NY style pumpkin crumb cake

I've had on my "to create" list a pumpkin crumb cake since last fall.
Finally got around to making it.
Why did I wait so long?

I wasn't sure how much pumpkin to sour cream ratio to add to make a perfect cake. Yep, that was my dilemma--so I put it on the back burner.
Since pumpkin puree is such a moisture packed ingredient you have to be careful how much you add to you don't have a super moist/almost runny cake.
But as the cooking luck would have it, the first batch came out perfectly.
I was lucky. Should I do this all over again is there one thing I would change?
Not really, I might want to see what happens if I bake this in a glass dish rather than metal.
The metal gave me crispy edges, which is good actually.  But you don't like crispy edges then try a glass dish (9x13) and see what happens. Just watch the baking times; glass dish might need a bit more baking time.


As much as I LOVE NY style crumb cake, this pumpkin crumb cake takes it's place.
This was so good.  It has a gentle pumpkin flavor. Not a fan of the highly scented and flavored pumpkin goodies at all--I like a gentle undertone.



NY style pumpkin crumb cake
recipe from vanillasugarblog.com (please don't steal it!)

Crumb topping
¾ cup sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 and ½ ts pumpkin spice
½ - ¾ ts salt
1 and ½ cups unsalted butter, melted (3 sticks)
2 1/2 cups  + 2 TB all purpose flour

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 ts baking soda
¾ ts baking powder
1 ts pumpkin spice
½ ts salt
12 TB unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
2 large eggs
¾ cup plain pumpkin puree
½ cup sour cream

Cook notes:  using a glass pan will result in a moister cake without crispy edges.  A metal pan will have crispy edges (which I prefer).  A metal pan might have shorter baking times. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 13-inch pan with non stick spray or grease up with butter. Set aside.
For the crumb topping:
In a medium bowl, mix the sugars salt, pumpkin spice, and flour.  Add the melted butter and stir with spatula until combined. Set aside.

For the Cake:
Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl.  Add in the pumpkin spice, stir.
Using electric mixer, or mixer beat the butter and sugar in large bowl until smooth.
Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Next add in the sour cream and pumpkin puree; mix until just blended. Lastly add in the flour mixture in batches—I did two batches, until all is just combined. Do not overmix once the flour is added; lumps are good!

Pour the batter into the greased baking pan, spread batter evenly.  I had to wet my hands to spread batter into corners.  It’s a sticky batter so using wet hands will work best. Next add on the crumb topping by dropping clumps (2-3 inch clumps) of it on to the top. Do not push crumbs down!
Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out clean (mine was done at the 48 minute mark).  Please rotate the pan halfway through baking time.  You will know cake is done when there is no more jiggle in the middle of the cake.
Keep cake covered.  Should only last 2-3 days at room temperature. 
Doesn’t stay moist that long, sadly. 


friday links

Happy Friday!

I've got a lot to share with you.
First, let's get right to the pumpkin recipes!

homemade pumpkin pop tarts w buttermilk glaze
Pumpkin pop tarts with buttermilk glaze

pumpkin & vanilla Oreo ice cream

pumpkin funnel cake crispies

pumpkin pie french toast

pumpkin walnut granola

creamy pumpkin smoothies

pumpkin muffins

pumpkin-coconut bread

pumpkin-nutella fudge puddles

pumpkin cinnamon rolls

pumpkin cheesecake buns

pumpkin quiche with caramelized onions, sage & gorgonzola

savory kale & pumpkin scones

pumpkin chocolate chip bars

pumpkin cheesecake with nutella ganache

pecan pumpkin butter rolls with bourbon cream cheese icing

2-ingredient pumpkin brownies

pumpkin-cream cheese cinnamon rolls
quick & easy pumpkin-cream cheese cinnamon rolls

Isn't this a gorgeous site? I want to go there next summer. (Surf Lodge)

Apple cider vinegar for soft/detangled hair.
Who has tried this?
Does it truly work? I'm scared to try.

Keep cats off kitchen counter.

Amusing video on how ramen noodles are made.

The best life advice from William Faulkner

Some of the best homemade egg rolls I've seen (and 3 types of sauces).

Real video (time lapse) of flight-deck. Do NOT watch if you are afraid of heights!

The evolution of the scrollbar.

4-types of breast cancer. Must read.

BPA (plastic) and your ovaries.

Photos from an airplane graveyard.

I love this tentacle cake stand. (pricey though!)

The ostrich pillow! A safe cocoon for naps.
I totally need this in my life!

