Pear Bread

I bring you this recipe with a warning. After you try it, you may never want to bake anything else ever again. It is just that good. If I had pears in the kitchen, I’d be making it again right now.

On my first flip through Southern Cakes, I marked the recipe for this bread because of Quinn’s affinity for pears. I thought it would be a nice treat for him. If I had known how much everyone who sampled it would like it, I would have made it much sooner. Either that, or I would have buried the recipe somewhere and saved us from our new all-consuming addiction.

Pear Bread is a sweet, nutty quick bread that's wonderfully delicious. A perfect fall baking recipe! - Bake or Break

To me, this is everything a quick bread should be. It’s moist, delicious, nutty, and just the right amount of sweet. It is very reminiscent of my mother’s zucchini bread, which she stopped making after the Christmas that my sister had her make a loaf to give to just about everyone she knew. It’s been a while since I had any of that zucchini bread, but I have to admit that I like this pear bread even better.

Pear Bread is moist, nutty, delicious bread that's a perfect way to enjoy fresh pears. Great for breakfast, a snack, or even dessert. - Bake or Break

I opted to make the bread in a tube pan rather than in bread pans. In some future making of this bread, I want to try it as a cake. I can almost taste it with cream cheese icing.

Quick breads are one of my favorite baked goods. Their flavors and texture usually lend themselves to being served any time of day, from breakfast to a midnight snack. They might not be pretty and drool-worthy like some other baked treats, but they are every bit as delicious. What are your favorite quick breads?

Pear Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Pear Bread


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened*
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups peeled and finely grated ripe, firm pears
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan or two 9″x 5″loaf pans.

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Scoop out about 1/4 cup of this mixture and combine it with nuts to coat. Stir back into the flour mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine butter, eggs, sugar, pears, and vanilla. Add the pear mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until flour disappears and batter is evenly moistened.

Pour batter into prepared pan(s). Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until bread is browned and firm on top. A pick inserted into the center should come out clean.

Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Then, remove from pan and place top side up on a plate or wire rack to cool completely.


*May substitute 3/4 cup vegetable oil for butter.

Recipe adapted from Southern Cakes.

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  1. Hélène June 1, 2008 Reply

    I love making quick breads. This one looks really yummy.

  2. tian June 1, 2008 Reply

    the classis banana bread for sure (:

  3. Stefanie Summerer June 2, 2008 Reply

    This looks delicious. In the fall, I’m always trying to come up with an apple bread recipe to use up the extras. Maybe this would work? My favorite quick bread is pumpkin bread hands down!

  4. kimberleyblue June 2, 2008 Reply

    i love quickbreads – this one sounds perfect. pears must make it very moist.

  5. Patricia Scarpin June 2, 2008 Reply

    I always look for baking recipes with pears, Jen, but they are not that common. This looks super yummy, I’ll be trying it!

  6. Julie O'Hara June 2, 2008 Reply

    I make some pear muffins that I really love. This sounds great too!

  7. lori June 2, 2008 Reply

    what kind of pears did you use? bosc? bartlett?

  8. kiat June 2, 2008 Reply

    I just baked some pear bread. I just installed a brand new oven and this is my first time in baking anything in my life. I used crushed hazel nut instead of walnut. Delicious, although there’s not a hint of pear that I can taste. In my case, it took 40 minutes in the oven. Initially, I grate the pears by hand, but gave up and used a blender, which worked well. I used 4 pears in total to yield 2 cups of blended pear. As this is my first bake, I spent sometime googling the ingredients, vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder are all new to me. I couldn’t find any pecan or walnut in the local market, so I bought some hazel nut, which I pressed with a big knife to crush it to chunks. The result is 5 loaves of nice looking pear breads, I’m going to give one to my mom and see if she’ll like it.

  9. Katie June 2, 2008 Reply

    I love quick breads too, what is there not to love. My favorite is Banana, I stock pile really ripe bananas in my freezer so I can make it anytime. This look fantastic.

  10. Ashley June 2, 2008 Reply

    This looks so yummy! My mom has the greatest banana bread recipe – so popular with our friends that she’s making a mini loaf for all of our wedding guests!

  11. Abby June 2, 2008 Reply

    It’s nice to see pears shine in a recipe! You honestly rarely ever see them. I made a pear-cornmeal cake one time long ago, but can’t remember seeing pears elsewhere!

    I need one of those pans. Can you believe I don’t have one?

  12. cindy lester June 2, 2008 Reply

    I love Bread recipes! At Christmas I give several gift baskets to friends. I’m always looking for a new bread recipes. I’ll have to give this a try! Bet it would be real good with a cup of coffee!

