Pear Crumble Cake

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Prep 30min (+5min standing time)Bake 1hr 5min-1hr 15minMakes 10-12 serves

This is one of my favourite cakes – ever! Not only is it super easy to whip up and can be made with a whole variety of different fruits (you can replace the pears with the same quantity of plums, firm ripe nectarines or peaches for example), but it is also incredibly versatile when it comes to serving it. It not only makes for the perfect morning or afternoon tea cake but it is also wonderful served warm with lashings of cream or ice cream for dessert. I’ve also been known to eat the leftovers for breakfast (which I would also highly recommend!)


Melted butter, to grease
185g (1¼ cups) self-raising flour
165g (⅔ cup, firmly packed) brown or raw caster sugar, plus 1 tablespoon extra
125g salted butter, at room temperature
85g (⅓ cup) sour cream
2 eggs, at room temperature
1½ teaspoons natural vanilla extract or essence
2 (about 200g each) firm but ripe Williams pears, cored and each cut into 12 wedges
Icing sugar, to dust
Cream or ice cream, to serve (optional)

Crumble Topping
50g (⅓ cup) plain flour
55g (¼ cup, firmly packed) brown or raw caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
60g salted butter, chilled, diced
50g (½ cup) flaked almonds


  1. Preheat oven to 170°C/340°F (150°C/300°F fan-forced). Grease a 21cm (8 1⁄4in), base measurement, springform tin with melted butter and line the base with non-stick baking paper.
  2. To make the Crumble Topping, combine the flour, sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Use your fingertips to quickly rub in the butter just until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs (it will be quite moist). Stir in the almonds. Cover and put in the fridge while making the cake.
  3. To make the cake, place the flour, sugar, butter, sour cream, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Use
    an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to beat on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to high and beat for 3 minutes or until the mixture is well combined, very pale in colour and silky smooth in texture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the surface with the back of a spoon.
  4. Toss the pear wedges with the extra 1 tablespoon sugar. Arrange the pears evenly over the top of the cake and then press gently into the batter. Sprinkle with the prepared Crumble Topping to cover.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 65-75 minutes (the baking time will depend on how juicy the pears are) or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand the cake in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring, still on the base of the tin, to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature on its own or accompanied by cream or ice cream, if desired.