Spiced Pear Coffee Cake

I saw this recipe for an apple coffee cake on Melissa’s website, ThefauxMartha, a while back, and I promised myself that I was going to make this. I currently have a long list of recipes that I want to try, but since I write most of these lists by hand, I typically end up misplacing them. I have this awful habit where I will often grab anything to jot down a burst of inspiration, then I usually tuck in some “safe” place. At this point in my life I have found this bad habit of mine to be more humorous than anything else. For instance, just the other day I happened to pick up a cookbook that I haven’t touched in while and the second I opened it, out fell two of my missing/lost recipe lists! It was covered front to back with my horrible chicken-scratch writing, but legible enough for me to read about a dozen recipes that I wanted to make just a few months ago. As I was looking at my lists, I quietly mumbled, “well that’s where I put them”,  like I should have know better. Then I just shrugged my shoulders and carried on with my day. What am I doing?! I know, I know, I should really digitize all of this stuff, but I just love writing physical notes. There is something really special about having something handwritten, like old family recipes for instance. Those are seriously one of my favorite things to collect. For now, I guess I will just need to be a little more organized from here on out.

One of those notes that I recently rediscovered was actually a reminder to make this recipe. I am quite thankful I came across this when I did because this random note gave me the nudge I needed to finally make this coffee cake. It’s moist, sweet, and packed with fresh fruit. I love coffee cake, but add a little fruit in there and I will definitely cut myself a slice that is way too big for my plate. Melissa used fresh apples in her cake, but since I have been on a pear binge lately I thought I would use those instead. I only made a few changes to this already delicious recipe, the most notable of which is that I threw a ton of spices into it because I was really craving a spice cake.

This coffee cake is a classic recipe which I see myself using for years to come. Substitute the spices, and/or fruits inside and make this coffee cake your own. If you have apples on hand, head over to theFauxMartha to see her original recipe. I just absolutely love her blog, for not only is it beautiful, but her recipes are always spot on.


2 1/2 cups diced pears, divided, I used red bartlett

1 Stick Unsalted Butter, room temperature, plus more for pan

1 Cup All-purpose flour

1 Cup Spelt Flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Teaspoon table Salt

1 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg, freshly grated if available

1/4 Teaspoon allspice

1/2 Teaspoon Cardamom

1/4 Teaspoon Ground Pepper

1/2 Cup Sugar

1/2 Light Brown Sugar, packed

2 Large Eggs

1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1 Cup Sour Cream



4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, room temperature

1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour

1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar, packed

1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon 

Pinch of table salt

Powdered Sugar, for dusting

For the filling: Peel, core and dice pears. Place in a small bowl and set aside.

For the Streusel topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. With your fingers, rub butter into mixture until crumbly; set aside.

For the cake pre-heat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 9-inch tube pan and set aside. In a medium bowl add in both flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and all spices. Whisk these ingredients until very well combined; set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter, and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, then add eggs, one at a time. Once mixed, add in vanilla, beating to combine. Be sure to scrape down the sides as needed.

In three additions, alternate adding the flour and sour cream into the butter and egg mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. After the last addition of flour, beat mixture until just combined. Spoon about half of the batter into prepared tube pan. Scatter 2 cups of the diced pear over the top of the batter. Melissa recommends not placing any fruit against the pan’s edge as “they may stick or burn if not fully encased in batter.” Pour remaining batter over the top of the pears, smoothing the top with a spatula.

Before adding the streusel, add in remaining 1/2 cup of pears, tossing to combine. Sprinkle streusel evenly over the top of the batter. Place cake in oven and bake until golden, about 40-45 minutes. Once removed from oven, allow cake to properly cool before removing from pan. Use a a knife or an offset spatula to loosen the cake from tin. Use two spatulas to completely remove cake from pan, then gently transfer to cake platter or plate. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Cake can be stored at room temperature, covered, for up to 3- 4 days. Recipe Adapted from ThefauxMartha, who adapted from Martha Stewart