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Chocolate Pear Cake with Hazelnut Crumb Topping

Focus on one slice of chocolate pear cake, with the whole cake in the background.

 

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A quick and easy Chocolate Pear Cake with the most amazing hazelnut crumb topping. The pears get so juicy and tender, making the cake irresistible. The hazelnuts don’t only add an interesting crunchy texture to the cake, but the sweet and nutty flavors from the hazelnuts work so well with chocolate and pear.

 

It’s not for no reason that Nutella is so popular. Chocolate and hazelnut are a match made in heaven, add any kind of bread, buns or cake and it’s utterly magical. When this chocolate pear cake is baking in the oven, the smell is to die for. Just like its twin – the cinnamon apple cake – it’s such a comforting smell, it immediately says ‘home’.

 

Chocolate pear cake on a dark plate, wooden table. Flatlay.

 

What to make with overripe pears or apples?

 

And like apples, pears are in season now. The garden trees are filled with fresh and ripe pears and apples, and we don’t always know what to do with them. Well, there are actually so many ways. You can use pears just like you use apples, the flavors pair well with a lot of the same things. I think pear works better with chocolate and ginger, while nothing beats apples and cinnamon (although pears are great with cinnamon too!). I’ve got a lot of recipes using overripe apples, but you may very well switch them up for overripe pears:

 

 

There are also a ton of recipes from my fellow bloggers that I’m keen on trying with my overripe pears, especially this apple pita pie, poached pears, homemade apple butter, a Norwegian apple cake and of course a delicious fresh pear pie.

 

One slice of chocolate pear cake, showing the layers of chocolate cake, pears and hazelnut crumb topping.

 

But I don’t like nuts in my cake

 

Me neither! I can’t stand those crunhy nutty pieces that usually occur in the middle of apple cakes or even in brownies. But as we say in Norwegian – that is like swearing in the church! These ooey gooey brownies do not need crunchy nuts to ruin the texture. The crispy topping is just the right amount of delicious texture.

 

But I do like the nutty flavor. And so I’ve come up with a way to get the best of both worlds: add them to the crumb topping. Crumb topping is just so delicious, I’m kind of addicted. I add them to blueberry muffins, apple cakes, lemon cakes, pumpkin white chocolate muffins – like errrything cakey.

 

This way we get the crispy, slight crunchy topping, but the cake is still moist and cakey. That is also my issue with fruits and apples in cake. I like to place them more on top. That is also what I’m doing in both my apple cake and this chocolate pear cake. I’m just slightly pressing them down into the cake, but they’re still all in one place.

 

Chocolate Pear Cake in a cake pan on a cooling rack.

 

So even though you don’t like nuts or funny business in your cakes, I do think you’ll like this. As  you see, I’m very particular about that also. And this cake is truly one of my favorite simple coffee cakes! And if you need some more convincing, here are 7 ways hazelnuts can benefit your health.

 

If you’re allergic to hazelnuts (well, I am, but I still eat them because YUM and I don’t die from eating them), switch to whatever nuts you can take – walnuts are great with pears. If you are allergic to all nuts, simply leave them out – but don’t omit crumb topping entirely!

 

Chocolate Pear Cake with Hazelnut Crumb Topping

 

This actually is just a simple chocolate coffee cake that is super quick to whip together. Prepare a 9 inch (22 cm) cake pan with parchment paper at the bottom and grease the sides. Pre-heat oven to 355 F (180C).

 

Combine all the dry ingredients: flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.

 

Chocolate Pear Cake with crumb topping on a dark plate, pears in the background.

 

In a large bowl, whisk eggs and both sugars together until combined. You can use a handheld mixer or just a whisk. No need to fluff the eggs too much, just mix it. Add canola oil, ricotta, milk and vanilla extract to the egg mixture and whisk until blended.

 

Combine the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients together. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture in batches and fold using a spatula. Mix until just combined. If the flour is lumpy I would definitely sift it into the wet ingredients.

 

Prepare the pears: peel, core and slice them. Peel the pear, slice in two and remove the core. Then cut each half into more slices. I like to slice them pretty thin, but not paper thin, about half an inch or 1 cm thick. You need enough pears to relatively tightly cover the cake. You don’t need to let it overflow with pears, but just cover in one layer. Slightly press them down so as to make them stick to the cake better.

 

Taking a slice of chocolate pear cake out of the whole cake.

 

How to make the best hazelnut crumb topping

 

Finely chop the hazelnuts. Combine with sugar, flour and cold butter in a small bowl. Use either a cookie cutter or fork to combine the mixture. Keep mixing until the butter resembles small peas in size.

 

You could also food process the sugar, flour and cold butter and then mix with the finely chopped hazelnuts after. That is super quick and works really well. Just pulse a little bit in the food processor – you still want those pea sized butter pieces!

 

Cover the chocolate pear cake with a generous amount of the hazelnut crumb topping. It may look like a lot, but trust me! Bake the cake for about 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan.

