Recipe: Upside Pear Crunch Coffee Cake

By Elizabeth Falkner for Harry & David (reprinted with permission)

Elizabeth Falkner, master chef and restaurateur,  has partnered with Harry & David for their Seasonal Chef Program. As part of the program, Falkner created this Upside Pear Crunch Coffee Cake, which makes use of their juicy and delicious Royal Riviera® Pears.  If Falkner looks familiar, it’s because she’s a seasoned veteran in culinary competitions. She’s also the author of Cooking Off the Clock: Recipes From My Downtime, published by Ten Speed Press. You can see her in the upcoming  Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef show which premiers next week.


For the Crunch:

  • 1 1⁄2 cup demerara sugar (sub turbinado or brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1⁄2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbl flour
  • 2 Tbls butter

For the Coffee Cake:

  • 2 Harry & David Royal Riviera® Pears, cored and sliced into 1/2 ” slices with skin on
  • 4 oz. unsalted butter
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1⁄4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1⁄2 cups flour
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp baking powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt


For the Crunch:

  • Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Work together with a spatula or your hands. Set aside.

For the Coffee Cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  • Sprinkle half of the Crunch mixture divided between 2 loaf pans (1/4 of the total crunch in each pan – the rest is reserved for the last layer).
  • Divide the pears slices – put have in the bottom of each loaf pan on top of the Crunch layer.
  • Divide Coffee Cake batter and pour over the pears in each pan.
  • Divide the rest of the Crunch over the batter in each pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes until cake is set.

To Serve:

  • Cool completely. This takes awhile, be patient or better yet, make it the day before and refrigerate it. Invert the cake onto a serving plate when cool, slice and serve.
  • Whipped cream or quality vanilla ice cream would be  a great garnish.

Preparation time: 30 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Cooling time: several hours or overnight

Number of servings (yield): 4

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)