Remember that classic coffee cake you grew up eating — the kind with the buttery cake and sugared crumb topping you loved so much? Well, we're taking it just a bit further this season. This version, topped with spiced pecans and brown sugar crumbs, also gets a ripple of pear and cinnamon streusel through its center. Think of it as the snacking cake to take you through crisp fall mornings and beyond.
The Double Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Layer
As much as we enjoy the cake, let's be honest — we're in it for the crumbs! And this cake is not shy about doubling down with a crumb that's laced with cinnamon and nutmeg and studded with chopped pecans. The top of the cake is blanketed with an extra-thick crumb layer (because you know you'll want to pick a few pieces off), while a second, softer crumb layer is mixed with diced ripe pear and spread through the middle of the cake. What can we say? We're in the business of plenty of sweet crumbs in every bite.
Pear and Cinnamon Crumb Cake
Serves 8 to 10
For the crumb topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 red pears (about 1 pound), cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
For the cake:
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for coating the pan
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups full-fat sour cream
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch springform baking pan with butter and set aside.
Make the crumb topping: Mix the flour, sugars, pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the butter and stir until big, slightly floury crumbs form.
Transfer half of the crumb mixture to a separate bowl. Add the pears to one of the bowls and mix to combine; set both bowls aside.
Make the cake: Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
With a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together at medium-high speed until fluffy and light. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until each is incorporated. Mix in the vanilla and then scrape down the sides of the bowl.
On low speed, beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half the sour cream. Beat in another 1/3 of the flour, followed by the remaining sour cream, then finish with the rest of the flour. Beat just until the batter is smooth and has no more lumps.
Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan and and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the pear filling in an even layer over the batter. Pour the remaining batter over top of the pears and spread evenly. Break up the crumb topping with your fingers and scatter across the top of the cake.
Place the pan on a baking sheet. Bake until golden-brown, the cake springs back when gently touched, and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 70 to 80 minutes. If the crumb topping starts to get too browned and toasted before the cake is done, tent the top loosely with aluminum foil.
Place the cake on a wire rack and cool to room temperature before removing the sides of the pan and slicing.
- Storage: The cooled crumb cake can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, or refrigerated for up to 5 days.