Vegan pear crumble cake23

Posted on May 23, 2010 by ChristieSweet Treats, Vegan, Vegetarian

Pear Crumble Cake - Totally Vegan!

I’ve been experimenting with baking vegan cakes for about a year but I’ve only made four or so in that time. None of them have turned out as good as this one!

I tried making a vegan vanilla sponge cake, but it wasn’t very successful. I made my famous orange and almond cake and thought it was vegan until I remembered I put three eggs in it. Doh.

I’d really like to try the orange one without eggs, and I’ve been wracking my brain for about three weeks to think of a suitable substitute to beat with the sugar in the first step. Any ideas? No fake egg suggestions please!

My fascination with trying to make the perfect vegan cake stems from the fact that my brother-in-laws girlfriend is vegan, although I’m really interested in the health (and environmental) benefits for myself and hubby too. Just try to forget the fact that I will probably enjoy the cake with a nice big dollop of whipped cream, ha!

Most vegan cake recipes I’ve seen have far too much sugar to make up for the lack of butter and after tasting this cake I think some of the sugar could even be reduced further.

Like most fruit recipes on this blog, this cake was born from a need to use up a large amount of overripe pears. I just can’t bear to throw out past-their-best fruit, especially if it’s seasonal, so bruised little babies usually find their way into cakes, purees, smoothies or chutneys. Where they live quite happily, I might add.

Whether you’ve got overripe pears or you go and buy some for the sole purpose of this cake I hope you find it delicious. Let me know either way!

Enjoy this cake, Christie x

Vegan Pear Crumble Cake Recipe

  • 6 small pears, peeled, cored and chopped (you need 2.5 cups chopped fruit)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil)
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 soy milk (I used the Vitasoy brand)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1.5 cups almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 1 cup plain flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bi-carb soda (baking soda)
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Crumble topping

  • 3/4 cup self raising flour
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegan margarine (I used Nuttlex brand)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup raw walnuts, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Line a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper with one large sheet, scrunching it down into the corners and making sure the paper comes up over the sides (so you can use it to lift the entire cake out in one piece at the end).
  2. In a large mixing bowl add the chopped pears, oil, caster and brown sugars, soy milk and vanilla. Stir to combine.
  3. Add the almond meal, flour, baking powder, bi-carb soda, cinnamon and salt and mix until just combined. Don’t overmix or the cake will turn out ‘gluey’. Pour into the baking tin and smooth the top.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl make the topping. Add the flour, sugar and margarine and mix with your fingertips until small clumps form. Stir in the coconut and walnuts.
  5. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the cake, pressing down lightly. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle come out with wet crumbs. If the top is browning too quickly after about 30 minutes then cover with aluminum foil for the remaining cooking time. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes then remove to a wire rack. Can be eaten warm or room temperature.

Looking for more seasonal pear recipes? Try these:

– Pear, cheese and black pepper combination (V)
– Pear wrapped in proscuitto w/ warm balsamic dressing (GF)
– Chicken and pear salad (GF)
Caramelised pear porridge (V)

  • Vegan or not I think I’ll join you by adding a dollop of cream! I haven’t really experimented with much vegan cooking…it’s a hard one!

  • I have a facination with vegan baking & my ongoing quest to get vegan muffins to look as enticing as regular muffins. Loving the fact I could use older battered up pears.

    • Exactly! Just cut around the brown bits, but even if they are mushy they will still work a treat in this cake.

  • This isn’t just ‘good for a vegan cake’, it’s a yummy without the caveat.

  • Here by us we can buy a cream replacement called Cremendous by Stork and it is pretty darn close to the real deal….You are a good host for trying to incorparate your guests way of eating!!

    • I love the name ‘Cremendous’! :)

  • Hi Christine,

    As for suitable egg substitutes try using chia or flax gel…you just soak a few tablespoons of chia or flax seeds in water and it creates a thick egg white-like gel. (You can strain the chia/flax seeds out if you like, depending on what your making). But give it a try!

