Pear Muffins with Hazelnut Streusel

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pear muffins with hazelnut streusel

My Pear Muffins with Hazelnut Streusel are lightly spiced and topped with a buttery, crunchy hazelnut crumble for the perfect fall snack or breakfast-on-the-go.

pear muffins with hazelnut streusel in a muffin pan

I created these muffins to deal with a couple of ripe Anjou pears loitering on my kitchen counter that clearly needed a purpose in life. These muffins are simple to whip up, I didn’t even peel the pears, and just like that I traded some hapless leftover fruit for a kitchen bathed in the essence of fall, plus I got a pretty good coffee break out of the deal. I highly suggest digging out your muffin tin for these…and don’t worry about not having paper liners, the muffins look cuter without.

Making pear muffin batter

It’s been a while since I’ve made a batch of muffins, and these juicy pear muffins with their sweet nubbly topping reminded me what I’ve been missing.  I get so preoccupied with scones and breakfast cakes and doughnut bundts that I forget how nice it is to pull a homey pan of muffins out of the oven, especially now that the weather is finally starting to match my mood.  

pear muffin in muffin tin, ready to bake

The amount of sugar in this recipe is relatively low ~ just half a cup (plus 1/4 cup more for the streusel topping) ~ so they aren’t one of those cupcakes masquerading as muffins types. They’re cozy, I might even say nourishing, and the kind of thing you might actually feel good about eating for breakfast or an afternoon snack. They’d also be perfect to pack for work or school.

Don’t despair if you didn’t get a chance to nab one fresh from the oven (the best!) because they can be quickly transformed back to that soft steamy state with a few seconds in the microwave.  A pat of butter wouldn’t be out of the question.

Anjou pears for pear muffins with hazelnut streusel

The best pears for baking

  • The best pears to bake with tend to be Anjou, like I’ve used here, or Bosc.  Both hold their shape well.  
  • Whatever pears you use, make sure they’re ripe, but not too soft.
  • Pears have a delicate flavor, so keep that in mind when using spices that can overpower them.  I kept the spices light here: a hint of ginger, nutmeg, and allspice add warmth and depth without competing too much with the juicy pears. 

pear muffins with streusel topping

The nutty, buttery hazelnut streusel topping really makes this recipe special, I love the extra crunch it gives to the soft muffins.

You can definitely use walnuts or pecans instead if you prefer, but I think the combination of pear and hazelnut seems perfect for fall.  If you’re allergic to nuts, leave them out, and maybe add some oats instead.

pear muffins in a muffin pan

How to bake the perfect, tall, bakery-style muffin ~

  • Make sure your baking powder is fresh…I replace mine every six months to be safe.
  • Fill your muffin tins almost to the top.
  • Make sure your oven is preheated completely, and you should get nice tall muffins.
  • This recipe makes about 10-12 muffins, depending on how big you make them. 

breaking open a pear muffin

Here are a few of my favorite pear recipes on the blog ~

pear muffins with hazelnut streusel
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4.58 from 7 votes

Pear Muffins with Hazelnut Streusel

Pear Muffins with Hazelnut Streusel ~ lightly spiced pear muffins are topped with a buttery, crunchy hazelnut streusel for the perfect fall snack or breakfast-on-the-go.
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Yield 12 muffins


  • 12 cup muffin tin


For the streusel topping

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped

For the muffins

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe pears, diced


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 12-cup muffin tin, or line with muffin liners.
  • For the streusel topping, add the flour, brown sugar, and butter to a bowl and mix with your hands until it clumps together. Mix in the hazelnuts and set aside.
  • Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, baking powder, baking soda and salt until fully mixed.
  • Add the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, and vanilla extract to a separate bowl and whisk together until the mixture is smooth. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until the batter comes together and there are no dry bits of flour left.
  • Add the chopped pears and carefully fold them into the batter.
  • Divide the batter into the muffin tins. You want to fill each muffin cup almost to the top with batter, leaving a little room for the streusel topping. The batter should make between 10-12 muffins, but you can definitely make more like 12-14 smaller muffins by just filling the tins a little less. Top with the streusel topping.
  • Bake the muffins for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes or so before taking out of the muffin tin.


Recipe lightly adapted from Williams Sonoma.

pear muffin pin

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    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    November 10, 2019 at 10:20 am

    5 stars
    Delicious. I did make them with a gluten free flour and noted that the dough was propbably stiffer than expected for a muffin so I added an extra egg and used hazelnut “ buttermilk”. Added an extra quarter cup of the hazelnut milk and perfection.

    • Reply
      November 10, 2019 at 10:45 am

      Thanks Gail, glad you liked them!

  • Reply
    October 20, 2019 at 5:24 am

    5 stars
    I had all the ingredients measured out to make these muffins when a neighbour dropped in. Issued a casual dinner invitation to him as he was on his own this weekend. So, now what to make for dessert? I added in three more pears and baked this in a round spring-form pan. It took longer to bake of course, It was beautiful and the perfect dessert! Looking forward to another piece with my morning coffee. Nice and moist, not too sweet and the roasted hazelnuts are wonderful with pears.

    • Reply
      October 20, 2019 at 7:38 am

      Thanks Susan, I love your creative twist!

  • Reply
    October 19, 2019 at 8:31 am

    Those look devine. Can’t wait to use up my pears this way. What muffin tin do you use?

    • Reply
      October 19, 2019 at 9:25 am

      Hey Leslie ~ I have a stack of muffin pans, and that particular one was picked up at Marshalls, it’s not a brand name that I can see. My favorite pans tend to be USA pans, you can find them here.