Recipes to bring: Pear Ginger Coffee Cake

070618 Atlanta, GA: Pear ginger coffee cake. (CHRIS HUNT/STAFF)

Credit: Chris Hunt

caption arrowCaption
070618 Atlanta, GA: Pear ginger coffee cake. (CHRIS HUNT/STAFF)

Credit: Chris Hunt

Credit: Chris Hunt

Perfect for: Breakfasts, brunches, coffees, meetings, office gatherings

Make and take: Bake ahead of time, cover pan with foil and serve at room temperature.

Made famous by: Maralyn Christoffersen of Atlanta, who got it from the Penzeys Spices catalog. "I served it at my book club and everybody wanted [the recipe]," she said.

Tip: Although pear goes especially well with candied ginger, you can also substitute apples or berries for the pears. For best flavor, says Christoffersen, use real butter and whole buttermilk.

Pear Ginger Coffee Cake 

15 servings

Hands on: 15 minutes

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Candied ginger adds just a touch of zing to this tender cake.

Granulated sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cups diced ( 1/4 to 1/2 inch) and peeled pears

1/4 cup cinnamon sugar (or 1/4 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon)

2 to 4 tablespoons crystallized (candied) ginger, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray with cooking spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and dust with granulated sugar, if desired. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, salt and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Sift together the flour and baking soda. Alternately add the flour mixture in two parts with the buttermilk, beating a minute or two after each addition. Fold in the pears. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. In a small bowl, mix together the cinnamon sugar and the ginger and sprinkle on top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Cool at least 20 minutes before serving; serve warm or at room temperature.

Per serving: 209 calories (percent of calories from fat, 29), 3 grams protein, 35 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 7 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 30 milligrams cholesterol, 184 milligrams sodium.