A stunning Pear Cake topped with a cream cheese layer, pretty sliced fresh pears, and a cinnamon streusel crumble. A perfect fall baking recipe, this pear coffee cake is guaranteed to please.
This recipe is perfect as a breakfast treat to share with family this fall, for an afternoon pick-me-up, or a stunning dessert to serve to guests.
It seems like there are so many apple dessert recipes out there. But what about the other seasonal fall fruit? Pears are excellent for baking! And this pear cake recipe proves it. The fruit turns soft and caramelized as it bakes, paired with a not-to-sweet, super moist cake.
How to Make Pear Cake
This cake is beautiful to look at. The top is decorated with whole pear slices over layers of tender cake and creamy, tangy cream cheese filling.
There are several steps to make this pear cake, but they’re all easy. I’ve found that the best order of tasks to make this recipe are as follows:
- Make the streusel topping.
- Make the cinnamon sugar topping.
- Peel, halve, core, de-stem and slice the pears for the top of the cake, taking care to hold the pear’s natural shape.
- Dice a pear half for the cake batter.
- Grease and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Prepare the cake batter and spread into the pan.
- Make the cream cheese filling and pour over the cake batter in the pan.
- Arrange the sliced pears on top.
- Sprinkle with streusel, in between the pears.
- Sprinkle the cake with cinnamon sugar and bake!
Assembling the Sliced Pear Topping
The sliced pears on top make this cake elegant. But it’s much easier than it looks to put together the beautiful sliced pear arrangement. First, peel and halve two pears. Use a teaspoon to remove the core and slice the stem off with a knife.
Place the pear halves cut side down on a cutting board. Hold the fruit together while you slice ¼ inch vertical slices. Then, to transfer the pears to the cake, slide a long thin knife under each pear half. Hold the pears in place as you transfer them onto the cream cheese filling.
Place the fruit with the thicker ends towards the edge of the pan and the stem end towards the center of the coffee cake.
Here are a few helpful tips to make this pear coffee cake come together seamlessly:
- Be sure to grease and flour your springform pan thoroughly for easy release.
- For easy maneuvering, place the cake pan on a baking sheet. This also protects your oven from any pear juices that bubble over the pan during baking.
- Use room temperature cream cheese for a smooth and creamy filling.
- Use cold butter for the streusel topping for a more crumbly texture.
- If you sprinkle your streusel over the pears, note that you won’t have as nice a view of the sliced fruit after baking. Tuck the streusel topping in between the pears. But don’t skimp on adding cinnamon sugar directly to the fruit; this only enhances their golden color and sweetness.
What Kind of Pears are Best?
Use firm but ripe pears for your pear cake. I usually use Bartlett pears for baking. They hold up well and have a nice shape to decorate the top of the cake. A ripe Bartlett pear will have some reddish color.
If you can’t find ripe pears, it’s not hard to ripen them at home. Food Network has some good tips on how to ripen pears for baking.
Serving & Storing
It’s important to let the pear cake cool for 30 to 45 minutes in the pan before serving. The sides of the cake should pull away from the pan as it cools. Before unmolding, run a knife around the outer edge to make sure nothing sticks.
Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to three days.
To serve leftovers, you can warm slices in 10 second increments in the microwave.
More Coffee Cake Recipes
If you fall in love with this pear cake, try one of these awesome breakfast recipes next:
- Apple Crisp Sweet Roll Coffee Cake features pear’s good friend, caramelized apples, in an icing-drizzled coffee cake.
- Pumpkin Sour Cream Streusel Coffee Cake includes creamy pumpkin and a crumbly crust of homemade brown sugar streusel.
- Cranberry Orange Meringue Coffee Cake is a unique twist that’s unexpected but gorgeous, with a melt-in-your-mouth brioche dough braided like a wreath.
- Eggnog Cake from Two Peas & Their Pod is the perfectly sweet way to transition into holiday baking.
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoons cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons butter chilled
- ¼ walnuts chopped
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 ripe pears – should be ripe but firm not mushy (½ of one pear will be used for dicing, the remaining halves will be placed on top of coffee cake)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoons salt
- ¼ cup butter room temperature
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 large egg room temperature
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup peeled and diced pear
CREAM CHEESE LAYER:
- 8 oz package cream cheese room temperature
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour one 9 inch springform pan.
- Prepare Streusel Topping: Combine flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl. Add butter and use a fork or pastry cutter to blend in butter until mixture resembles wet sand. Stir in nuts.
- Prepare Cinnamon Sugar: Combine all ingredients and mix in a small bowl.
- Prepare Cream Cheese Filling; In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add egg, flour, and vanilla and mix just until blended.
- Peel, cut in half, core, and de-stem the pears.
- Dice one half of one pear for the cake batter.
- Lay remaining halved pears cut side down on a cutting board. Slice each pear half in slices from top to bottom (refer to picture in post if needed).
- Cover pears with plastic wrap until ready to use to prevent browning.
- Place flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- With mixer on low speed add in the egg and sour cream. Add vanilla and mix on medium speed until blended. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
- With mixer on low speed add in flour mixture, mix just until blended.
- Stir in diced pears.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Batter is thick, use an offset spatula to spread out in pan, making sure to spread batter all the way to edges of pan.
- Pour cream cheese filling on top of cake.
- Using a knife, slide it under the sliced pear halves and gently place them on top of the cream cheese filling one by one. Make sure to place the thicker end of the pear towards the edge of the pan and the skinnier part towards the center of the pan. NOTE: Pears may slightly sink into cream cheese filling, this is fine.
- Sprinkle streusel between the pears and in the center of the cake. NOTE: It’s okay if a little of the streusel covers the pears.
- Sprinkle top of the cake with cinnamon sugar making sure to coat pears generously.
- Place springform pan on a cookie sheet for baking.
- Bake 60 min to 65 min. The center should not be jiggly, baked cream cheese filling will bounce back when gently pressed on.
- Let cool 30-45 minutes, edges of the cake should release from the sides of the pan as it cools. To be safe run a knife around the edge of the pan before removing the cake from the pan.
- Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.