Chocolaty, nutty, streusel, or swirled - why choose one when you can have them all? The base recipe makes three different Pumpkin Mini Loaf Cakes. Fold in your favorite add-in and top them with crumbles, crunchies, or creamy finishes.
This recipe is great for curing all different types of cravings. My kids will always pick chocolate chip while I love streusel on just about everything. Some things just aren’t meant to be shared. So go ahead - dive into your own personal mini cake!
This post was created in collaboration with Silpat. Recipes, words, and opinions are my own.
Pumpkin Mini Loaf Cakes
Moist, comforting, festive, and perfect morning, noon, and night - a really great pumpkin loaf is hard to beat. I love a slice with coffee in the morning or slathered in cream cheesing icing after the kids have gone to bed. It’s the perfect snacking cake for sneaking sliver after sliver until only the crumbs are left.
What I love about baking a great pumpkin cake in mini loaf pans is that instead of having to share a large loaf, everyone gets their own. Who doesn’t love their own personalized little cake? Using my Silpat Mini Loaf Mold makes the whole process such a breeze too - no need to grease or flour all the little pans and they pop out so easily!
Want to know what makes mini loaf cakes even better? They are perfect for gifting! With options for different add-ins and toppings that all utilize the same batter, you can customize these mini cakes according to each person’s taste. Wrap ‘em up this season to give to your neighbors, nurses, and community members.
Ingredients in Pumpkin Mini Loaf Cakes
This stir-together recipes comes together easily with mostly pantry ingredients (assuming you stock pumpkin in your home all season long, like I do).
Spices: Warm spices boost the festive spirit of pumpkin in fall baking. I love to blend my own using cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. You can also use pumpkin pie spice that is already mixed for you.
Sugars: Both white and brown sugar add sweetness and help tenderize these little loaves. Brown sugar gives them more depth in flavor.
Flour: All-purpose flour is the way to go in a simple, moist pumpkin loaf.
Eggs: An additional egg yolk adds richness without weighing the cake down while the full egg unlocks proteins for building structure.
Pumpkin: Of course we need pumpkin in our pumpkin mini loaf cakes! Use canned (see below) or puree your own!
Butter: Melted butter works the same way as oil in this stir-together recipe but with all the added flavor.
Milk: Use whole milk, when possible, to bring the batter together. Thinned sour cream or even plain Greek yogurt could work too.
Optional Add-ins: Chocolate chips, toasted pecans/walnuts or chopped hazelnuts.
What I love about using my Silpat Mini Loaf Pan is that I can use the same batter as a standard loaf cake but split it into different flavors. Can’t decide between wholesome nuts or decadent chocolate? Love cream cheese icing but also the oaty, sugar bits in a crumb topping? Now you can make them all!
Let’s break it down into two parts: the add-ins and the toppings. Add-ins are the bits of goodness that are folded into the finished batter. I am always down for added chocolate chips, but these may also include toasted nuts and seeds as well. Dried fruit are examples of an add-in, but probably not for this recipe.
Toppings may be added before or after baking. For a crunchy, sugary crumble top, cover the top of raw batter in streusel. You can even mix and match here - like pecans in the batter and a oaty streusel topping, yum!
For further customizations, let’s look a icing and glazes. These are easily prepared while the cakes bake and are drizzled or frosted onto the cooled cakes. I took it a step further and swirled some caramel sauce on top of the cream cheese icing.
How to Make Pumpkin Cake
The base recipe comes together in just two bowls. Since we use melted butter, there is no need to cream it together with the sugar. To make the different flavors, divide the finished batter into three bowls and gently fold in the chocolate chips and nuts.
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Stir together the melted butter, eggs, milk, and pumpkin in a separate bowl.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients together and mix until smooth.
Divide the batter into three different bowls. Use a kitchen scale, if you’d like.
With a rubber spatula, gently fold in the chocolate chips and nuts into two of the bowls.
Make the streusel.
Fill the Mini Loaf Mold with the different batters, about ¾ of the way full. Cover the plain cakes with streusel.
Meanwhile, prepare the icing and glaze.
Frost and serve!
Pumpkin Mini Loaf Cakes
makes 9 mini cakes
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
⅔ cup granulated white sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
⅛ teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons milk
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
⅓ cup chocolate chips
⅓ cup chopped pecans
For the streusel
¼ cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced and cold
For the vanilla glaze
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
For the cream cheese icing
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons milk
caramel sauce, optional
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place mini loaf pan on top of a baking sheet and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
In a separate bowl, stir together the pumpkin puree, melted butter, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Add the egg and egg yolk and mix until combined.
Add the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until combined with a large rubber spatula.
Evenly divide the batter into three bowls (use a kitchen scale for accuracy). To two of the bowl, fold in the chocolate chips and pecans until evenly distributed.
In a small bowl, mix together the oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon for the streusel. Add the cold butter and cut it into the butter with your fingertips or the tines of a fork until the mixture resembles shaggy clumps.
Fill mini loaf pans with the batter - 3 plain, 3 chocolate chip, and 3 pecan. Fill the pans about ¾ of the way full and smooth out the tops with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Top the plain batter with the streusel topping until completely covered.
Bake for 23 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Allow the mini cakes to cool in the Silpat mold for about 20 minutes before removing the cakes. Cool completely before frosting.
Before serving, make the vanilla glaze and cream cheese frosting. For the glaze, whisk everything together in a small bowl until smooth. Add more milk as needed. The glaze should be thick enough to cling to the streusel topping but thin enough to be drizzled off a spoon.
Because it is such a small amount, it is best to make the cream cheese frosting with a hand mixer instead of a stand mixer (a wooden spoon also works!). Mix together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and mix on low to combine. Add the milk and mix on medium-low until fluffy.
Frost the pecan cakes with the cream cheese frosting. If using, drizzle on the caramel sauce then gently swirl together with the back of a spoon.