Plot-toon: a battalion of toy soliders traverse the dangerous landscape of a garden vegetable patch.
(great video).

Google street view now has under the sea!

Jamy smart toaster.

Yoga for runners: 3 poses for your hamstrings.

Yoga Is: a documentary film.

chipotle chicken fajitas with black bean spread.

slow cooker Sindhi beef curry (I can only imagine how good this must smell while cooking)

chicken tikka salad

frosted speculoos cookie bars


Have a wonderful weekend!


pumpkin-walnut snack cake (lightened up)

Have you, like me, go to Starbucks, see all the edible goodies behind the glass and think "oh that cake was too sweet, that one was too dry, the one I like the most is just too fattening....?
Do you do this?
I do.
And as much as I love their blueberry snack cake or is it called blueberry loaf?
It's just too sweet and always slightly under-baked.
And then their pumpkin loaf is just too dry and bland.
Don't get me started on how bread-like their croissants are.
Definitely not a real croissant, just bread shaped like a croissant.


There are days when I bring my own cake or snack with me when I go to Starbucks.  Now that it's Fall I wanted to do a lighter version of a pumpkin snack cake.  Flavorful and with texture, but not too heavy or too sweet.  I think you'll like this one and it keeps great too.
Keep in mind that I do not like a lot of pumpkin pie spice, so if you do want to make this, you might want to add more; mine is on the low-end of spice flavor scale.


Taste-test the batter and see how you like it before you bake it.


I also used a Pumpkin Via for that hint of espresso in the cake--quite tasty.  Up to you if you want to add this in.  If you don't add it in then maybe double the amount of pumpkin spices.



Pumpkin-walnut snack cake (lightened up a bit)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
a pinch or two of salt
3/4 cup white sugar
¾ can (15 ounces) of pure pumpkin puree (use only ¾ of the can)
½ cup sour cream
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
¾ cup chopped walnuts

- if you want to have a hint of espresso: use 1 Starbucks Pumpkin Via and ½ - ¾ ts pumpkin pie spice

- if you do not want espresso: use 1 ts – or more of pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350F.
Sift flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl. Add sugar, and spices; mix. 
In a separate bowl whisk pumpkin, sour cream, eggs, and oil together.
Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in ¾ of the walnuts.

To make a cake: spread batter into greased 8 or 9 inch pan, top with remaining walnuts. Then bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

To make muffins: greased up muffin tins about 2/3 full, top with remaining walnuts.  Then bake for 12 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.


friday links

Happy Friday!

Today I was able to see gorgeous waves AND a giant rainbow--all in one day.
Had to share them with you.

Nauset light beach in Eastham, MA.  Just one of my surfing buds out today.  Water temp. 64-66?  I think.

Nauset light beach again.  This is where I walk to strengthen my quads.  The sand is deep, yet soft, so it's easy on the knees.  Funny how this end of the cape was dark and cloudy and the other end was sunny.

And now closer to home, the rainbow we saw tonight was absolutely stunning and thick too.  Never saw a rainbow width that wide before (if that makes sense). This was taken at town neck beach--boardwalk side. 

Here is the other end of the rainbow.  Hard to see, but it's in the middle of the two houses.  This is when I wish I had one of those fancy zoom lens cameras.  The sunsets on cape cod are memorable.

Today is the last day of summer.  Booo.
I'm sad.  I'm a sun-loving water girl; I hate to see summer go.
When I was younger I loved the fall and loved the snow in winter
Now any weather under 80 degrees and I'm frozen.
Could be old age, who knows.  I do know for a fact, that come February I get a small case of the blues--SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
This is one of the reasons hubby is working so hard (god bless and love him) to get us back out to cali.
No snow there and plenty of sunshine.
I would be curious to know if any of my readers suffer from SAD?
What do you do to keep it at bay or minimize it?
I up my fish oil, stay outside more since they say even being outside even if it's cloudy the outside/sky illuminations helps the brain.

My friend has made coconut cupcakes with marshmallow creme frosting.  I adore coconut cupcakes.
She has one of those fancy schmancy cameras and is quite good with it too.

How 1-hour on Sundays will change your life.  What do you think?

Photo booth art from around the world.

Carole Feuerman sculptures. Hand painted resin sculptures that look exactly like humans.
You have to see her work.

How to make Jello worms (just in time for Halloween).

Interesting.  Saw this at Whole Foods.  Had no idea that Kale had that much Vitamin C.  Did you?

What your belly fat really means.

Why CrossFit is getting popular with women.

