Fall is here! This Pumpkin coffee cake has a swirl of chai and crunchy toasty semolina-walnut streusel on top. Great for breakfast or dessert!
I know y’all hate it when bloggers ramble on about stuff unrelated to the recipe, so I won’t take up too much of your time—mostly because I haven’t had a second yet to really think and reflect on the past few weeks. I only cried once, which is very unusual for me, so something tells me that I’m bottling up a lot of thoughts and at some point, they all gonna come out (great ready Orlando, lol).
One thing I have been experiencing to its fullest right now is FALL. It’s a real ass season! It’s dumb to revel in that because obviously the rest of the country knows this, but yo, in California, where I’ve lived for 99% of my life, we don’t get seasons. And now I’m actually living in fall for the first time and it’s NICE. When I’m not wheezing while trying to run at 10k feet elevation (truly, how does anyone run up here), I’m taking photos of every GD yellow and orange tree I can find. It’s pretty magical.
I’ve managed to sneak in a few pastry tools for our 4-month road trip, so I made this pumpkin chai coffee cake as my inaugural dessert after leaving SF. I’m way out of my comfort zone—only a handful of my tools, foreign oven, and we’re at altitude which changes baking composition. But this coffee cake turned out great! Look at me, baking things without being snobby about needing all my tools!?! (Ok, real talk I still need them, but I’m doing my best!)
There are million things you can research about baking at altitude, but the main one is this: things take longer to cook, and baked goods can lose their structure by staying in the oven so long. I countered that by using some semolina flour in this cake. Semolina is a very sturdy flour, high in protein and gluten (yum). A small amount adds body to the cake, and an all-semolina streusel adds extra crunch to contrast with the soft and fluffy cake. The recipe below is written for non-altitude bakers, which I know is most of you!
And y’all KNOW I brought that chai with me on our road trip. I’m obsessed with ClevrBlends, wihich makes a chai “super latte” that’s the best instant chai I’ve ever had. You can always make your own chai spice mix too; hint: it uses cardamom.
TLDR: Fall is fun. Pumpkin is yum. Will cry soon.