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Walnut Pear Coffee Cake

This moist coffee cake goes great with a cup of coffee at breakfast but also makes a delicious snack or dessert. When I bring it to work, it disappears in minutes. —Darlene Spalding, Lynden, Washington
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 50 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    12 servings


  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 2 medium ripe pears, peeled and sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts


  • In a small bowl, combine the walnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon; set aside. Place flour in a small bowl; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 3/4 cup of nut mixture; set aside for topping. Set aside remaining nut mixture for filling.
  • In a small bowl, toss pears with lemon juice; set aside. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition.
  • Spread two-thirds of the batter into a greased 9-in. springform pan. Top with the reserved nut mixture, pears and remaining batter. Sprinkle with walnuts and reserved topping mixture.
  • Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Cool for 1 hour before cutting.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 430 calories, 25g fat (10g saturated fat), 79mg cholesterol, 265mg sodium, 46g carbohydrate (26g sugars, 2g fiber), 8g protein.

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  • Marie
    Feb 28, 2021

    Sounds great & I do intend to make as written but was wondering if this recipe work with canned pears?

  • Stephanie
    Feb 6, 2020

    Cant wait to try this recipe! Im making it in the UK so hopefully i've converted the measurements correctly to grams?! Also, I would love to do it as a traybake like Mickie (last review) and add more pears as they have done but I would love to know if you add any extra of the other ingredients such as eggs, butter, sugar etc... And one last questions, do you think it would freeze well?

  • Mickie
    Nov 7, 2019

    I have been making this wonderfully delicious coffee cake with pears for years. It is always a winner! I use 6 pears, yes, six! Turns out even better! And, instead of regular flour in the cake batter, I use cake flour. Makes for a delicate and always moist cake. The extra pears make for a buttery, sweet delicious dessert. Also, with all those pears, I use a 9"x18" baking dish. You won't be sorry if you use these changes. Wonderful dessert! P.S. for Naumpau: It does state in the recipe where to use the rest of the batter. Try it, you will like it and the results are phenomenal! Alternating wet and dry, with the sour cream incorporates all the ingredients and really is necessary when baking a cake.

  • germanycook
    May 2, 2012

    This was so good! The layers are so pretty and it was nice and moist. I took this to my sisters and the 4 of us gobbled it up! A special cake i'd definitely make again for company.

  • minoregon
    Nov 16, 2011

    Very moist and flavorful. The pears should be firm and not overly ripe. I shared slices of the cake with friends and got rave reviews. They think I am a great cook!

  • virtualdynamo
    Nov 13, 2011

    We make this every Christmas for brunch. LOVE it!

  • stumpt
    Nov 23, 2010

    The first time I made this cake I thought it was the best ever and now after many more times making it, I still think the very ame thing. Excellent!!!!

  • wolrabnor
    Sep 15, 2010

    This recipe won first prize at my office baking contest.

  • naumpau
    Apr 22, 2010

    The ingredients for this recipe look great, but the recipe makes me nervous, separating the ingredients and putting the wet ingredients under the heading of filling ingredients. Also, the directions state that 2/3 of the batter should be spread in a pan, and it never says what to do with the rest of the batter. I would assume I need to make layers, but when a recipe is missing something like this I have to wonder if it is also missing a key ingredient and I pass it up!

  • elz001
    Dec 12, 2009

    No comment left