshness of the pumpkin bring to mind images of cool fall evenings in New England before you remember that you’re eating a coffee cake that is, truly, the epitome of hipsterizing an innocent breakfast food, and you put back on your scarf and complain about the popularity of pumpkin spice lattes. It’s almost automatic.

Yeah. That’s how it tastes.


  1. This looks too darn good chick! Seriously, it looks a lot less "puddingy" than so many pumpkin recipes that are posted up these days, and the addition of coffee? YES! :D *needsmesome*
    And worry not about the jotting downs of recipes from blogs that you wanna make, I have done exactly the same, and trying forever to get through it, but get cause in an ever expanding spiderweb of more ideas and inspiration, it's a beautiful curse and blessing :P x

    1. Thanks! You should totally make this. Definitely putting a giant stamp of approval on this here cake. :)

  2. Your writing and recipes are screamingly brilliant...I've spent the day reading your blog and it's fabulous! Thanks for sharing all your supercreative recipes...cheers! :)

    1. Aw, thank you! This makes me so happy! Thank you for stopping by :D

  3. I've just started to expect to read your blog and want to make everything. I love it. I want it. Is it pie? Is it cake? I don't know but you're describing it made me want to shovel it in.

    1. Yes. Good. Do not resist. Make the cake. EAT ALL THE CAKE!

  4. Oh My Gosh! Another one I want to make! I"m going to be busy this week end! Can you buy pumpkin puree? I'll look that part up, thats ok. Anyway, Thanks for another recipe I want to make! I love pumpkin!
    Pretty Pintastic Party! Yeah!

    1. You can totally use canned pumpkin! I hope you do make it, send pictures if you happen to do so! :D

  5. First of all, I freaking love rosemary in desserts and I think it sounds amazing in this cake, despite what your family might think. Secondly, forget Pinterest and their Oreo/caramel/cookie dough/stuffed in all the things obsession--people are crazy over there. You do you!

    1. Thanks so much! I agree, when it comes to dessert you just gotta...go with what you love, ya know? :D