Pumpkin Coffee Cake + Lake Powell Trip #3

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I’m back in the groove. I just got back to Colorado from my third annual trip to Lake Powell and after letting the post vacation blues work its way out of my body, I’m back to a happy mood. It’s so hard coming back to reality, especially when you’re on a vacation that includes no cell reception. Life is more fun sometimes without knowing what the whole world is doing. Or having to see the comments left on social media by the trolls of the world. The last two trips I went on were with a group of about 20 people, this time it was just 6. We had 8 going on the trip but then one of the guys had to go on and tear his achilles tendon right before left. Thanks a lot, guy.

The first year I went to Lake Powell, I absolutely fell in LOVE. It instantly became the place I loved the most. I’m not one for sight seeing, but the beauty of the canyons there are out of control. And when you wake up in the morning, the water is so still that it looks like a mirror. It’s just awesome. But the second year I went, it rained the whole time. And it was freezing. The only sun I got was on the last day taking in our house boat. And that sun led to a lululemon wunder under burn on my shins. Not as sexy as you may think. But this year Lake Powell redeemed itself. We had 3 days of perfect sunshine but it was still cool enough night that you weren’t miserable while sleeping on the houseboat.

Let’s go over the deets of this trip. So this time around, we went North through Lake Powell since we’ve always gone South. Both directions are completely different so it was fun to see a different side of the lake. South is much more wide open so once we parked our houseboat, we were able to go right out to an open part of the lake instead of through little channels. And since there were only 6 of us on the wake board boat, we all got to wakeboard and/or surf A LOT. Here’s the thing about wakeboarding, it’s not fun unless you’re good at it and have no second thoughts about trying a trick. I am not good and I question everything at least 6 times before doing it, so I am not a good wakeboarder. So this year I decided to not even set on a wakeboard and just stick with surfing. If you’ve never surfed behind a boat before, you have to. It’s so much more fun and you can be drunk while doing it without hurting yourself. It’s magical. And in no time flat, I was learning to surf without the help of the rope. It was SO fun. Seriously so fun.

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obviously not me. i use my brain.

After a while of surfing and wakeboarding and getting pulled over by patrol, what else was there to do? Surf each other. Duh.

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It obviously worked well.

Then, since we didn’t hurt enough from everything else, we decided to tube. Tubing is by far one of my favorite things ever. You feel like a kid again. You sometimes pee yourself because you lose all body control, you can’t stop giggling, and you fly through the water like you weigh 12 pounds. It’s invigorating. Until you fly off and your body gets whipped around like a rag doll on acid. You get my visual? Good. The boyfriend became so much like a child, at one point he was whipping his arms around like a Britney Spears backup dancer in ‘hit me baby one more time’ music video. I ended up with a fat lip. I didn’t ride with him again after that.


One of the days we decided to pack up all of our drinks and a ton of food and just cruise on the boat up the canyon and see where it took us. We got like 15 miles through and then the water was too low. Lame. Our excitement diminished quickly. So we headed the other way to explore other stuff since we were buzzed and ready to do something with our lives.

Then we found this rock. Doesn’t it look like a person? Or a god? Or a buddha? The answer is yes, yes it does Juli. We named him something but I already forgot. C something.

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Can you see the tiny people up there? Crazy. We found a beer can that was crazy old. Super exciting huh? So exciting.

Something that was very different about this trip was the food. When you have 20 people eating, the food is pretty simple. Burgers, brats, hot dogs. Nothing exciting or that good. But when it’s just 6 and everyone is helping out with cooking and cleaning, the food is goooood. I didn’t get many pictures, but here are what our meals looked like:


  • breakfast tacos with corn tortillas (eggs, sausage, avocado, peppers, hot sauce)
  • scramble with eggs, bacon and avocado along with fruitIMG_9550 IMG_9498


  • all the guys were too drunk for lunch, so we just snacked on lunch meat


  • on the first night we did a shrimp boil with shrimp, hot sausage, potatoes, corn and peppers
  • on the second night we did fajitas with chicken and all kinds of peppers and onions
  • on the third night we did rib eye steaks with asparagus
  • on the fourth night we did blue cheese burgers with bacon and corn along with some corn


Every night after dinner, we had an after-dinner-drink contest. Two people would put their heads together to come up with a special drink for everyone. The first night was a drink with whiskey, sage, and muddled blackberries. The second night (ours) was a spin on a margarita, then the last night was a s’mores cocktail. Nobody won because everyone was too nice. I was the only person who voted for my own. What an only child. But look how sweet the s’mores drink was:


As for alcohol, this trip was the least I’ve ever drank on a trip. I’ve never been a huge drink, just had my drunk moments. That makes no sense, does it? In my head it does. Anywho, as I get older, I’ll have one or two drinks, but then I’m not thirsty anymore. And in my head, that’s the reason I drink anything. If I’m not thirsty, I don’t want it. The only thing I really enjoy drinking is Hendrick’s gin with some tonic and lime and champagne. The other drink that I just recently tried and wish I had more of on my trip was Bon Affair wine spritzer. Mostly because it doesn’t taste like wine. But after we were out of those two drinks, nothing ever sounded good. So I drank A LOT of water.


