Pear and walnut crumble cake

Pear and walnut crumble cake

How to Cook Cakes
12 slices
Peter Cassidy

The sweet cinnamon crumble topping complements pear and apple alike, so do try the variation too. This recipe also works very well if apples and pecans are used in place of the classic pear and walnut combination. You will need a 25 x 22cm roasting tin (or other tin with similar dimensions).


Quantity Ingredient
oil, to grease
4 firm pears
3 tablespoons calvados
170g butter, softened
170g caster sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
170g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
2 tablespoons demerara sugar
icing sugar, to dust

For the crumble topping

Quantity Ingredient
30g butter
55g plain flour
55g caster sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
75g walnuts


  1. Heat the oven to 190°C. Line the roasting tin with greaseproof paper and brush lightly with oil. Peel and core the pears, coarsely grate one of them and mix with 2 tbsp of the Calvados. Cut the remaining 3 pears into 1–2cm slices and set aside.
  2. To make the crumble topping, rub the butter into the flour in a medium bowl, then stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Roughly chop the walnuts and stir them in.
  3. To make the cake, cream the butter and caster sugar together in a medium bowl, using an electric whisk or wooden spoon, until pale and fluffy.
  4. Break the eggs into a small bowl and beat using a fork to break them up. Gradually add the eggs to the creamed mixture, beating well between each addition.
  5. Sift over the flour and spices, stir in the grated pear with its Calvados, and pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Smooth the top with a spatula.
  6. Sprinkle half the crumble topping on top of the cake mixture, arrange the sliced pears on top and drizzle over the remaining 1 tbsp Calvados. Cover with the remaining crumble mixture and sprinkle over the demerara sugar.
  7. Bake for 60–70 minutes until it feels firm on top and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with a few moist crumbs still clinging to it.
  8. Leave the cake to cool in the tin for 5–10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Remove the greaseproof paper and dust with icing sugar just before serving.


  • Apple and pecan crumble cake Replace the pears with apples and the walnuts with pecans.
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