It was soft and crumbly and would smell her whole house up with cinnamon and spice. There was a ridiculous amount of streusel topping and it was dotted with plump blueberries throughout. This recipe is not hers exactly but is definitely inspired by the one she used to make.
I wanted to make it with pears to give it more of a fall feel, she only ever used blueberries (fresh in the summer and canned in the winter). You can do either they both work beautifully as would raspberries, peaches, or any other soft fruit.
The topping makes a ton (something I’m rather fond of) but if you find it too much for your liking you can make a streusel layer in the middle by spooning half the batter into the bottom of the pan, then sprinkling half the streusel over that. Spoon the remaining batter over the streusel and top with the rest of the streusel. Make sense? How many times can I use the word streusel to describe something? Apparently a lot.
My gram used nothing fancy in the cinnamon department but I couldn’t resist giving this cake a Mexican touch with the soft, sweet flavor of true canela. She also only used all-purpose flour but I opted for white whole wheat just for health’s sake. Try it out this weekend and let me know what you think. What did your grandma make? Share her recipe, I’d love to know!
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- 3 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup milk (non-dairy milk works here too)
- 2 large ripe pears, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon ground canela cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, cubed
- Grease a 10-inch tube (angel food cake) pan. Heat oven to 350°F and arrange rack in the middle. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the sugar and shortening together until creamy and smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, then the milk.
- Add the dry mixture and mix on low until completely incorporated. Add the pears and fold them in with a plastic spatula. Spoon mixture into the prepared pan and spread so the top is even.
- Combine all the topping ingredients in a medium bowl and mix together with your hands, rubbing the shortening into the dry ingredients until it has formed clumps of streusel. Evenly top the batter with the streusel.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the top is golden brown, about 60-75 minutes.
- Let cool at least an hour before removing from the pan.