Oh I love this!  Getting the best hamstring stretch.

And for those of you who love to stretch moreso than working out, this new book maybe for you.  Ballet Beautiful.  I firmly believe that stretching is a great way to strengthen and tone up the body.

Ballet Beautiful is great book!  I highly recommend this if you want to be more flexible and want a change up from your yoga routine.  Definitely not as hard as the NYC Ballet Workout book.  Remember that one? Oh that was hard.

Read an interview with Jennifer Graham, author of "Honey, do you need a ride? Confessions of a fat runner". 

Learn more about the craze of this new book: The Whole 30: A Paleo Diet.


High levels of arsenic in our rice.  How sad is this? 

Slow cooker recipes that are fairly healthy. (I'm making the breakfast burritos!).

10 awesome bunkers (just in case the world ends). 

Gorgeous lighthouses from around the world. 

7 natural energy boosters! (I disagree with the bee pollen--I still think that is all hype). 

10 different ways to dress up your egg salad

Repel house flies with clove? 

Good food on a tight budget

Have a great weekend everyone!


bacon jam cheeseburgers

One of the last things I used my sweet & spicy bacon jam on was cheeseburgers.
This was so insanely good on cheeseburgers; it was like having your bacon and condiments all in one.
I think bacon jam should be a staple in all burger and steakhouse joints.
I mean how can you not do this to a burger?

bacon jam topped cheeseburgers

No recipe needed.
Just top the bacon jam on top of the done burger.
For bacon jam recipe click here.

bacon jam topped cheeseburgers

Also, congrats to the winners of the Sprinkle Bakes cookbook giveaway. #72 lleanmunro and #185 kristinpotpie.
Please email me your shipping address.


honey cornbread muffins stuffed w/ bacon jam

Remember the sweet & spicy bacon jam I made a couple weeks ago?


With the leftovers I had I used them up in another cornbread dish.
Instead of using them in pancake form I decided to go the muffin route.
Sweet honey cornbread just begs for bacon doesn't it?
The two flavor combo's are perfect with each other.
And with the gentle heat of the bacon jam paired with the honey touched cornbread--oh they were good.


I found a perfect honey cornbread recipe over at Baking Bites.
In her recipe she gives you the option of adding fresh corn kernels--please, do this.
It's a fabulous texture-boost.



honey cornbread muffins stuffed with bacon jam
muffin recipe adapted from bakingbites.com
print recipe

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup honey
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup fresh corn kernels (optional)

bacon jam (about 1/2 - 3/4 cup usage for this recipe)

cook notes: make sure to keep the bacon jam cold before you use it in here. Keeping it cold helps you form a better ball to place in the center of the muffin dough.

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 12 -cup muffin tin with a good amount of nonstick spray or you could use muffin liners (I did not).
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornbread, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together butter, honey, eggs and buttermilk until smooth. If adding in the fresh corn kernels, add those in now to the wet mixture.
Pour in to dry ingredients and stir just until batter is well combined an no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Fill the muffin tin with half the batter.
Then place a scoop of bacon jam (a nice rounded ball like scoop if you can) on top of the muffin batter.
Then pour remaining batter on top of the muffins.
Give the muffin tray a little jiggle to make sure the batter is evenly coating the muffin tins.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the SIDE of the muffin comes out clean. If you stick it in the middle you will get the bacon jam coating the toothpick. You also know when they are done by the tops of the muffins are golden brown.
Makes 12


friday links

Happy Friday!

The weather is still summer-like so I'm very happy.
Did I mention I saw one of these cupcake trucks the other day?
Did I squeal like a child when I saw it? Yes, yes I did.
Cute truck right?


Recently I was on a trip to western massachusetts to see one of my best friends. We visited the area of Shelburne Falls on the Mohawk Trail. What a nice area for for walking and eating. I was blown away at how many fabulous places to eat. Not only was the food good, but most of the restaurants served locally grown foods.
We went to West End Pub for these lobster rolls that we're the size of your head! And I'm from cape cod--we never get them that big!
We also ate at Hope & Olive in Greenfield, MA. And I cannot even begin to tell you how absolutely perfect their food was. It had been a long long time since I've been a restaurant that prides itself on local harvest with family owned values. The food was fresh, seasoned just right, and a huge array of choices not only in the tapas side but on the daily special dishes as well. I'm not a drinker, but I was at Hope & Olive because they had speciality drinks such as the swan dive:
tarragon infused vodka martini, with grapefruit, sugar and black pepper.
I had the coco mojo, a traditional mojito made with housemade coconut cream. A delight on the tastebuds.
I had photos, but they got deleted from my iphone sadly.
If you are making a trip out to western massachusetts this fall, please pay them a visit. They open at 5pm for dinner, and by 7pm they are already packed. Thankfully the seating is very roomy.

