For My Parents: Walnut Pear Sour Cream Coffee Cake

I love coffee cakes…I am sure I have said that before, but I really do. This recipe had been sitting in my massive “To Make Someday” pile, and I finally had a good reason to give it a whirl. I was heading to Philly to race in the Philadelphia Triathlon (couple weeks ago…woops, I’m a little behind!), and was stopping by my parents’ house on the way. Knowing they had house guests, I thought coffee cake would be the ideal thing to drop off – good for breakfast, snacking, dessert, or gosh, just about any time of day.


I believe the original recipe came from Better Homes and Gardens? Quick to pull together, easy to travel with (just keep it in the springform and set it free on a nice serving plate once you get to your destination!), and my parents and their friends devoured it right away.

Walnut Pear Sour Cream Cake


  • 1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 medium pears, peeled, cored, and sliced evenly (I used Anjou)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 8-ounce carton low fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Combine the 1 cup nuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon. For topping, cut the 1/4 cup butter into 1/3 cup flour to make coarse crumbs. Stir in 3/4 cup of the nut mixture. Set nut mixture and topping aside.

2. Toss pears with lemon juice; set aside. In a medium bowl combine the 1-3/4 cups flour, baking powder, soda, and salt; set aside. In a large bowl beat 1/2 cup butter with electric mixer 30 seconds. Beat in granulated sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add flour mixture and sour cream alternately to batter. Beat on low speed after each addition until combined.

3. Spread two-thirds batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with reserved nut mixture. Layer pears over top. Gently spread remaining batter over pears. Sprinkle with reserved topping. Bake 10 minutes. For a chunky top, sprinkle with 1/2 cup more nuts. Bake 45 to 50 minutes more or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Remove side of springform pan, if using. Cool at least 1 hour.


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