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Fresh Pear Cake with Crumb Topping

This fresh pear cake has slices of fresh, sweet pears nestled in a tender, moist cake. The cake is lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg then finished with a crisp buttery crumb topping.  It is a simple recipe and an incredibly delicious way to celebrate pears while they are in season. 

Close up photo of a slice of fresh pear cake.

Pear season doesn’t seem to last long and pears themselves get ripe very quickly. Take advantage of the fresh pears this season and make something that everyone will love.

Fresh pear cake with crumb topping.

This fresh pear cake is:

  • Tender and moist.
  • Lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Filled with juicy fresh pears.
  • Topped with a rich, buttery streusel crumb.
  • Drizzled with a sweet vanilla icing.

It is absolutely delicious and worth your time to bake. I promise! 

About some of the ingredients.

Pears. Fresh pears are the star ingredient in this cake. Make sure the pears are not overripe and mushy. You are better off having a slightly under-ripe pear than an over-ripe pear.

Butter. Instead of oil, we use melted butter for superior flavor and a soft texture.

Sour cream. Sour cream adds richness and moisture to the cake. We recommend full fat sour cream for the best results.

Baking soda and baking powder. These leavening agents help the cake rise and contribute to a light, delicate crumb. The baking soda also helps neutralize the acidity in the sour cream.

Cinnamon and nutmeg. Just the right amount of spice without overwhelming the delicate flavor of the pears. If you have whole nutmeg, I recommend using that and grating it with a microplane. Otherwise, pre-grated nutmeg works just fine.

Overhead view of a fresh pear cake on a serving plate and two slices on smaller plates.

How to make this fresh pear cake.

Make sure you scroll all the way down to the printable recipe card for detailed instructions. Here is the basic process to help you plan. 

  1. Mix the wet ingredients. Start with the eggs and sugar, then beat in the butter, sour cream and vanilla.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients. If you place a sifter over the bowl of wet ingredients then you can quickly sift the dry ingredients into the same bowl as the wet.
  3. Stir the batter. Stir just until the flour is blended. If you over-mix the batter it will make the cake have a rubbery texture.
  4. Stir in the pears. Again, make sure you don’t over-mix the batter. When it is blended, pour the batter into a cake pan.
  5. Make the crumb topping. Blend the ingredients for the crumb topping and sprinkle on top of the cake.
  6. Bake and let cool. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before you remove it. If you take it out of the pan while it is too hot then it will fall apart.
  7. Make the icing drizzle. Let the cake cool completely before you drizzle the icing.

This cake is right at home for a holiday dessert or a casual brunch. Serve it with coffee or tea and enjoy!

Best pears for baking.

Anjou, Concorde, and Bosc pears are good choices to use in baking recipes. They hold their shape and do not get mushy when you cook them.

Can you freeze this fresh pear cake?

This pear cake freezes well. Let it cool down completely then wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer-proof container. It will freeze well for up to 6 months. If you freeze the pear cake for much longer then it will lose moisture and get a stale freezer burn.

A slice of fresh pear cake with a fork and a cup of coffee.


  • This upside-down almond pear cake is made with einkorn flour. The brown butter bourbon sauce is out of this world and you just might want to make a double batch. 
  • Pear paste is a thick, sliceable jelly-like paste that is terrific served with a cheese platter. It is a fantastic appetizer for the holidays and a great way to use up over-ripe pears. 
  • This Pear Frangipane Tart is a delicious ending to any dinner. Serve it with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of sweetened whip cream for 

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Close up photo of a slice of fresh pear cake.

Fresh Pear Cake with Crumb Topping

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Sweet slices of fresh pears are nestled into a tender, moist cake that is lightly spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. A crisp, buttery crumb topping makes this cake a favorite with the whole family.


  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar (250 grams)
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (180 grams)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 to 3 pears, chopped

Crumb Topping

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted

Icing drizzle:

  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F and spray a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick baking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar on medium speed until light in color and thick.
  3. Beat in the melted butter. Add the sour cream and vanilla extract.
  4. Combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking soda, and baking powder then sift it over the batter. Stir just until there are no flour streaks in the batter.
  5. Stir in the chopped pears. Spread the batter into the cake pan.
  6. Combine all the ingredients for the crumb topping in a medium bowl. Stir together until you have clumps the size of peas.
  7. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the batter.
  8. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until the cake springs back when pressed lightly.
  9. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing it to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  10. In a small dish, combine the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Stir until smooth then drizzle over the cake.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 381Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 352mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 3gSugar: 26gProtein: 4g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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jane darrah

Wednesday 18th of December 2019

Do you have to use a Springform pan?? Thank you!

Dahn Boquist

Wednesday 18th of December 2019

No you can use a regular cake pan. It is a pretty delicate cake so let it cool completely before taking it out of the cake pan. The springform pan just makes it easier to remove but isn't necessary.


Wednesday 18th of December 2019

Anything with streusel is irresistible! The recipe is so delicious and can make this with almost any kind of fruit in season. Thanks for sharing, Dahn.

Dahn Boquist

Wednesday 18th of December 2019

Thanks Angie, it definitely is a versatile recipe.

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