    If you wanted to try a healthier substitute instead of using vegan margarine (I’m not a fan) you could use coconut oil. Though it’s not cheap, it will taste so much better and it has some health benefits.

    But there is nothing wrong with a great dollop of whipped cream! Yum!

  • I hate wasting food too! Luckily I have a hoover (aka Mr NQN) to eat it all up :P

  • Vegan cakes can be tricky. I get freaked out when you have to pur cupfulls of oil into them… somehow it seems wrong! (but butter is always right…)

    This does look nice… love thr crunchy top :)

  • this looks great i love the crunchy topping! will keep this in mind if i have some over ripened pears that are scared of getting binned :P

  • The top definitely look very crunchy! I would love to try this at home! i am not a cook or anything that I will give it a try! Thanks for the recipe.!

  • This looks delicious – a dollop of cream would be my addition too :)

    I have a vegan friend who I cook for only very occasionally (she lives interstate) and I usually resort to Asian desserts like sticky rice with mango or pears poached in coconut milk.
    I have another friend who doesn’t eat wheat or dairy and that’s a challenge too but I’ve discovered about 5 or 6 fabulous cakes I can make that meet this requirement – the egg thing is much harder!

  • Great looking cake and love the flavour combination. :)

  • Tracey

    I am in the midst of making this as my vegan birthday cake! Don’t think the candles will stick…lol

    My friends and family often think cooking for me is ‘too hard’ but this recipe is dead easy…

    I can’t wait to eat it!!!

    • HI Tracey, How did it taste? So glad you gave it a try! :)

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  • Aly

    i like to use bananas as egg substitutes. tastes good especially in bread. like banana bread plus whatever else the bread has (like corn bread with bananas is yummmy).
    this recipe for the pear cake looks great. i know what i’m doing this afternoon!

  • Jana

    I appreciate all the vegan comments and support, but why is no one saying anything about how the recipe actually turned out? I just made this recipe and although the flavor is great, it isn’t cooking properly. It is still raw in the middle after an hour of cooking it. ???? “….until a skewer inserted into the middle come out with wet crumbs”. I don’t get it. Every cake recipe I have ever made says to insert a skewer, or knife, in the middle until there is nothing sticking on it.
    Yuck! its like I am eating raw cookie dough here. What a waste of all my pears and time! Sorry, Christie. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

    • Hi Jana,

      Thanks for coming back to let me know. Not sure what has gone wrong. The ‘moist crumbs’ description is to allow for the skewer to be slightly wet when it comes out due to the juicy pears inside, the batter should definitely not be raw.

      Different ovens behave differently, so perhaps that is the problem. I suggest covering the top with foil if it is nicely browned already and putting the cake in for 10 minute intervals and checking until it is cooked all the way through.


    • Jana

      …..update on last night’s disaster: I cooked it another 30 mins at a lower temp with foil over the top, then exhausted at 10:30 and sweating my butt off in my kitchen (we are having 110 degree days here right now), I turned off the oven, and just let the cake sit in the oven all night cooling slowing. This morning everything was firm and yummy! I had a bowl for breakfast! Anyway, now that I think of it the batter was a bit runnier than normal, so next time I will be aware of that and add more flour if needed. Thanks for the suggestions, Christie. NOT a waste of time after all. The flavor is amazing! So good and yummy.

  • Thank you for this wonderful recipe! I have cooked this about 10 times for friends and it is a smash hit! I adore it. I’ve mixed it up on occasion with apples and LSA mix instead of almond meal. You are a talent.

    • Kendall, stop, I’m blushing! But seriously, I’m SO glad you enjoy it. Christie

  • LOVE this cake! It came out amazing! All my (non-vegan) friends ate it up at a party I hosted. I actually made the crumb topping without coconut because my shredded coconut was expired, and it was still delicious. I do think I baked it longer than called, probably by 12 or so minutes. I could tell it was done when the skewer didn’t come out “doughy” (mine came out clean so that was confusing, but the top was firm and crumbly, and no dough on the skewer, and it was perfect!) .Heavenly!

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