This long ferment sourdough pear coffee cake is a winner for a large breakfast or brunch dish! I’ve adjusted it to be made using a sheet pan, but you can just as easily make a thicker and taller version in a 9X13 casserole pan. Don’t be intimidated by the long ferment, as it only requires some advance prep time, but no additional hands on time. It can be made without it, as well. This recipe does include a crumble topping that is not fermented. I have included as little unrefined sugar as possible here and added in half whole wheat. Yet it still lends a delicious moist cake, with a delightful spicey crumble. I hope you enjoy this coffee cake as much as my family does!
What can you make with overripe pears?
I had the idea to create this recipe once I realized the ease of using baking sheet cake recipes for our large family. My mother makes a delightful pear coffeecake that is one of our favorite ways to use up overripe or bruised pears. I combined a sourdough recipe format from Farmhouse on Boone with the ingredients from our favorite pear coffee cake and then adapted it to fit a sheet pan size and proportions. It truly is the best combo!
Although I have been baking with sourdough for over 10 years now, converting my old stand-by recipes has been a slower process. I am thrilled to be able to enjoy delicious treats now with the added health benefit and flavor developement of the sourdough fermentation addition.
Does coffee cake have coffee in it?
A traditional coffee cake does not have coffee in it, but rather pairs perfectly with a cup of your favorite coffee and they are a match made in heaven. 🙂 There are some recipes, I suppose, that will have a coffee flavor added in, but this one has a delightful spiced pear flavor and goes perfectly with a Sunday morning latte.
Is Sourdough Pear Coffee cake gluten free?
This recipe is not gluten free, but it does offer more digestible benefits than non fermented recipes. The protein gluten in the batter has a chance to break down and be “pre-digested” which makes it easier for those with gluten sensitivities to possibly enjoy. Read here for more info on the benefits of a long fermentation. I would recommend omitting the non fermented crumble and just adding pears if you have gluten sensitivities.
Even though this process takes longer time over all, it really is an easy way to prep the cake in advance.
Can Sourdough Pear Coffee Cake be made dairy free?
Yes, you can make this dairy free by using coconut oil or dairy free shortening in the crumble and batter. Oil or applesauce can be exchanged in the batter, for instance. You will need to skip the step to beat with the sugar in the second step. Exchange coconut or almond milk in the batter in place of the milk.
Can Sourdough Pear Coffee be made ahead?
Yes it can be made ahead! This is what I love about sourdough, in fact! It forces me to plan ahead and cuts my time in the kitchen into bite size pieces. You can make it up to 3 days ahead. It freezes very well, although I don’t see how it will last long enough to do so! Hehe
Can Sourdough Pear Coffee be made quickly?
You can make this version without the long ferment and mix it and stick it straight into the oven. It does bake for awhile so I wouldn’t say it is quick, but the crumble can chill while you mix the batter, so you could get it in the oven in a reasonably short time and enjoy the pleasant alluring aroma as it bakes!
What are the ingredients for Sourdough Pear Coffee Cake?
For the crumble topping
2-3 ripe to overripe pears cut into 1/2″ pieces, 1 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 whole wheat flour, 1 cup rolled oats, 1 cup chopped nuts (optional) ,1 cup softened butter or c oconut oil, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. ginger, 1/2 tsp. salt (unless using salted butter).
For the batter
2 cups All Purpose flour (or all purpose einkorn if you have gluten sensitivities) 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups milk, 1/,2 cup sourdough starter that is 75-100% hydration (explained here), 1/2 cup honey, 1 cup butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 3 eggs, I tsp. vanilla,, 1 3/4 tsp. baking powder 3/4 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 2 Tb. water.
How to make Sourdough Pear Coffee Cake the long ferment version
The night before, or 8-24hrs. prior, combine the milk, flours, sourdough starter, and water. Cover and let rest at room temp. Yes, it is ok to let the milk sit overnight with the starter, but if you are apprehensive, go ahead and stick it in the fridge for a longer ferment until ready to continue on.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or grease.
Prepare the crumb mixture by mixing all the dry ingredients and then cutting in the butter with your hands until crumbly. Refrigerate while preparing the batter.
Beat the butter with the sugar until fluffy and creamy.
Beat the eggs in one at a time. Add the honey and vanilla.
Mix in the sponge (flour and starter combination).
Mix the baking powder and dissolved baking soda until just combined. Being careful not to over mix.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it in a an even layer. Cover with the crumble topping and sprinkle pears over it. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to let cool, about an hour. Use powdered sugar to sprinkle the cake for presentation, cut into squares to serve. Enjoy!
This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog! See my full disclosure here.
Tools you might need
- (Optional) kitchen stand mixer, or food processor.
- Jelly roll pan baking sheet
- Silpat baking mat or parchment paper
- Paring knife
- measuring cups and spoons
- If mixing the night before by hand I love using a dough whisk
Sourdough Pear Coffee cake- Standard version
You can make this recipe without the overnight ferment. Just mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Beat the butter with the sugar. Add the eggs and honey mixing after each addition. Then combine starter with milk and alternate half the milk mixture with half the flour mixture. Proceed with the rest of the steps!
- FOR THE CRUMBLE:
- 2-3 ripe to overripe pears cut into 1/2" pieces
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 whole wheat flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup coarsely chopped y nuts (optional)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup softened butter or coconut oil
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ginger
- 1/2 tsp. salt (unless using salted butter)
- FOR THE BATTER:
- 2 cups All Purpose flour (or all purpose einkorn if you have gluten sensitivities)
- 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup sourdough starter
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup honey
- I tsp. vanilla
- 1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 2 Tb. water
Step 1: Long ferment version: The night before, or 8-24hrs. prior, combine the milk, flours, and sourdough starter. Cover and let rest at room temp. Yes, it is ok to let the milk sit overnight with the starter, but if you are apprehensive, go ahead and stick it in the fridge for a longer ferment.
When ready to bake preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or grease.
Step 2: Prepare the crumble topping by mixing all the dry ingredients and then cutting in the butter with your hands until crumbly. Refrigerate while preparing the batter.
Step 3: Beat the butter with the sugar until fluffy and creamy.
Beat the eggs in one at a time. Add the honey and vanilla.
Long ferment version: Mix in the sponge (flour and starter combination).
Standard version: Combine the flours and leaveners in a separate bowl. Mix the milk and starter together in a bowl or small pitcher. Alternate half the milk with half the flour mixing after each addition, being careful not to over mix.
Step 4: Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it in an even layer. Cover with the crumble topping and sprinkle pears over it.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Tranfer to a rack to let cool, about an hour. Use powdered sugar to sprinkle the cake for presentation, cut into 4 x 8 squares to serve. Enjoy!
I hope you enjoy this delicious breakfast or brunch for a crowd as much as we all do! Let me know in the comments below if you try it!
As always, thanks for being here!