Joy the Baker

Pear Crumble Coffee Cake

November 3, 2013

Pear Crumble Coffee Cake

Have you ever put a pear in your purse?  It always starts with the best of intentions.  Mid-morning snack.  Afternoon fruit break.  Nope… it’s never going to be any of those.  It’s going to get bruised by your wallet and smashed up against some loose pens.  It never goes as well as you’d like it to.

Bad idea.

Better idea?  Pear in coffee cake.

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This coffee cake is tender, spiced with Fall, and pear-studded.  So much better than bruised and pen-stabbed, right!?

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Let’s melt our butter and get this show on the road.

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The flavors of brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg shine!  Buttermilk is our great tenderizer, whisked together with melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract.

Pretty simple!

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Pears are important.  I used Bartlett, but grab any pear that makes you happy.

It’s important that the pear be ripe, but not overly soft.  It’s best if they can hold their shape in the oven.

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Wet meets dry and pear chunks are stirred in.

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I like to layer a few pears on top of the batter.  This is a more-is-more situation.

Crumble topping!  Everything is better with crumble.  This topping is extra buttery and sweet.

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Be generous.

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Be kind.

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We just turned cake into breakfast.  It’s one of those easy things to do if you make a big pot of coffee and enjoy this cake before noon.  This cake is soft, sweet, and loaded with soft pear pieces.  It’s Fall.  This is totally one of those things you should just do.

Pear Crumble Coffee Cake

makes an 8×8-inch square pan

Print this Recipe!

For the Cake:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flours

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

2 large eggs

1 cup buttermilk

2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 small or 1 1/2 medium pears, ripe but still firm, unpeeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks

For the Crumble Topping:

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons granulated or brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into 1/4-inch cubes

Place rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease an 8×8-inch square.  Line with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spice.  Stir in the sugars until well combined.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together melted butter, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla extract.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently stir to incorporate.  Once the dry ingredients are almost fully incorporated, fold in the pears.  Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.

To make the crumble, in a small bowl combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and butter.  Use your fingers to break the butter down into the dry ingredients until crumbly.  Generously sprinkle topping on top of cake batter.

Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the cake comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. Cake will last for 3 days, wrapped well and stored in the refrigerator.


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