I haven’t been able to get my act together to bake together with Abby Dodge for a few months now. I was pretty vocal about my approval of coffee cake for this month’s recipe, though, so I felt that I better make the effort this time. It’s only fair. Besides: coffee cake is always awesome. There’s just no excuse!
I had some bosc pears sitting in the fridge that I intended for another project, but I couldn’t resist grabbing them for this cake. Pears are one of my favorite parts of Fall. And apples. And pumpkins. But the pears, too. They bring me back to my childhood, when our neighbor had two huge pear trees in his front yard. We would climb up and snag pears from those monstrosities, eating them while perched upon the stone wall. Ah…youth. Luckily, our neighbor didn’t mind our sticky fingers.
Cakes with hidden layers are like a gift inside a gift, and this one doesn’t disappoint! The streusel that makes up the topping also comprises one of the layers of the cake. It’s a little bit of a pain to spread the final layer of batter over it, but it’s worth the suffering. Suck it up! It’s over quickly. And when you’re eating that cake afterward, you’ll be thankful you did it.
Abby says this cake is best a day or two after baking, but nothing homemade ever lasts that long in my house. You’ll just have to take her word on that. I found it to be pretty awesome on the same day when I served it for dinner. Don’t judge. It had fruit in it, at least.
The original recipe resides here on Abby Dodge’s blog. In the comments, you’ll see links to what other participants made. Abby will also have a roundup post soon, too, of all the #BakeTogether interpretations. (Or check out that hashtag on Twitter for the most up-to-date information.)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1¼ tsp baking soda
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ⅛ tsp ground cloves
- ½ cup (8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, chopped
- 1¼ cups dark brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
- 2 medium bosc pears, peeled and chopped
- ⅔ cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- ¾ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease the sides and bottom of a 9x9 square baking pan and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and cloves. Whisk until well blended.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until well blended, about 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the bowl and beaters periodically, as needed.
- Add about half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just blended.
- Add the sour cream and continue mixing just until blended.
- Toss the pears into the remaining flour mixture, coating them evenly, then, using a silicone spatula, fold it into the batter.
- In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until you have crumbs about the size of peas.
- Stir in the mini chocolate chips.
- Scrape half of the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread evenly.
- Scatter half of the streusel mixture evenly over the batter.
- Spoon the remaining batter over the streusel and spread evenly.
- Scatter the remaining streusel evenly over the top.
- Bake until the top is browned and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, about 43-45 minutes.
- Cool the pan on a wire rack until room temperature before cutting and serving.