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Recipe: Pear Whole-Wheat Crumb Cake

Photo Credit: Matt Armendariz

There is always a line out the door at Zoe Nathan's Huckleberry bakery in Santa Monica, thanks to the lovingly baked goods that come out of the oven each morning. Cozy vibes will emanate from your own kitchen when you bake this crumb cake from her cookbook "Huckleberry," but take care not to over mix the cake!

Pear Whole-Wheat Crumb Cake

Makes one 10-inch/25-cm cake

Topping
½ cup unsalted butter,
at room temperature
½ cup + 2 tbsp almond flour
¼ cup + 2 tbsp rolled oats
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup whole-wheat flour
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp wheat germ, toasted
2 tbsp brown sugar
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ cup sliced almonds

Cake
¾ cup unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
¾ tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup wheat germ, toasted
¼ cup almond flour
3 tbsp rye flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup whole plain yogurt
Zest of 1 orange, fruit reserved
3 pears, peeled and thickly sliced

To make the topping: In a bowl, combine the butter, almond flour, oats, granulated sugar, whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, wheat germ, brown sugar, salt, and sliced almonds. Blend with your fingertips until homogeneous. Refrigerate until needed.

To make the cake: Position a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat to 350°F. Line and grease a 10-inch round cake pan or springform pan.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Incorporate the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl well. Pause mixing and add the all-purpose flour,
wheat germ, almond flour, rye flour, baking powder, baking soda, yogurt, and orange zest. Mix cautiously, just until incorporated.

Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and cover evenly with the pears. Top with the crumble, allowing a little fruit to poke through. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes in the pan; then squeeze the orange over the entire cake.

Place a flat plate on top of the cake and pan. Carefully invert the cake onto the plate by flipping both upside down. Then lift the pan off the cake. Gently pull the parchment from every nook and cranny of the cake, being careful not to break the cake. Rest your serving plate on the bottom of the cake and turn the cake right-side up onto the plate.

This is best served the day it's made but keeps, tightly wrapped, at room temperature, for up to 2 days.

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