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'.
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:
- Ginger Pear Bellini: fun and festive and super easy to make.
- Hot Mulled Apple Cider: add the same amount of pear + some fresh ginger!
- Simple Caramel Apple Pie Cake: same here, pear + ginger is fantastic
- Honey Brie Apple Toast: change up the game with mascarpone and maple syrup. Or maybe chevre!
- Caramelized Onion, Mushroom and Apple Puffs: who am I to say apples and pears can only be used in sweet dishes?
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.
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.
Simply search for crumb topping in the side bar and you'll see for yourself the latest crumb top recipes on this blog!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Enjoyed this Chocolate Pear Cake? Check out these fruits and veggie cakes as well!
- Simple Caramel Apple Pie Cake
- Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Pumpkin White Chocolate Muffins with Crumb Topping
- Fresh Strawberry Cake with Lemon Curd
- The Best Summer Berry Pavlova
- Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese and Crumb Topping
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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