You might not be familiar with the term buckle when it comes to baking. Don’t let that deter you though, this is an easy recipe. This spiced pear buckle is kind of somewhere in the realm of a coffee cake, or crumb cake or a fruit muffin. It’s soft and lightly sweet and filled with fruit. The cake ‘buckles’ around the fruit, hence the name. I think Blueberry buckle is probably the most popular, but I wanted to make a fall flavored one.
Pear is kind of the stepchild of the fall flavors. Apple and Pumpkin reign supreme, followed by things like Cinnamon, or Chai. I thought about making this chai flavors, but decided to just go with spiced pear buckle. A chai flavored one may come because chai is one of my favorite flavors in general. But if you need something chai, try my Chai Zucchini muffins.
Pears can be very sweet so I wanted to balance that flavor with fall spices, and richness from butter in both the cake and the crumble. The crumble is the perfect texture to complement the super soft interior of the buckle.
Buckles are pretty simple to make as well. No rising or waiting for anything, just mixing together wet ingredients, stirring in dry, folding in fruit, and adding the crumble. I think start to finish you could be ready in an hour. What’s better than a quick homemade bake that’s hard to mess up.
I’ve made this with strawberry as well which was equally delicious. You can see the result here and check the recipe notes on the recipe card for the amount of strawberry or other fruits.
Personally, I think this pairs best with stone fruits like pear, peach, nectarines, apricots, etc.
Spiced Pear Buckle Key Ingredients
- Pear – I chose Bartlett pears, as they were pretty much the only ones I could find where I live but if you wanted to use another type I would recommend probably Anjou or Bosc.
- Fall Spices – This recipe uses a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. These three go SO well with the pears.
- Milk – Milk in baked goods adds fat which adds flavor and tenderness. The texture of these is so soft and wonderful, and some of that can be attributed to the milk.
- 200 g AP Flour 1⅔ cups
- 2 tsp Baking powder
- ½ tsp Salt
- 2 med-lg Pears peeled & diced
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg
- ¼ tsp Allspice
- 67 g Dark brown sugar ⅓ cup
- 67 g Granulated sugar ⅓ cup
- 4 tbsp Unsalted butter softened
- 1 large Egg room temperature
- ½ cup Whole or 2% milk room temperature
- ½ tsp Vanilla
- 60 g AP Flour ½ cup
- 50 g Dark brown sugar ¼ cup
- 2 tbsp Granulated sugar
- 4 tbsp Unsalted butter cold
- ½ tsp Cinnamon
- Prepare the crumble. Add the flour, sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon to a small bowl and mix. Cut your cold butter into small chunks and add to the bowl. Use a fork to cut the butter into the dry ingredients. It is ready when you have a mixture resembling a sandy/gravel mixture. Place in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the buckle.
- Prep an 8×8" square or 8" round cake pan with parchment. Preheat oven to 350°F
- Peel and dice your pears. I prefer smaller pieces but it is personal preference. Place them in a small bowl.
- Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice to the pears and toss them to coat the diced pears. Set aside.
- Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder into a small bowl.
- Add your softened butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar to to either the bowl of your stand mixer or a medium large bowl with hand mixer and cream together.
- Add the egg and vanilla, and combine thoroughly into the butter and sugar.
- Add half of the flour mixture and mix together on low.
- Add all of the milk and combine, then add the rest of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Gently fold in the spiced pears into the batter using a spatula.
- Pour or spoon batter into prepared pan, spreading out into and even layer.
- Remove crumble topping from the refrigerator and sprinkle to cover the top of the buckle.
- Place buckle in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 40-45 minutes. Crumble topping will be golden when finished and toothpick will come out cleanly.
- Let buckle cool slightly (about 5 minutes) before moving to a cooling rack. Slice when cooled into 9 squares.
- Strawberry – instead of 2 pears use about 300g/2.5 cups of diced strawberry