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Pumpkin Streusel Tea Cake

Wits' End flyer - Halloween Tea! Dress up as your favorite alien or alien hunter!

Thank you, Brigitte, for inviting Wits’ End to participate in this year’s Witch’s Tea! Sadly, there are no witches in Doyle, California, though we do have a weird amount of UFO, er, incidents.

And murders.

But our guests at the best little UFO-themed B&B in the Sierras don’t have to worry about those! I’m great friends with our local sheriff, and Wits’ End is as safe and comfy as they come.

And one of the things we’re especially known for are our breakfasts. Now, breakfasts aren’t particularly afternoon tea oriented, for obvious reasons. But, cakes definitely work for an afternoon tea. So in honor of the season, here's my Gran's recipe for pumpkin tea cake.

Pumpkin streusel tea cake

Pumpkin Streusel Tea Cake



• 1/2 C flour • 1/2 C packed brown sugar • 3/4 tsp cinnamon • pinch of nutmeg, cloves and ginger • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted • 1/4 C chopped pecans

Tea cake batter:

• 1/2 C sugar • 6 Tablespoons salted butter, room temperature • 3/4 C pumpkin puree • 2 Tablespoons milk • 2 Tablespoons sour cream • 1 egg • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder • 1 C all-purpose flour • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg • 1/2 teaspoon ginger • 1/4 teaspoon cloves

Glaze (yum!):

• 3/4 C powdered sugar • 2 teaspoon maple extract • 1-2 Tablespoons milk • Optional garnish: Chopped pecans


1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch cake pan.

2. Add all the streusel ingredients to a medium-sized bowl. Mix ingredients with a fork until everything is incorporated, and set the bowl aside.

3. In a large bowl, prepare the cake batter, beating the sugar and ROOM TEMPERATURE butter with an electric beater for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the pumpkin puree, milk and sour cream to the mix and beat until well incorporated. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth. In a separate, small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and spices. Add the flour mixture to the batter and beat until smooth.

4. Spread 1/2 the cake batter in the bottom of the greased 9-inch cake pan. Top the batter with half the streusel mixture. Next, spread the remaining cake batter over the streusel. Sprinkle the remaining streusel over the top of the cake batter.

5. Bake 24-26 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when a toothpick stuck into the center comes out with only a few crumbs on it. Allow the tea cake to cool in the pan 5 minutes, then remove the cake, flipping it streusel-side down and setting it on a cooling rack to finish cooling.

6. Prepare the glaze. Combine all the glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth. If the glaze seems a little stiff, You can always add a little more milk or sugar, if needed. Transfer the cake to a plate, streusel-side up, and drizzle the glaze over the tea cake.

7. Optional: Sprinkle with more chopped pecans.

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