Pear-Walnut Coffee Cake

November/December 1998

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Pears, cranberries and walnuts combine in this delicious whole-wheat coffee cake.

Pear-Walnut Coffee Cake

Makes: 10 servings

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  • 2 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour, divided
  • 1/3 cup fruit-based fat replacement, such as Lighter Bake
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 small ripe but firm pears, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, or golden raisins


  1. Combine 1/4 cup flour, fruit puree, butter and oil in a food processor and process until smooth. Spread in a shallow pan, cover and freeze until firm but not stiff, about 45 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
  3. Whisk remaining 2 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Cut the chilled fruit-puree mixture into small pieces and work into dry ingredients with your fingers or a pastry blender until crumbly. Measure out 1 cup and mix with walnuts.
  4. Whisk egg, yogurt and vanilla in a small bowl until smooth. Stir the egg mixture into remaining dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until just moistened. Fold in pears and cranberries (or raisins). Spread the batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle the walnut mixture evenly over batter and press gently to help crumbs adhere.
  5. Bake the cake until top is golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove pan sides and cool for 20 minutes more. Serve warm.


Per serving: 265 calories; 5 g fat (1 g sat, 1 g mono); 24 mg cholesterol; 50 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 4 g fiber; 335 mg sodium; 64 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1/2 fruit, 1 other carbohydrate, 1 fat

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