Make Ahead

Easy and fabulous coffee cake

November 20, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Makes 1 9X13 inch cake
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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Karen
  • CarrieCooks
  • fiveandspice
  • Ilex

5 Reviews

Karen October 17, 2016
Made this with sliced apples instead of pears, it was amazing. Next time I will use more pecans, and maybe some flour in the topping to make it more streusel-like, but this time followed the recipe exactly and it was a huge hit with my guests. Definitely a keeper, and very adaptable! Thank you!
Ilex March 6, 2012
I made this with some variations- blueberries and walnuts, and I added 2/3 cup flour to the topping to make a streusel topping. It was great. I like that the cake part doesn't have butter, keeps it more frugal.
fiveandspice March 7, 2012
Sounds wonderful! I'm so glad you liked it!
CarrieCooks January 6, 2012
Just made this for the kids, substituted whole wheat flour and sliced bananas (no fresh pears). Lets just say, it didn't last longer than ice cream in the sahara! Quick, delicious, very much appreciated.
fiveandspice January 7, 2012
That's awesome! I'm so happy to hear you all devoured it! I love the idea of using bananas. I have absolutely never tried that, but it sounds completely delicious, and now I think I definitely shall!