Of course a trip would never be complete without finding the perfect little gourmet resource shop for cooks.
I swear I seek out these gourmet kitchen stores whenever I'm on vacation.
The Lamson & Goodnow Factory Outlet in Shelburne Falls, MA.


You might have heard of Lamson & Goodnow maker of LamsonSharp™ cutlery, is the oldest cutlery manufacturer in the United States. Lamson & Goodnow was established in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts in 1837. The factory outlet in Shelburne Falls is the ONLY place where you can buy Lamson & Goodnow cutlery seconds at drastically reduced prices.
When I say reduced, I mean a true factory outlet price, not just discounts on crappy, scratched up seconds.
The knife in the above photo, is from the vintage collection, with super alloy american steel, double tempered, morado wood handle, and full tang with double brass rivets. A true knife, that is handcrafted to last. I was very impressed by how well made these knives were.

The Lamson & Goodnow factory outlet store in Shelburne Falls, MA.


Another knife that caught my eye!

What did I buy?
Oh you know all kinds of little knick knacks because they are so small, so cute.
I mean who doesn't love mini souffle dishes?


Are you interested in what's happening at the planet Mars?
The rover Curiosity?
I am too, and I found this neat little curiosity cam website.

DIY banana liqueur? Yes please.

20 ways to cultivate intermittent euphoria in your life. Interesting indeed.

frosted carrot-ancho snack cake! From scarletta bakes. Seriously.

Apple pie bundles from bake or break.

peanut butter & jelly blondies from averie cooks.

Has anyone tried this yet?
I hope it's not too sweet. I adore flavorful coffee's but not sugar-filled.

Downton Abbey fans?
Have you seen this cookbook?
It's actually quite good.
Has actual recipes as seen on the show; dining with the Crawleys!
I was drawn to this cookbook because of those "breakfast baked beans". Remember those? The recipe is in here.
One could really say these are vintage-like recipes. Even the book is laid out with a vintage-like theme.
Nibble on Sybil's Ginger Nut Biscuits during tea. Treat yourself to Ethel's Beloved Crepes Suzette. Feast on Mr. Bates' Chicken and Mushroom Pie with a room full of guests.
With this collection of delicacies inspired by Emmy Award winning series Downton Abbey, you'll feel as sophisticated and poised as the men and women of Downton when you prepare these upstairs and downstairs favorites. Each dish finds its roots within the kitchen of the grand estate, including:

Mrs. Isobel Crawley's Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches
Filet Mignon with Foie Gras and Truffle Sauce
Walnut and Celery Salad with Pecorino
Decadent Chocolate Almond Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Icing
Very Vanilla Rice Pudding

Fig & blue cheese tarts. Pg. 33

Butternut squash soup. Pg. 42

Tips for keeping your hormones in balance. (very helpful).

Curious. Do you believe (and practice) the health benefits of apple cider vinegar?

Superfoods for youthful skin. (they should have added blueberries!--the miracle fruit).

For those of you that love vintage recipes (I do).
You're sure to love this food blog: Kitchen Historic.

Craft junkies? Have you seen this new website: craftgawker.
Find a lot of inspiration here for your next crafting project.
Mine is sewing. I am determined to take up sewing. Knitting didn't go so well.

A wonderful piece in the New York Times about happy cows, happy farming,and healthy food.
How I wish we had more of these kinds of articles and more of these kinds of dedicated/caring farmers.

Mini moon pies. And one has mint! I'm in heaven.

Info-graphic: how women are being set up for eating disorders.

Coconut oil may help prevent tooth decay?

4 new tick-borne illnesses have been identified.

Buffalo "chicken" vegetarian style. You must see these!

How to manage the 7 most common sleep disorders.

10,000 unwanted books take over the streets of melbourne.

Intimate and revealing backstage photos of famous musicians.

Merguez hot dogs with pickled carrots & cumin aioli.

How do foods affect my sleep?

Before you tell yourself "I can't", watch this video.

Easy peasy ways to add more raw fruits & veggies to your diet. (you can easily do these).

It's going to be really hard to say goodbye to summer.


We had one heck of a beautiful (and hot) summer here on cape cod.

....really hard to say goodbye to summer.....

Have a great weekend everyone!


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