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.


  1. love this snack cake! I have a pumpkin recipe in about...6 hours. And I have been on SUCH a kick with it! Love this cake and that it doesn't make a boatload & the Via in it, too!

  2. I do not like too much spice either- this sounds just perfect. Love the via addition

  3. This looks fantastic. Love the idea of a little hit of espresso - sounds fantastic!

  4. I'm finally hopping aboard the pumpkin wagon (I know, I know) and this looks delicious. I have to give it a try!

  5. Oooooh! I bet the VIA makes this incredible!


  6. Love walnuts in cakes! Looks delicious!

  7. This pumpkin cake sounds like a great way to enjoy some pumpkin!

  8. Bookmarked! My kids would really dig this and so would I!

  9. I don't really prefer any of Starbucks sweets/desserts. But I do love their drinks and always try to recreate them at home!

  10. And gorgeous! No eggs? No kiddin'.

    1. Hi Colette-
      there are eggs in there; its in the recipe.

  11. and have you seen the calorie count that they are now posting????? yours sounds and looks much better both in terms of taste - the most important ascpect of course :) - and for your well being in general.

  12. This looks amazing!!! And who would have thought to add Starbucks to a recipe like this one. Great idea! Definitely trying this asap!

  13. I kind of like that the berry coffee cake is slightly underbaked, but that is the only thing I ever order there. I love re-making their stuff. Did that with the vanilla scones a couple of years ago. Looks good, sweetums.

  14. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMM,...what a beautiful & very appetizing walnut & pimpkin spiced cake!
    Looks very mouthwatering too!

    Who wouldn't love a big piece of this stunning cake?????

  15. Ha! I'm still laughing that you bring your own cake to Starbucks. That's such a good idea! I should have thought of that...

    Awesome pumpkin cake!

  16. Never tried a pumpkin cake. But it sounds very good.

  17. that looks terrifically moist! sour cream in baked goods is the way to go.

  18. Are you sitting down? I've never set foot in a Starbucks. Of course, I don't drink coffee, so I have an excuse. No matter what they have in the food department, it could never compare to this cake. (Do they get annoyed when you bring your own food?)

  19. This looks soooo good! Do you think it would taste ok with kabocha? I have a ton of kabocha I need to use up.

  20. this looks absolutely phenomenal- and look at you, lightening it up a bit! :)

  21. I was thinking a lot regarding this topic, so thanks for bringing it up here. You certainly have a good writing style i like, so will be subscribing to your blog.


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