Brown Sugar Pear Muffins

Breakfast and Brunch, Freezer Friendly, Muffins | 26 comments

I don’t mean to brag, but I think I did really well this past week with my 10 in 2010 goals. I exercised every day (except Sunday, that is my day off), I ate breakfast at a reasonable time, and I made a point to plan balanced lunches instead of snacking all afternoon. I am feeling great!

On the plus side, I get to spend time with Eric in the morning now that I am getting up earlier. We work out together and eat breakfast together before he has to leave for work. For me that is really something special because he usually leaves for work before I am even up. I have found that uninterrupted one-on-one time with Eric is definitely how I like to start my morning.

Not that the benefits of exercise, eating well, and extra time with my husband aren’t gratifying enough, but I did feel like I deserved a little treat after all that hard work. I was craving something sweet and baked, but I still wanted the treat to have healthy elements to it. These muffins are full of grated pear and ground almonds. The pear taste isn’t strong, but the vanilla bean, spices, brown sugar, and almonds provide a lot of flavor in this moist muffin. They were definitely a big hit in our family. And my picky eater, Logan, didn’t even know he had eaten pears!

Brown Sugar Pear Muffins
a goodLife {eats} creation

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups grated fresh pear, drained of excess water

Streusal Topping

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 Tbs cold unsalted butter, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons ground almonds

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine the flour and cinnamon. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut the butter into the flour until you have small crumbly bits. Stir in the ground almonds. Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, almonds, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom. Set aside. Using a electric hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat together the sugars and butter sugar until creamy, about 3 minutes.

Cut the vanilla bean in half, then cut a slit down the middle in the half you are using. Use a knife or spoon to scrape out the beans. Add the eggs, vanilla bean, and almond extract to the butter mixture, beating to combine. Stir in half of the flour mixture followed by half of the grated pear, and repeat.

Line muffin cups with paper liners. Divide batter evenly among cups – I used a scant 1/4 cup per muffin. Sprinkle the tops of the batter with the streusal mixture.

Bake on the middle rack until muffins are golden brown, and the top of the muffins bounce back when you press on them, about 20 to 30 minutes. Set on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from the tin let cool another 15 minutes

Recipe made approximately 2 dozen.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Jessica @ How Sweet - January 11, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

    These sound delicious – I just had some pancakes with peas yesterday so I can imagine how wonderful these are!


  • 2
    Tongue-N-Cheeky - January 11, 2010 @ 1:33 pm

    Oh, muffins. Happy, Happy muffins. And, your pictures are so consistenly divine, Katie! I'm craving them right now…except that my weeks goals include NO CARBS…AHHH! Wish me luck, as I wish you continued success in fulfilling your resolutions! You go, girl!


  • 3
    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction - January 11, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

    Congrats on doing well with your goals… That's fantastic! These muffins look wonderful, and I love that you used whole wheat flour!


  • 4
    Anonymous - January 11, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

    They look so good!!! I don't see what you did with the pears. It says mix with half the pear mixture, but I can't find what you add to the pears for the mixture. Please help me. I am missing something!Thanks! Mary USA


  • 5
    Katie @ goodLife {eats} - January 11, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

    Sorry, Mary. I just meant the grated pears. Edited the recipe for clarity. Thanks.


  • 6
    Tasty Eats At Home - January 11, 2010 @ 2:47 pm

    I bake with almond meal all the time. It's lovely, isn't it? I love that you added almond extract in there to boost the almond flavor, and I love the addition of cardamom. These definitely sound like amazing muffins.


  • 7
    Kristen - January 11, 2010 @ 2:54 pm

    I am impressed, Katie! You have every reason to brag :)


  • 8
    sarah @ syrupandhoney - January 11, 2010 @ 2:55 pm

    This muffins sound really wonderful. I love using almond flour. Also, I must echo your comment about spending time with your man in the morning…My husband and I started this about a year ago and it still delights me :)


  • 9
    Maria - January 11, 2010 @ 3:13 pm

    Good job with your goals. You are doing awesome! I love your photos-the muffins look delicious!


  • 10
    Barbara Bakes - January 11, 2010 @ 4:06 pm

    I'm always on the hunt for a great healthy muffin recipe. Thanks!


  • 11
    Bethie - January 11, 2010 @ 5:33 pm

    Beautiful! I might give these a go and I don't like pears. Congrats for staying on track!


  • 12
    Claire (Culinarygoddess.com) - January 11, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

    they look and sound great!


  • 13
    piecesofmejen - January 12, 2010 @ 12:05 am



  • 14
    GF Gidget - January 12, 2010 @ 12:48 am

    Ohhh! I LOVE pear muffins! I've used everything from pear baby food to over ripe pears to make them myself.


  • 15
    Amy from She Wears Many Hats - January 12, 2010 @ 2:34 am

    Have never made pear muffins but they do look yummy. Been craving baked goods lately too but have been holding out. Maybe here's an option?


  • 16
    Dana - January 12, 2010 @ 4:47 am

    What a beautiful creation Katie! I love muffins but almost never eat them because they really are essentially cupcakes. But not these! They look healthy and terrific!


  • 17
    LillSis - January 12, 2010 @ 4:57 am

    Those muffins look awesome. I love a healthy muffin for breakfast!Good luck in the challenge!


  • 18
    The Waspy Redhead - January 12, 2010 @ 5:53 am

    Pear is one of my favorite flavors! So subtle and fresh. I can't wait to try this recipe, thanks for sharing with us.


  • 19
    kiss my spatula - January 12, 2010 @ 7:15 am

    so gorgeous! love the pear and almond combo. and i applaud you for working out BEFORE work. i've had that goal for so many years…to no avail.


  • 20
    Vanessa - January 12, 2010 @ 2:08 pm
  • 21
    The Purple Foodie - January 12, 2010 @ 6:46 pm

    ooh your brown sugar pear muffins! for the second time now you're making me crave for them – not good! :)


  • 22
    DailyChef - January 13, 2010 @ 2:30 am

    God I love muffins. Especially the tops… the kids will love these. Mind if I take the credit?


  • 23
    Stephanie - January 13, 2010 @ 3:26 am

    Those look delicious…a perfect mid-morning or afternoon treat! Mmmm.stephanie@metropolitanmama.net


  • 24
    Y - January 17, 2010 @ 10:47 am

    Yum, that looks like the perfect treat.. or dare I say it, perfect breakfast :)


  • 25
    Sean - January 29, 2010 @ 2:10 pm

    I made these the other day, and oh my gosh, Katie, WOW! The almonds gave them such a velvety, buttery texture I could hardly believe they only had a t. of butter each.Muffins are one of our favorite things around here…these are definitely going to be added to the rotation.Thanks, Mitzi


  • 26
    Jasmin - September 04, 2015 @ 7:25 am

    Very lovely pear creation, Katie… I love pears, but not so many recipes came out great precisely because of mild pear taste… I will sure try these beauties one day.


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