Almond Breakfast Cake with Pear Filling & Pistachio Gelato Recipe

Almond Breakfast Cake with Pear Filling & Pistachio Gelato Recipe

Don’t let the photo fool you. It may look like a simple coffee cake, but it’s not. It’s delicious! This cake was even better the next day too! They call it an “Almond Breakfast Cake”, but I could have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s an anytime cake!

It’s a cross of a pound cake meets a coffee cake and it reminds me of a Gateau Basque with a coffee cake crumb topping. It’s somewhat dense, buttery, crumbly and incredibly moist, sweet and nutty, and rich in almond flavour which comes off as almost like a marzipan cake. The vanilla scented pear filling made it like a fruit pie or fruit crumble inside a cake!

The inspiration for this cake came from some almond paste I got sent from Marullo, a nut paste supplier based in Italy. By using almond paste it created a richer, creamier and denser almond flavour and texture.

Together with @mightyvanilla we set out on a baking marathon and as she said “we went nuts” ;). Dinner did start with with a Pistachio, Avocado, Sour Cherry & Black Sesame Dip with Prawns, but with a “foodie” like me and a “foodist” like her we always have room for dessert!

I’m also giving credit to @mightyvanilla for this recipe because I didn’t help much with this one. I was too busy taking photos and decorating our many Pistachio & Cardamom Pastry Cream & Strawberry Tarts – see recipe here πŸ™‚

Almond Breakfast Cake with Pear Filling Recipe

Almond Breakfast Cake with Pear Filling

Adapted from Tartine by Elisabeth M. Prueitt & Chad Robertson


Crumble Topping
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (115g)
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour (130g)
  • 2/3 cup ground almond meal (85g)
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp sugar (115g)
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp Marullo almond paste* (170g)
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar (225g)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (170g)
  • 1 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp cake or pastry flour (215g)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 large eggs

* We used pure unsweetened paste but I think the recipe actually means sweetened paste, which is usually half sugar half nuts. To adapt the recipe for unsweetened paste, use 1/4 cup + 1 1/2 tsp paste and 1/4 cup + 1 1/2 tsp sugar.

Fruit Topping
  • 2 apples or pears, peeled, cored, cut into large dice and sauteed in butter with 1 tbsp of sugar and a dash of vanilla extract
  • Other options areΒ 2 large pears or plums pitted & sliced, or 1 heaping cup diced pineapple or 1 heaping cup of raspberries or blueberries


1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 9″ round springform cake pan with a removable bottom.

2. To make the crumble topping, place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on medium-high speed until all of the ingredients are evenly incorporated and the mixture looks crumbly. (Do not overmix. If it is overmixed and is pasty in texture, chill it for about an hour and then break it into crumble sized pieces.) Remove the crumble from the bowl and set aside.

3. To make the cake, place the almond paste in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until the paste is broken up. Add the sugar and gradually increase the speed to medium. Mix until there are no lumps. (Or if using the unsweetened paste, add the sugar and paste all at once and mix to incorporate.) Add the butter and mix until creamy. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. On low speed, add the flour, baking powder, salt and eggs all at once, then increase the speed to medium and mix just until everything is combined. Do not overmix.

4. Pour the cake into the prepared pan. Top with the fruit, distributing it evenly over the top, then add the crumble topping evenly over the surface. (At this point, the cake can be covered loosely with plastic wrap, refrigerated, and baked the next morning. The next morning, remove the cake from the refrigerator and leave it out at room temperature for 45 minutes.)

5. Bake the cake until the crumble topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a small thin knife into the center and gently pushing some of the cake aside to see if it is cooked. (We had to bake it 20 minutes longer using 1/2 cup of unsweetened paste but I think 40-45 minutes will be enough if 1/4 cup paste + 1/4 cup sugar is used instead.)

Pistachio Gelato Recipe

It’s not necessary to enjoy the Almond Breakfast Cake with the gelato, but it is good. On the other hand, pistachio gelato is always good.

Pistachio Gelato

Adapted from Frozen Desserts by Francisco J Migoya


  • 3 cups whole milk (750 mL) (I only had skim & cream so I used 2 3/4 cups skim milk + 1/4 cup cream)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (155g)
  • 4 large egg yolks (70g)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened Marullo 100% Sicilian pistachio paste (80g)


1. Place the milk in a large saucepan and heat it to the scalding point. While the milk is heating, whisk the sugar and egg yolks together in a mixing bowl until the mixture is lightened in colour and a “ribbon” forms when the whisk is lifted.

2. Slowly add half of the hot milk to the egg mixture while whisking. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan and place it over medium low heat. Whisk the mixture constantly until it has thickened slightly (or reached 170F). Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the pistachio paste.

3. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and let it cool in the fridge overnight. Churn in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

4. If you wish add toasted pistachio pieces in at the very end for added crunch and flavour. We did that!

Marullo Pine Nut Paste Pesto Pasta – This was also part of dinner. See! We really did go nuts!


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