Pear Crisp Cake with Cinnamon Oat Crumble

December 15, 2022

My moist and flavorful Pear Crisp Cake is made with pear spice cake layers, pear compote, cinnamon oat crumble, and vanilla buttercream.

Cake on a cake stand.

Pear Crisp Cake

My Pear Crisp Cake with cinnamon oat crumble is brand new and here just in time for pear season! This cake is full of warm spices and the most delicious pear compote.

Ingredients You Need for Pear Spice Cake Layers

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Unsalted butter
  • Canola or vegetable oil
  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Eggs
  • Pear sauce (recipe below)
  • Apple cider or apple juice
  • Vanilla extract

I started with my apple spice cake as a base for this cake. It’s tender and moist, and SO flavorful. I made one change to the recipe and used homemade pear sauce in place of the applesauce. The rest remains the same, even the apple cider.

Inside look at a pear crisp cake.


Don’t forget to follow my go-to tips for getting moist cakes that rise well:

  • Preheat your oven for 30 minutes prior to baking.
  • Use good quality pans like Fat Daddio.
  • Spray your pans with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper. 
  • Make sure to beat the oil, sugars, and eggs really well. The mixture should be smooth in texture and nearly doubled in volume when you’re done mixing. THIS ONE IS IMPORTANT!
  • Don’t overmix your cake batter once you add the dry ingredients.
  • Use room temperature wet ingredients. Not cold at all.
  • Use fresh baking powder.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it. REMEMBER: the cake continues to bake for a few minutes while it cools in the pan.
Slice of cake on a plate.

Pear Compote

This pear compote is incredibly flavorful and completely makes the cake. Between the moisture of the pears and the spices you’ll be adding to it, it enhances the texture and the flavor so much.

You’ll start by making the compote and then using part of the compote to create the pear sauce that will be used in the actual cake batter. The compote will be used between the layers.

What if pears aren’t in season when I make this cake?

While I know we all wish pear season was year-round, unfortunately, it’s not. If you decide to make this cake when pears aren’t in season, you can ABSOLUTELY use canned pears. Just make sure to use the ones without added sugar. We’ve got plenty of that already in the cake!

Can I make the compote ahead of time?

Totally! I prefer to do this, in fact. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Top view of a pear crisp cake.

Cinnamon Oat Crumble

This is probably my favorite element of the cake. It’s a total game changer. The flavor and texture add so much to this Peach Crisp Cake! Make sure you have the following ingredients on-hand for the crumble:

  • Old fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • Light brown sugar
  • All purpose flour
  • Unsalted butter
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
Slices of cake on plates on a table.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting

This recipe calls for vanilla bean paste in the buttercream. The bean paste is what creates those gorgeous specks you see. There are so many brands of vanilla and vanilla bean paste. I say, use whatever you can find and is cost efficient. I know prices have gone up significantly and it’s likely they’re not going down any time soon either. You can find vanilla bean paste at Walmart, Michaels craft store, Amazon and even some grocery stores now too. If you’re having a hard time finding paste, use extract – same amount.

Cake on a cake stand.

How to Make Buttercream Frosting

To get a light and fluffy homemade buttercream frosting, make sure you follow my tips over at: HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BUTTERCREAM

These steps are written up for my vanilla buttercream, but are supposed to be applied to any of my buttercream recipes.

  • Sift your powdered sugar
  • Use slightly cold butter
  • Use heavy whipping cream
  • Beat for 5 minutes
  • Stir by hand

You’ll want to check out the post linked above for more details on each step.

More Cakes to Love

Inside view of a pear crisp cake.

Pear Crisp Cake

5 from 3 votes
Pear spice cake layers, pear compote, cinnamon oat crumble, and vanilla bean buttercream.
Servings 20



  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons (37.5 g) brown sugar, packed
  • 6 large pears, peeled and diced (about 900 g)
  • 1 teaspoon (2.1 g) cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1.1 g) nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1.1 g) cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1.1 g) all-spice


  • 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (4.4 g) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1.1 g) nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (21 g) baking powder, (yes that's correct – tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (110 g) brown sugar
  • 1 cup (224 g) vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (230 g) pear sauce, recipe above
  • 1 cup (248 g) apple cider or juice, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp (5.6 g) vanilla extract


  • 3/4 cup (67 g) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (30 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons (42.4 g) unsalted butter, slightly cold and cut into cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1.1 g) cinnamon


  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter, slightly cold
  • 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar measured then sifted
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon (13 g) vanilla bean paste
  • generous pinch of sale



  • In a saucepan, over medium heat, cook the butter until it starts to brown and you see some brown specs.
  • Add the brown sugar and stir until mixed into the butter.
  • Add the pears and spices. Cook until the pears soften.
  • Remove one cup (about 226 grams) of the compote to use BETWEEN the cake layers. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.
  • With the remaining compote, puree in a food process or blender. You will use this pear sauce IN the cake. Let cool to room temperature.


  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking powder. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the sugar, brown sugar, and oil. Mix on medium-high speed for about one to two minutes.
  • Add the eggs to the sugar mixture and mix on medium speed for about two minutes. The mixture should be smooth, without any clumps.
  • Add the pear sauce and vanilla. Mix to combine.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add ⅓ of the flour mixture, followed by half of the apple cider. Continue alternating the flour mixture and the apple cider, finishing with the flour mixture. Mix until no streaks of flour remain. The batter will be slightly thin, not thick.
  • Divide the batter between the three cake pans (about 17 ounces in each). Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.
  • Let the cakes cool in the pans for about 15 minutes before inverting them onto a wire rack to cool completely.


  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, flour, butter, cinnamon and salt. Mix by hand with a wooden spoon until the mixture resembles clumps of sand. Spread the crumble over the parchment paper and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. The crumble should be golden brown. Let it cool completely and then crumble the mixture into smaller pieces, if needed.


  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about a one to two minutes.
  • With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar, followed by the heavy whipping cream, vanilla bean paste, and salt.
  • Turn the mixer to medium-high and beat for 3 to 5 minutes, making sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  • Before frosting your cake, mix the buttercream by hand with a spatula or large spoon to push out the air pockets.


  • Place the first cake layer, top side up, in the center of a cake board or a cake stand.
  • Spead about ½ cup of buttercream over the cake layer. Pipe a rim of buttercream around the edge of the cake.
  • Evenly spread half of the pear compote over the vanilla butter.
  • Sprinkle about ½ cup of the crumble over the compote. Gently pat into place.
  • Repeat these steps for the next cake layer.
  • Place the final cake layer, top side up, on the second layer of fillings.
  • Apply a thin coat of buttercream over the cake. This is the crumb coat. You'll then freeze the cake for 15 minutes to set the crumb coat and lock in the crumbs.
  • After the crumb coat is set, finish frosting the cake with the remaining buttercream.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cake
Keyword: Advanced, pear, pear cake, pear crisp cake, spice cake, vanilla bean buttercream, Vanilla Buttercream

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  1. What size cake pans does this recipe call for?

    1. Three 8-inch by 2-inch round cake pans

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