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Pear Crumble Cake

Pear Crumble Cake

  • Author: Sarah Marx Feldner
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings
  • Category: Coffee Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


For the Sauce:

  • 2 TB unsalted butter
  • 4 firm-ripe pears - peeled, cored and cut into bite-size chunks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the Crumble:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp fine-grain salt (like table or sea salt)
  • 1 stick plus 6 TB unsalted butter, room temperature (14 TB)

For the Cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp fine-grain salt (like table or sea salt)
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature (16 TB), plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups full-fat sour cream
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract


For the Sauce:

  1. In a frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter.
  2. Add in the cut pears, sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar melts, the pears start to soften and the sauce smells heavenly and is getting a little soupy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and let the sauce cool in the pan while preparing the rest of the cake.

For the Crumble:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and salt.
  2. Using your hands, rub in the softened butter until incorporated and clumps of the mixture start to form.
  3. Refrigerate the crumble until thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes.

For the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and parchment-line a 9x13 metal baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the 2 sticks of softened butter with the sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat in the sour cream and vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, lower the mixer speed to the slowest setting, and add in the dry ingredients just until fully incorporated.
  4. Scrap the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it into an even layer. Top the batter with the cooled pear sauce, spreading evenly. Cover with the crumble topping.
  5. Bake for about 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the crumble topping is browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for a good hour before enjoying.


  • You can start preheating the oven and assembling the ingredients for the cake part of the recipe while the Crumble is chilling.
  • The tried-and-true toothpick test is a little tricky with this cake, as the Crumble is so thick and the Pear Sauce will always make the cake seem a little "wet." I still use a toothpick, but it also helps to rely on your senses a bit more with this recipe to avoid an over-baked (i.e. dry) cake. The cake is done when it feels firm when lightly pressed in the center and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  • As with many fruit cakes, I think this tastes even better the next day. I like to make the cake in the evening, and then serve it the next day, letting all the juices and flavors mingle together overnight.
  • Recipe adapted from the January 2014 issue of Food and Wine magazine.

Keywords: Food and Wine, Sour Cream Cake, Coffee Cake, Pears, Fall Baking, Brunch Recipes