Spiced Pear and Cranberry Coffee Cake with a Brown Sugar Crumb Topping

This wintery spiced pear and cranberry coffee cake is so tasty!  Perfect for a snack or gathering.

Sometimes our advanced technology is great.  Sometimes it is not as great.

For instance: do have someone in your life who is terrible by e-mail?  That person who frantically writes up an e-mail and hits send without reading it over?  That person who comes across as extremely rude, blunt, and bossy?  Maybe they are a little crazy with the exclamation points and CAPS!!!

If we were living in the early 90’s, maybe you’d have to communicate by phone, where they could explain themselves a little more gently.  Or even better, in a letter, where their words would be carefully chosen and proof-read.

Let’s just say that I am afraid to check my e-mail these days, and that I need to grow thicker skin.  I’ll be alright though, because I have a huge chunk of this coffee cake to ease my pain!

Spiced Pear and Cranberry Coffee Cake with a Brown Sugar Crumb Topping

Spiced Pear and Cranberry Coffee Cake with a Brown Sugar Crumb Topping

What is there not to love about coffee cake?  Its soft, moist texture…that thick crumb topping…the fact that it goes hand in hand with coffee…

There is no doubt about it, coffee cake is at the top of my list when it comes to sweets.  Actually, part of the reason I like it so much is the fact that it is not overly sweet.  Just enough to satisfy my sweet tooth, but not over the top.

This pear and cranberry coffee cake is inspired by a cake that my mom made when I was younger.  It was packed with cranberries and had the most unbelievable brown sugary crumb topping.  I can remember sneaking into the cupboard for ‘just one more sliver’ on more than one occasion!

Spiced Pear and Cranberry Coffee Cake with a Brown Sugar Crumb Topping

I originally wanted this pear and cranberry coffee cake to be in a bundt pan like my mom’s cake, however I found that my recipe was a bit too soft to come out of the bundt pan properly, so I ended up baking it in a 9X9 inch pan.

I used the same base recipe as I did for my Rhubarb Coffee Cake with a Nutmeg & Pecan Streusel, and added some ground ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, pears and cranberries.  The resulting cake is so.  moist.  I love the sweet pears and tart cranberries, and the ever-so-slight sourness that the buttermilk lends to the cake.  The ginger, which was also added to the crumb topping, is present, but not overpowering.

All together, this cake screams ‘winter’!

And happily, erased all my bad e-mail feelings.

More desserts for us!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Spiced Pear and Cranberry Coffee Cake
Recipe type: Dessert
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour {187g fluffed spooned & levelled}
  • 2½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted {75g}
  • ¾ cup brown sugar {165g}
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 large pear, peeled and diced into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
Crumb Topping
  • ½ cup brown sugar {110g}
  • ½ cup all purpose flour {63g}
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ cup butter, cold and cut into small cubes {56g}
Glaze {optional}
  • 1 cup powdered sugar {125 g}
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp milk
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Line a 9X9 inch baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. In a separate large bowl, combine the melted butter and sugar. Once the butter has cooled, add the egg and vanilla. Finally, mix in the buttermilk until smooth.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until no lumps remain. Batter will be very thick. Fold in the pear.
  5. Scrape batter into the parchment-lined baking pan. You will need to spread it into the corners using a spatula.
  6. Scatter the top of the cake with the fresh cranberries, then the crumb topping {instructions below}.
  7. Bake at 375°F for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Crumb Topping
  1. Mix together the brown sugar, flour and ginger. Using a pastry tool or food processor, add the butter and cut into the mixture until it is coarse and crumbly.
Glaze {optional}
  1. Using a hand-held mixer, combine all ingredients. Add more milk if desired. Drizzle over cooled cake.
Cake can be stored in a sealed container for 3 days.

Products used in this recipe:

Spiced Pear and Cranberry Coffee Cake with a Brown Sugar Crumb Topping @sweetpeasaffron

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