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Spiced Pear Muffins with Cinnamon-Pecan Crumb Topping

Cinnamon and nutmeg add warmth and depth to these simple pear muffins, alongside a crunchy-sweet pecan crumb topping. Buckwheat flour adds a nutty twist, while yogurt keeps them light, tender, and moist. Pair these muffins with a mug of coffee or chai for a perfectly cozy grab-and-go breakfast - that's prepped in just 25 minutes!

  • Author: Alexandra
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x
  • Category: muffins
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Scale

Cinnamon-Pecan Crumb Topping

  • 1 3/4 ounces (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 ounce (1/4 cup) pecan halves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons, packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • heavy pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/8 ounces (1/2 cup, spoon and level) gluten-free or regular all-purpose flour

Spiced Pear Muffins

  • 8 1/2 ounces (2 cups, spoon and level) gluten-free or regular all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/8 ounces (1/2 cup) buckwheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) neutral-flavored cooking oil (I used avocado oil)
  • 3 1/4 ounces (7 tablespoons, packed) brown sugar
  • 3 ounces (7 tablespoons) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 9 1/4 ounces (1 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons) whole milk plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 9  1/2 ounces (1 5/8 cups) peeled and finely chopped pears (about 1 1/2 medium pears)
  • 4 ounces (1 cup) pecans, chopped (optional)

Instructions

Cinnamon-Pecan Crumb Topping

  1. Make the crumb topping: In a small bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, chopped pecans, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add the melted butter and vanilla extract; mix in until incorporated. Add the flour and fold in with a rubber spatula just until all ingredients are evenly combined. Use hands to clump into a single ball of dough. Set aside.

Spiced Pear Muffins

  1. Oven and pan prep: Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease a standard 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients: In a bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, buckwheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg.
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the avocado oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and eggs until well-combined and slightly paler in color. Add the Greek yogurt and vanilla extract and whisk in until smooth.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients: Add the dry ingredients to the wet and fold in until mostly incorporated - a few streaks of flour are fine. Add the chopped pears (and pecans, if using). Fold in just until all ingredients are evenly combined, being careful not to overmix. The batter will be thick.
  5. Transfer to muffin pan: Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan, dividing evenly among each muffin cup and smoothing out the tops lightly with your fingertip if needed. Note that the muffin cups will be nearly full. Break the ball of crumble dough into crumbs, pressing into small clumps as you go, and sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over the muffins.
  6. Bake: Bake muffins in preheated oven for 23-27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 20-25 minutes before moving the muffins directly onto the rack to finish cooling. 

Notes

Ingredient notes and substitutions:

  • Salted butter can be used in the crumb topping - just skip the added salt.
  • If using gluten-free all-purpose flour, make sure your blend contains xanthan gum. Alternatively, you can swap half of the all-purpose flour in these muffins with whole wheat flour
  • Buckwheat flour can be substituted with all-purpose flour, gluten-free or otherwise.
  • Although I wouldn't consider coconut oil "neutral-flavored", it does work in these muffins if melted first. 
  • Any type of plain Greek yogurt will work, or swap with sour cream.
  • D'Anjou, Bosc,  and Bartlett pears are all good options for baking; just make sure they're on the firmer side, and not overripe. No need to peel them!

Storing:

  • Once completely cool, store muffins in a single, flat layer, in a zip-top bag or an airtight container, with a sheet of paper towel placed above and below the muffins to prevent them from getting soggy. They'll keep for a day or two at cool room temperature, or up to five days in the refrigerator. Muffins can be reheated in the microwave before serving.

Freezing: 

  • Following storing instructions above, minus the paper towels. Muffins should keep in freezer for at least a few months, and can be defrosted at room temperature, or using your microwave's defrost setting.

Nutrition notes: 

  • Nutrition facts are for muffins made with gluten-free flour, and do not include the optional pecans in the muffin batter.

Keywords: pear muffins, yogurt muffins, spiced pear muffins, gluten free pear muffins, pecan crumb topping, cinnamon crumb topping