This was by far my healthiest trip to Powell. I think I came back thinner because I wasn’t spending my days eating in the kitchen all day long. Obviously that went away within 2 days of being back. Especially since it’s pumpkin season and that’s all I’m craving. What else should I make with pumpkin this year? I need some ideas! Especially since I only have this weekend before I leave out of town for some business! Help me out! Let’s feed the sh*t out of you!


Pumpkin Coffee Cake

  • Yield: 8 1x



For the bread

For the toppings

  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) grass fed butter, at room temperature (or coconut oil)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Maple Glaze

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan and cut a piece of parchment paper to fit inside the pan (for easy clean up and to help remove the bread from pan).
  2. Place almond butter, pumpkin, banana, maple syrup, eggs pumpkin pie spice, coconut flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a food processor and puree until smooth. Wipe down sides of food processor if needed and puree once more.
  3. Pour mixture into bread pan and smooth out.
  4. In a small bowl, add butter, coconut sugar, almond flour, pumpkin pie spice, and walnuts. Use your hands to mix the toppings together until combined.
  5. Place chunks of the toppings all around the top of the pumpkin bread mixture.
  6. Bake in oven for 1 hour.
  7. Mix together coconut milk, coconut sugar, and maple syrup. I heated mine up in the microwave but feel free to heat over a stove top.
  8. Pour glaze over cooled pumpkin bread!

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PaleOMG Pumpkin Coffee Cake

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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.


60 thoughts on “Pumpkin Coffee Cake + Lake Powell Trip #3”

  1. I am sure I can speak for everyone when I say that I’m soooo glad you’re back. My daily routine of trying to stifle laughter at my desk while reading your blog was sadly interrupted. Seriously, though, glad you had a good time at Lake Powell, and this looks delish!

  2. What pumpkin pureedo you use?
    P. S. Love everything about you thank you for being an amazing person, writter, blogger, and cook! (:

      1. This was fantastic! My mom made a non paleo pumpkin bread, which i cannt eat, so I made this and it hit the spot! (: 5 out of 5!

  3. So I was so excited by the recipe mine is baking in the oven right now! One note in the instructions of the bread you left out the eggs, since they were in the ingredient list I added them I hope that’s right!

  4. Can’t wait to make this because PUMPKIN 4EVA AMIRITE. I still need to make your gingerbread snap pumpkin sandwich things.

    My suggestion for pumpkin recipe goodness: pumpkin cake! Or cupcakes. Just something in some cake-like form. And I mean like, pure unadulterated pumpkin cake goodness.

    That said I was looking through your pumpkin archives to see what you haven’t made, pumpkin-wise, and damn…I have some catching up to do. Good thing I hoard pumpkin puree.

  5. This is going to sound weird, but could you make a version of the sweet potato patty-cake things but with pumpkin and make some kind of “PB&J” out of it? Or some kind of bacon sandwich? I’m a huge fan of making weird sandwiches out of your sweet potato patties.

  6. I vote for a savory pumpkin recipe of some kind. Maybe mashed pumpkin with roasted garlic and sage? Pumpkin chili? I’m sure you could come up with something awesome.

    This coffee cake looks like it will be perfect eating for football this Sunday 🙂

  7. Can’t wait to try this! Could you make a pumpkin soup like Tom yum or pumpkin seafood soup? I make curried pumpkin soup with a chicken stock base and want ideas for spicing it up a little.

    Of all my paleo cookbooks (I just started paleo and bought oodles of books) yours is my fav. You spice things well (layered richness like I like) and your baked goods are the perfect moistness and texture and don’t crumble.

    I have a question for you. I just do elliptical for aerobic exercise, and want to try cross fit. Do you have a good beginner video you would recommend – something where I would not have to buy a lot of gear just to try it out? I am 50 and not in fantastic shape as far as aerobics, but could walk all day and lift heavy loads around the garden all day.

    So happy you had a great vacation! You look wonderful, BTW!

  8. Loved seeing Lake Powell photos, spent many weeks on Hite and Bullfrog marinas while raising our kids, moved to Arizona and now on the Page side, we don’t go to Lake Powell anymore but our kids are like you and have really fond memories of skiing, jet skis and etc. All my memories are………how damn hot it was. Just kidding we had lots of fun trips there. Joan

  9. Is this basically a pumpkin spin on that really excellent banana bread coffee cake recipe? That is my husband’s absolute favorite thing I make and my go-to when I feel like bringing a treat to family gatherings. I even entered it into a baking contest! I can’t wait to try this pumpkin version.

  10. Years ago my boyfriend and I were out visiting some friends in Arizona near the Colorado border, and they took us tubing on the Snake River. It was really cool and really fun, except for the part when they told us that those holes we kept seeing on the river bank were rattlesnake holes. Eww!

  11. Hi! In your ingredient list you have 1/4c of Maple Syrup listed, and in the directions of what to combine, Honey is written instead of the syrup. Will either work?

