Pumpkin Blondie Cake

A light pumpkin and spice flavor in a delicious cake
2 hours 20 minutes Total Time
45 minutes to prep
35 minutes to bake
1 hour to cool
16 servings

This was adapted from a delicious Stella Park's recipe on Serious Eats. Stella's recipes are usually perfect as presented, but I had some trouble with the streusel when I eliminated the pecans. I also needed to cook this longer than she suggested when using a cast iron pan. 

I have tried to increase the pumpkin flavor by cooking it down to concentrate the flavor and reduce the water. This adds at least 5 minutes to the cooking time, but it feels worth it to me. 

This is a very dense and moist cake. I am not a pumpkin pie fan, but I love this cake. This is a nice option for a holiday dessert that is different than traditional pies. 

This recipe uses white chocolate in the cake and the streusel topping. I used to think I didn't like white chocolate because some grocery store brands are terrible. Using Lindt or another good quality brand is important. Even if you are not a fan, it adds moistness to the cake and the pieces on top caramelize into something new. 

Adapted From: Stella Parks

I'm using both a stand mixer and a food processor in this recipe. You can get by without a food processor, but having a stand mixer is more important. You could use a hand mixer, but it may take longer than 8 minutes to get your butter and sugar mixture to the right consistency. 

The recipe calls for Malted Milk Powder which is sometimes hard to find in the grocery store (especially during a pandemic!) I have tested making the recipe without and it will still work, however, the powder adds a nice flavor. If you are not sure what to do with this powder (because it will not last forever) you can use it in other Stella Park's recipes found on Serious Eats

The baking time can vary dramatically depending on the pan that you use and your oven. Check it early and let it go longer as needed. 


Ingredients with an * are listed more than once.


  • Gather and prep ingredients. Preheat oven to 350°, and move a rack to the middle position.
    Step 0
  • Line a 9" square metal baking dish with a strip of aluminum foil that is folded to fit inside of 9". It should be long enough to have an overhang that you can use to remove the cake after baking and cooling. Spray the pan with vegetable spray. NOTE: The original recipe was made in a 10" cast iron pan, which is another option. You can skip the foil if using a round pan, just make sure to butter than pan generously. Metal pans are better than glass. If you are not using 9" square metal pan, your baking time may be different than mine.
    Step 1
  • Mix together the rolled oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.
    Step 2
  • Add the softened butter to the mixture and mix until the topping forms clumps and butter is distributed throughout. This will take a minute or so. The softer your butter is the quicker it will go.
    Step 3
  • Add the white chocolate and mix together. Transfer mixture to a bowl or baggie to save until needed. (You can do this step ahead if you refrigerate the mixture.) You will be using the bowl for the mixer again later, so it does not need to be cleaned yet.
    Step 4
  • Cook the pumpkin in a small skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Stir frequently. This will reduce the moisture/water and enhance the pumpkin flavor. The amount of pumpkin after this step should be closer to 1/2 cup. You could skip this step and just use 1/2 cup of pumpkin straight out of the can if you are short on time. Remove the pumpkin to a small bowl (or reuse your measuring cup) so that it can cool.
    Step 5
  • In a food processor process the flour, white chocolate and malted milk powder until the chocolate is ground down to a powder. If you don't have a food processor, you could grate the white chocolate on a microplane or rasp grater and whisk it with the flour and milk powder instead.
    Step 6
  • In the bowl of the stand mixer add the brown sugar, butter, salt, baking powder, nutmeg, and vanilla. Mix on a low speed for about one minute to moisten.
    Step 7
  • Increase speed to medium and mix for 8 minutes. The mixture should be pale and fluffy when done. Scrape the bowl once or twice during this time to make sure all parts are getting combined evenly.
    Step 8
  • Add the egg and mix on medium speed until smooth, another minute or two.
    Step 9
  • Add the reduced pumpkin puree and mix on low.
    Step 10
  • Add the flour and white chocolate mixture and mix on low. The batter will be thick. Mix with a spatula once or twice to make sure everything is incorporated.
    Step 11
  • Spread the cake batter in the pan and smooth out with a spatula.
    Step 12
  • Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the top. Bake on middle rack in a 350° oven. Bake for 35–50 minutes until cake is puffed, browned and a thermometer reaches 205° in the center. If you don't have a thermometer, check for doneness with a toothpick or skewer.
    Step 13
  • Remove the cake when done and cool to room temperature. Do not try eating this cake when too warm because it will be too soft and gooey. Cut into pieces and serve. Leftovers should be fine for a few days, but I always wrap any leftovers as individual pieces and store in the freezer.
    Step 14

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