Make Ahead

Easy and fabulous coffee cake

November 20, 2010
Author Notes

In case any one doesn't already have a standby coffee cake for holiday brunches this is my personal favorite. My senior year college housemate and I first made it one lazy weekend from an old cookbook that was left in the house. We liked it so much that as soon as it was gone, we made another! We continued to make it frequently, adapting it to our various moods, and this is the end result. It is highly adaptable to using all varieties of fruit, but I just love pears at this time of year, so that's what I use. The cake is moist but not too dense, and the crumble topping melts into a caramelly, crunchy top crust. —fiveandspice

  • Makes 1 9x13 inch cake
Ingredients
  • 2 large pears, ripe but still firm
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk (buttermilk woul also be good)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar (the kind of medium dark variety)
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and allowed to cool
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Peel, core, and slice the pears into thin slices.
  2. Combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix the milk, egg, and oil right in and stir just until the ingredients are all combined.
  3. Spread the batter into a greased 9X13 in. baking pan, then lay the pear slices in rows on top of the batter.
  4. In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and cardamom. Sprinkle this all over the top of the cake. Then sprinkle with the chopped nuts. Pop into the oven and bake for 45 minutes, until a tester comes out clean. Serve warm, or allow to cool completely before serving.

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  • Karen
    Karen
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    Ilex
Review
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.