  12. Thanks Juli! My bread is baking away in the oven and smells delicious!
    Question: ingredient list for the bread says “maple syrup” and the recipe says “honey”. I went with maple syrup….

  13. Hello I just made this pumpkin coffee cake!!! It it just the best, I am new to the paleo eating, and just love your recipes!!! I used the maple syrup instead of honey and so delish!
    Love your vacation pics as well thanks again

  14. This recipe looks great! I’ve also missed seeing your recipes, but I totally understand when you need a break.

    I’ve read all of the comments and am somewhat surprised that no one asked about the s’mores drink. What is in that drink?!?!? I love s’mores!! And that drink looks great. I will be making the coffee cake tomorrow. Tomorrow is my youngest sons 17th birthday. He went with me to your book signing in Austin. I think he now has a small crush on you…oh to be a teenager! He said he had to be in the picture I took with you and George so he could be next to the hot woman….

    1. i honestly don’t know since i didn’t make it, but i’m sure you could google it. i know it had bacardi 151 on top to make it light on fire and you make the rim with graham cracker and marshmallow fluff. tell your son hi!!!

  15. Is there a good substitute for coconut sugar? Would honey work in the topping? I want to make this today and don’t want to wait to order it! Thanks!

  16. Made this today and it’s almost gone, my family loves it!!! I love all your recipes & Paleo Kitchen cookbook! Thanks for sharing your passion for food with us!

  17. Julie I love your recipes! I substitute almond flour for the almond butter and made cupcakes (baked for 25 min) they came out amazing!

  18. First off, LOVE your blog, your love of food (both paleo and non), and your love of fitness with style. Also, you are absolutely hysterical.

    Now to my question: Do you think I could make this as muffins? I have a bridal shower this weekend that I volunteered to make muffins for and I think this would be perfect as one of my three options.

  19. Just popped the loaf in the oven. My kitchen smells AWESOME! For the toppings I skipped the nuts and put the mix in a ziplock snack bag. I snipped the corner and put the toppings on “pastry chef” style. It covered every square inch of the top. Can’t wait!!!

  20. Your description of tubing while waving arms like a Britney Spears backup dancer made me do a spit-take with my LaCroix. My work laptop is ruined but worth it. The way you write cracks me up!

  21. Thanks for this recipe (and all your recipes!) I’m baking it in the oven right now and it’s making the house smell delicious. Quick q- if we’re not planning on eating it right away (breakfast throughout the week) is it still ok to put on the maple glaze once it cools? I wasn’t sure it it would make it soggy. Thanks again!

  22. I LOVE anything pumpkin – can’t wait to try this! But what I love even more – is you sharing your boating adventures! I didn’t make it to a lake this summer – so I lived vicariously through you!

  23. This sounds delicious! However, we have tree nut and peanut allergies in our house. Could I substitute the almond flour with coconut flour and the almond butter with either coconut oil, coconut spread, or regular, grass-fed butter?

    1. coconut flour and almond flour are completely different and don’t work 1:1, so even though you may be able to, it won’t be exactly the same. i haven’t tried it other ways

  24. Oh.My.God! This is the first time I’ve “stumbled” on your page and I literally cannot stop laughing! You are freakin’ hilarious! Thank you for all the food and fashion tips and giving me a great ab workout with all the laughing! Have a great weekend!

  25. Hey girl, is there anything I can sub the banana with? I don’t know why, but baking with bananas just isn’t my favorite, maybe apple sauce? What do you think?

  26. I made this for the first this morning and all I keep saying is “holy crap, holy crap, that is GOOD”. Have started following paleo diet two weeks ago, and doing great but needed this pickme up, Love your site, just found you. Thank you!!!

  27. Juli, Juli, Juli…I found your website a yr or so ago and always my go to for a nice clean recipe. I have done a few of your baked treats and some savory ones. People are always amazed when I tell them the ingredients. I’m planning on doing this one for our ‘Save the TaTa’s’ Bake sale Friday. I’m not a ‘true’ Paleo eater, but I do choose most of good clean food. Thank you bunches for your service. I appreciate you and all you do! Amazing woman you are! I’m rating this on pure principal 🙂 (i’m sure it’s going to be awesome)

  28. Hi Juli! Thanks for your great recipes! I made this cake the other night and really liked it. The only drawback for me was the glaze — mine soaked right into the cake (leaving it soggy/spongey) and it didn’t leave a “glaze”-like finish on top of the cake.Is that how the glaze was supposed to be?

  29. 5 STARS! This was SO YUMMY. I’ve made it twice in the past week…had to show it off to some of my family. Had a slice of it for breakfast this morning without the glaze…still delish. So thankful I found your site! ~A

  30. Made this today in the form of muffins (I baked them for 20 minutes instead of an hour for the loaf). I wanted to share some (not all) as a hostess gift. And I froze the rest (minus the two my son and I ate). OMG! They are FREAKIN’ amazing!!! Thank you so much for your recipes!!

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