Can a coffeecake be served as part of breakfast or brunch? Sure! I love how, in theory, most of my dishes for breakfast or brunch also double as desserts. What a sweet breakfast! :D In actuality, I usually have a pretty standard breakfast of Bob’s Red Mill Old Country Style Muesli with maybe a fruit thrown in on the side, and the baked goods get added to my lunch as dessert.
I liked the following pumpkin coffeecake from A Harvest of Pumpkins and Squash by Lou Seibert Pappas. It wasn’t in-your-face pumpkin flavour, more mellow with a hint of spice, but there was an interesting texture with the cornmeal and nicely moist. The walnut topping added a nice crunch. I doubled the amount of fresh cranberries (to 2 cups) which was good, if not bursting with cranberry. Only 1 cup would have been piddly. I don’t think I have professed my love of fresh cranberries, yet… but I will.. with one of my many cranberry recipes in the draft folder. :)
Cranberry-Walnut Pumpkin Coffeecake
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup white or yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup pumpkin or winter squash purée, canned or homemade
2 cup fresh cranberries (dried in a pinch)
3 tablespoons demerara or raw sugar (I used brown sugar)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch square baking pan. Spread the walnuts in a small baking pan and bake until lightly toasted, 8 to 10 minutes (or just toast on the stovetop, which is what I did).
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, sour cream, and pumpkin and beat with a large whisk or an electric beater until smooth. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix just until incorporated. Stir in the cranberries and 2/3 cup of the nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Scatter the remaining 1/3 cup nuts on top and sprinkle with the demerara sugar.
3. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes (mine was more like 50-55 minutes!). Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan to room temperature, then cut into 12 rectangles. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or wrap tightly and freeze for up to 1 month.