Last autumn, Jeff took me out for brunch at CafĂ© Margot, and I fell in love with their pear crumb cake. So sweet and buttery. The quiche was good, but what I really wanted was another bite of that cake. So, when I got home, I started looking for a recipe and found … nothing.

If necessity is the mother of invention, a midnight craving is the daddy.

This is my Pear Crumb Cake with Candied Ginger Streusel. You know those crumb cakes you can eat in the car? This isn’t one of them. You’ll need a nice big spatula to lift it out of the pan. And a spoon to eat it.

It’s a gooey cake, full of sweet shredded pears warmed with fall spices and flashes of crystallized ginger in those buttery crumbs. Dusted with confectioners’ sugar. But if you really want to take it over the top, warm your slice, and add a dollop of whipped cream and a little freshly grated nutmeg. You’ll fall in love with autumn all over again.

Pear Crumb Cake with Candied Ginger Streusel

By Rebecca Crump (Ezra Pound Cake)

Makes one 8-inch square cake

    Cake:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 peeled, cored, grated pears
    Streusel:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon crystallized ginger, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    Garnish (optional):

  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Whipped cream
  • Nutmeg
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift 3/4 cup flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, milk, oil and vanilla. Fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture.
  4. Fold the grated pears into the batter. Spread the batter in the prepared pan, and set aside.
  5. In a small bowl, combine remaining 1 1/4 cups flour, brown sugar, ground ginger and crystallized ginger. Pour melted butter over flour mixture. Toss until large crumbs form. Sprinkle crumbs over batter.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.
  7. Transfer baking pan to a wire rack to cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Top with whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg.