This Raspberry Pear Coffee Cake is gluten free, and so beautiful it makes the perfect brunch dish. Serve with coffee or tea for the perfect breakfast or afternoon treat.
In Australia, there is a little coffee shop we go to in the center of town where my in laws live. Last Christmas, we had a pear and raspberry bread that was so good, and such a perfect combination of sweet and tart. I knew I was going to recreate it at home.
And then we were there in October visiting again, and visiting that coffeeshop, I was reminded I had never tried to recreate that beautiful bread at home.
And finally, on our last trip there in January, I made a note to myself on my phone. Make Pear Raspberry Coffee Cake! Because I knew this combination was too good to be confined to an ordinary loaf, like it was simply banana bread.
I finally did make it, and we were pleasantly surprised with my first attempt, the 2nd was perfect, and well, the 3rd and 4th (and 5th), those were just necessary recipe testing so I can be sure I am passing along a perfectly written recipe for Raspberry Pear Coffee Cake (wink! wink!).
Why Use Arrowroot in Gluten Free Baking?
This Raspberry Pear Coffee Cake uses my favorite gluten free flours, oat and almond. Oat flour can become a bit gummy if used on it’s own, so I’ve also used arrowroot powder.
Typically, I look for gluten free baked goods that are made with whole food ingredients, and steer clear of gums and starches. Arrowroot is an exception, and I use it often in my cooking.
Arrowroot is a tuber that grows much like ginger or or carrots. It’s so starchy, it can’t be eaten without cooking for a very long time, and although I can buy fresh arrowroot here in Asia, I have to admit I have never feel compelled to buy and prepare it.
The starch is made by peeling the tubors, mashing the starchy pulp, and removing the fiberous bits (you can picture this if you’ve ever made homemade almond milk). The result is a silky smooth nutritionally dense starch that can be used in baking, or as a substitute for corn starch (which is usually GMO and subjected to a harsh chemical process to extract the starch).
Arrowroot starch has B vitamins, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc (it’s not exactly a nutrient dense food, but the nutrients present are at far higher levels than other starches), and is the highest protein starch you can buy.
So, don’t be shy when it comes to using this in your cooking and gluten free baking. I actually prefer it to corn starch when thickening sauces and making gravies because it doesn’t clump– it thickens well, and has no taste, making it the perfect substitute.
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Tips for Raspberry Pear Coffee Cake
- It is important to note that the ripeness of the pears you use will effect the outcome of this cake. I’ve made it with unripe (just barely softened) pears, and had the best results. If you use ripe or over ripe pears, the cake will be a bit overly moist. I’ve made it both ways, and we enjoy it either way, but using the under ripe or just ripened pears lends the best cake texture.
- With some recipes, I prefer to grind my own oat flour, but this is a recipe that really benefits from a very fine store bought oat flour. I buy Bob’s Red Mill and am always happy with it.
- Make is Gluten Free: Be sure to purchase gluten free oat flour. It’s sometimes difficult to find in stores, but you can order it off Amazon for a very good price (link above there!). When I’m using starches in gluten free baking, I prefer to use arrowroot because it’s higher in protein than typical starches, and has relatively high nutrient content.
Raspberry Pear Coffee Cake
- 1 1/2 cups oat flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup arrowroot starch
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 pears small, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2/3 cup raspberries
- 2 tablespoon oat flour
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line an 8x8 baking pan with baking paper, or grease with coconut oil.
- Add all the streusel topping ingredients to a small bowl, mix to combine, and set aside.
- Add all the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl, mix to combine, and set aside.
- Add the coconut oil, eggs, honey and vanilla to a bowl, then set aside.
- Peel and chop pears. I roughly chopped them, then added them to my food processor to get smaller, but this can easily be done by hand. You want chopped pears, not pear sauce.
- Sprinkle the pears with the lemon juice, then add to the bowl with the wet ingredients.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients, and then stir until most of the dry ingredients are incorporated, being careful not to overstir. Just 10 stirs should be plenty.
- Add half the batter to the baking dish, sprinkle with 1/3 cup of raspberries, and then add the other half of the batter to the top. Sprinkle the top with remaining 1/3 cup of raspberries, and then with the struesel topping. I like to gently press the topping into the cake with a fork.
- Bake the cake for 40-55 minutes (start at 40 if your raspberries are fresh, and at 50 if your raspberries are frozen), until the center is set and the cake is golden.
- Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. If the cake is fully cooled in the refrigerator, it makes perfect slices. We enjoy eating this cake warm and cold, with a dollop of plain yogurt.
Other Similar Recipes:
- Banana Nut Bread with Orange Glaze, by Delicious Meets Healthy
- Pear Spice Cake, by Marla Meredith
- Double Chocolate Chip Muffins, by Vitamin Sunshine
- Buckwheat Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins, by Vitamin Sunshine
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Just Jo says
Oh this is wonderful! I had no idea arrowroot could be so helpful in GF baking – I’d been relying on xantham gum. So good to have an alternative. And this cake looks wonderful – pinning it just now to make for my coeliac dad 😀
Thanks Jo 🙂 Yes, I love arrowroot, and the jury is still out on whether gums like xantham are harmful or not, so I prefer to avoid it.
Jovita @ Yummy Addiction says
Oh my, this cake looks incredible! I would do anything to have a few pieces of it with a cup of coffee right now!
Yes Jovita, the coffee is so necessary! 🙂
Julia @ HappyFoods Tube says
Never heard of arrowroot so thanks for the info. Will try to find it around here. Love this cake! 🙂
Lisa | Garlic & Zest says
I’ve mostly used arrowroot starch for thickening sauces and with fruit to make that oozy sweet filling in pies. I definitely want to try it in some gluten free baking – and I happen to have a bunch in my pantry. (BTW – how do you store it? Mine came in a bag from Bob’s Red Mill – and it’s so fine and light, it’s like a powder explosion. I’ve got it double bagged, but it’s still everywhere.)
Yes, it is so powdery and light! It doesn’t have enough fat to go rancid quickly, so I keep it in a glass jar in my pantry. I use arrowroot in tons of things– love it.
I love the flavor combo you have in this! YUM!!! This sounds so good and it is gluten free, BONUS!
Yes, the combo is a great one! This will be something we make for years to come.
Hi! Can I substitute arrowroot with tapioca flour and how much do I have to use it? Thanks!
Yes, you can! Arrowroot and tapioca are essentially the same thing — arrowroot is just a specific type of tapioca. Enjoy! We love this cake.
Does the coconut oil need to be solid, or melted?
Melted! Sorry – I live where it’s always liquid 🙂
Thanks for the quick reply! I’m making these right now. Mine is usually solid in the jar, so I need to melt if needed.
I get that, and am trying to remember to add that to new recipes! I adore this recipe — have been wanting to update the photos because it’s a favorite in our house!