Pear Almond Coffee Cake

Ever have a taste for a nostalgic, old-school fresh baked coffee cake? This recipe was truly conceptualized by letting my stomach take the lead. Craving a rare and quick ( by quick, meaning less than an hour) sweet treat, I scoured some of my inherited cook books, some of which span back to the 1960’s. If I was going to get nostalgia, I was definitely going to find it in one of those.

This coffee cake is adapted from a Better Homes and Gardens cook book, 1989. The coffee cake is a simple wet to dry mix and is ready in a little over an hour. Slightly sweet with a hint of spice thanks to cinnamon and nutmeg. By swapping a classic crumble topping for sliced pears with almonds and brown sugar, it allows for the fruit, nuts to caramelize while baking. My pear almond version makes a perfect quick-bread for entertaining.

Try to get your pear slices as thin as possible to have enough for the entire circumference of the pan. It helps to keep them in order as you’re slicing, for a more uniform “fan”. Use my step by step photos as a guide for assembling your flower pan, or come up with your own creative pattern!

Pear Almond Coffee Cake

Prep Time15 minutes
Active Time2 hours 25 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Keyword: almond, baking, breakfast, desserts, pear
Yield: 8 people


  • Large Mixing Bowl
  • 9 inch Cake Pan
  • Sharp Knife
  • Cutting Board


  • 3/4 cup  light brown sugar plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp  baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp  baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp  cinnamon, ground
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 1/4 tsp  salt
  • 5 tbsp butter
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup  buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp  vanilla
  • 1 pear
  • 1/3 cup  almonds, chopped


  • Preheat oven to 350º. in a large mixing bowl, combine flour, **half cup** of brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Whisk to combine. Set aside. In another container, whisk together mix egg, buttermilk and vanilla. Melt the butter and stir into wet ingredients until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and bold together until just moistened. Do not over mix.
  • Grease a 9 inch cake pan. gently our batter into pan. Refrigerate until ready to top.
  • To create topping using a sharp knife, core 1 pear and cut in half lengthwise. Place 1 half of pear on cutting board, sliced side down. Carefully slice pear half into thin, 1/8 inch slices. repeat with other half. Remove cake from refrigerator
  • In a separate bowl, combine remaining brown sugar and almonds. to assemble, carefully place each pear slice in a fan pattern atop the cake batter to resemble a flower. Sprinkle sugar almond mixture atop cake.
  • Bake for 35-40 minuets, until cake begins to brown and a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from pan. Serve on a serving tray or pan.

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