Streusel Pear Cake: Old Lady Recipe #3

streusel pear cake

My mama might kill me for calling this an Old Lady Recipe, since she used to make it all the time, even before she was an old lady. (Just kidding, MOTHER!) So if I turn up dead tomorrow, you know who to blame. (Just kidding, MOTHER!)

But all seriousness aside, folks, this here is one DEEEEEE-LISHUS CAKE! Mama’s been making it ever since when we were in middle school and a friend of Little Brother had a pear tree in his yard — those big hard Kieffer pears that grow so well in Texas. This recipe came from a folded-up, Xeroxed piece of paper printed by some people who had a pear orchard I guess. There was a drawing of a dancing pear involved.

Or something like that. I can’t remember all the damn details.

But as time has gone on, I’ve modified the recipe somewhat anyway, adding an oatmeal streusel topping just to put the nail in that proverbial coffin, sealing the deal and making well sure that this will always and forever be considered an Old Lady Recipe.


Streusel Pear Cake

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5 from 3 reviews

Made with FRESH PEARS!!!

  • Yield: 8 1x


  • 2 cups thinly sliced firm pears
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional, I never add these)
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  1. Combine the pears and nuts with most of the sugar (set aside about 2 tablespoons for the streusel) and let stand 30 minutes. Lots of juice will be released; that’s good.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 while that is going on.
  3. Add the flour, cinnamon, and baking powder to the pears.
  4. Beat the oil, vanilla, and egg together and add that, too.
  5. Stir gently and pour into a greased 8 or 9″ round cake pan.
  6. Combine the oatmeal, reserved sugar, and butter, then sprinkle the mix over top of the cake.
  7. Bake 40-50 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.

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  1. Great Stone Face on February 18, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    This reminds me of my mother’s sour cream cake recipe. Her’s has sour cream instead of fruit, and it qualifies an an old lady recipe, since she’s in her 80’s–

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 8″ x 10″ x 4″ tube pan with butter. Cream together 1/4-lb butter & one cup sugar. Beat two eggs with vanilla. Mix one small carton sour cream with one teaspoon baking soda. Mix two cups presifted flour with one teaspoon baking powder & a pinch of salt. Mix butter mixture & egg mixture. Put butter/egg mixture into electric mixer bowl & run mixer at medium speed. Alternate adding flour mixture & sour cream mixture to mixer. When all mixed, set aside. Topping: mix 1/2-cup chopped walnuts, one teaspoon cinnamon, & 1/4-cup sugar. Pour some batter into pan. Put on some topping. Pour rest of batter into pan. Put on rest of topping. Bake 45 minutes or until done.

    • Hilah on February 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm

      Ooh, this sounds good! Man, do I love coffee cake. “Small” sour cream – is that 8 oz?

  2. Great Stone Face on February 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Yes, 8 oz sounds about right. I just checked our fridge and looked at a 16 oz and that looks too big.

    Many of my Mom’s and grandmother’s recipe measurements are “shiterein”. One of Mom’s beef recipes calls for “a goodly amount” of paprika.

  3. Gloria on December 25, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    Wow! I just made this and it turned out absolutely delicious!! I made a little adjustment by adding dried fruits and nuts to the oats. LOVE IT! thank you

    • Hilah on December 26, 2015 at 8:39 am

      Great! Thanks for the feedback, Gloria!

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