 

And that’s it. Just look at how moist it is!

 

One piece of chocolate pear cake on a fork.

 

Enjoyed this Chocolate Pear Cake? Check out these fruits and veggie cakes as well!

 

 

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below or tag me @thegingerwithspice on Instagram. And don’t forget to Pin it for later!

 

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Focus on one slice of chocolate pear cake, with the whole cake in the background.

Chocolate Pear Cake with Hazelnut Crumb Topping

Yield: 10 slices
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

A quick and easy Chocolate Pear Cake with the most amazing hazelnut crumb topping. The pears get so juicy and tender, making the cake irresistible.

Ingredients

Chocolate Pear Cake

  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour, 170g
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 30g
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, 110g
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar, 90g
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil, 120g
  • 1/2 cup ricotta, or sour cream, Greek yogurt. 125g
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 small pears, peeled, cored and sliced

Hazelnut Crumb Topping

  • 4 tbsp cold butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 60g
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 50g
  • 2 oz finely chopped hazelnuts, 50g

Instructions

  1. Prepare a 9 inch (22 cm) cake pan with parchment paper at the bottom and grease the sides. Pre-heat oven to 355 F (180C).
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients: flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs and both sugars together until combined. You can use a handheld mixer or just a whisk. No need to fluff the eggs too much, just mix it. Add canola oil, ricotta, milk and vanilla extract to the egg mixture and whisk until blended.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients together. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture in batches and fold using a spatula. Mix until just combined. If the flour is lumpy I would definitely sift it into the wet ingredients.
  5. Prepare the pears; peel, core and slice them. Peel the pear, slice in two and remove the core. Then cut each half into more slices. I like to slice them pretty thin, but not paper thin, about half an inch or 1 cm thick. You need enough pears to relatively tightly cover the cake. You don’t need to let it overflow with pears, but just cover in one layer. Slightly press them down so as to make them stick to the cake better.
  6. Hazelnut crumb topping: Chop the hazelnuts to desired size. Combine with sugar, flour and cold butter in a small bowl. Use either a cookie cutter or fork to combine the mixture*. Keep mixing until the butter resembles small peas in size.
  7. Cover the chocolate pear cake with a generous amount of the hazelnut crumb topping. It may look like a lot, but trust me! Bake the cake for about 40-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely in the pan. I bake mine for 52 minutes, but my oven is not very hot.

Notes

* You could also food process the sugar, flour and cold butter and then mix with the finely chopped hazelnuts after. That is super quick and works really well. Just pulse a little bit in the food processor – you still want those pea sized butter pieces!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400Total Fat: 21.5gSaturated Fat: 5.1gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 184mgCarbohydrates: 48.7gFiber: 3.2gSugar: 25.9gProtein: 6.6g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or tag @thegingerwithspice on Instagram, I'd love to see!

 

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Sofia

Tuesday 16th of June 2020

Hi. I made this cake a few months ago and it was good enough that I was thinking about making it again! But - I remember the cake itself was a bit dense. I use the metric system. I noticed that your conversion for the flour is off - usually 1 cup of flour is ~120 grams so if it's less than 1 cup how can it be significantly more than that? I must have noticed that when I baked it but I don't remember anymore if I made the adjustment or not. Maybe that is why it wasn't as fluffy? Can you confirm the correct measurements for the metric system? Thank you.

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Wednesday 17th of June 2020

Hi Sofia.

A cake that is too dense typically has too much liquid, too much sugar or too little leavening (not excess flour, as is commonly thought). You can try adding a little more baking powder or even 1/4 tsp baking soda. It could also be that your baking powder had expired? The oven needs to be properly pre-heated too, as baking it too slowly, it may fall and become dense.

I'm so glad you noticed the difference in the flour measurements, I don't know what happened there! I always bake in grams, so if you follow the grams it should be similar to mine. I will update the cups of flour.

Catherine

Saturday 22nd of February 2020

This cake received rave reviews from my family and guests- a real keeper!!

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Monday 24th of February 2020

I am SO glad, Catherine! Thank you so much for getting back to me!

Lathiya

Thursday 19th of September 2019

The cake looks just wow..I can see how moist and delicious. The pictures are drool worthy.

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Saturday 21st of September 2019

Thank you SO much, Lathiya!

Michelle Carrera

Friday 13th of September 2019

That looks so good Stine Mari I look forward to giving this recipe a try . Great photo too you can see this cake is vey moist yum

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Friday 13th of September 2019

That makes me happy, Michelle!

Mikayla

Wednesday 11th of September 2019

Mmmm I don't see pears in baking often enough, I'm so happy to have this recipe. They're a wonderful fruit with chocolate, and the hazelnuts have got to be the icing on the cake!

Stine Mari | Ginger with Spice

Friday 13th of September 2019

Me neither, but I don't understand why! Thank you so much, Mikayla!

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