  13. giz June 2, 2008 Reply

    Your pear bread is outstanding – it’s perfectly baked and looks wonderful. I’ve never tried a pear bread before but you’ve definitely peaked my curiosity.

  14. jennifer June 2, 2008 Reply

    Helene, thank you!

    tian, I’m a big fan of banana bread, too.

    Stefanie, your apple bread idea is definitely worth a try. Sounds good to me!

    kimberleyblue, it is very moist.

    Patricia, I don’t find many pear recipes either. Such a shame because they are so good!

    Julie, pear muffins sound delicious. Yum!

    lori, I’m pretty sure I used Bosc pears. I got whatever looked the best at the grocery store.

    kiat, I love the idea of hazelnuts in pear bread.

    Katie, I’ve never frozen bananas. I’ll have to try that.

    Ashley, your mom is a trooper! That is quite an undertaking.

    Abby, I couldn’t part with my tube pan. Lucky for you, this bread works well in loaf pans, too. Or, I would think a Bundt pan would work.

    Cindy, I usually give quick breads for the holidays, too. This one would be a great addition to your recipe collection.

    giz, thanks so much! I had not heard of pear bread either, but I’m so glad I’ve gotten to know it. :-)

  15. Meryl June 2, 2008 Reply

    I love cinnamon bread, strawberry bread, chocolate bread…

  16. christie June 2, 2008 Reply

    I cannot wait to try this!

  17. jennifer June 3, 2008 Reply

    Meryl, sounds like you and I have a similar affection for quick breads. :-)

    christie, let me know what you think when you’ve made it.

  18. Lisa June 3, 2008 Reply

    Great looking bread and blog! If I am baking, I know where to come to get a recipe.

  19. jennifer June 3, 2008 Reply

    Thanks, Lisa!

  20. Morgana June 5, 2008 Reply

    It looks realy delicious. I’ve never made a pear cake, this could be a chance.

  21. jennifer June 5, 2008 Reply

    Morgana, it’s very, very good. I highly recommend it.

  22. Stephanie June 8, 2008 Reply

    this is definitely going on my TO-MAKE-SOON (long) list. Thanks for sharing. I love things pear!

  23. jennifer June 9, 2008 Reply

    Stephanie, I hope you’ll like it! It’s so, so good.

  24. Lorrie June 11, 2008 Reply

    I’ve made that recipe tons of times and used canned pears, fresh and always chopped them not grated them. I’ve baked it in a loaf pan and as a cake. It’s so good that I use it in my wedding cakes often.

    That is a wicked cookbook. :-)

  25. jennifer June 12, 2008 Reply

    Lorrie, I bet this makes a great wedding cake! Something a bit different than the traditional white cake.

  26. Y June 19, 2008 Reply

    That fabulous first picture alone has sold me on the idea of making pear bread some time! :)

  27. jennifer June 19, 2008 Reply

    Y, I can’t imagine anyone not loving this. Enjoy!

  28. Karyn July 24, 2008 Reply

    I have now made the pear ‘bread’ twice. It makes 2 loaf tins (as we call them in NZ). It freezes well. Lovely moist cake. Good to find a cake recipe using pears. I love your site.

  29. jennifer July 24, 2008 Reply

    Karyn, I’m glad you like it! I find myself wanting to make this quite often. It’s just so good!

  30. Monica H October 5, 2008 Reply

    I’m off to the kitchen to make this bread. I’ll post pics on my blog when I’m done. I can’t wait to try it!!!

  31. jennifer October 5, 2008 Reply

    Monica, I just made this again a couple of weeks ago. So, so good. Enjoy!

  32. sharon October 11, 2008 Reply

    Bought 4 qt. bartlets for a couple of dollars this am at the local farmer’s market. Landed on this site looking for unusual things to do with my pears.

    The pic looks scrumptious. I will be trying this
    recipe immediately.

    I love the ease with which “newbies” can interact on your site. The comments and responses are very helpful and interesting. I will be visiting often.

  33. jennifer October 11, 2008 Reply

    Welcome, sharon! Enjoy the bread!

  34. Kim S December 9, 2008 Reply

    I just made this tonight! My loaf pan may be a bit large because I did not have enough for two, which was fine because I made mini muffins out of the remaining batter. Would you mind helping me ‘problem solve’? The perimeter of the bread rose first, and almost created a ‘crust’ before the middle had a chance to rise. Do you have any idea why this happened? My e-mail is trying4two at gmail dot com :O).

  35. jennifer December 12, 2008 Reply

    Kim, I’ll send you an email so we can discuss. :-)

  36. megan January 26, 2009 Reply

    I LOVE this bread! I just made it this past weekend and it’s one of my new favorites! I’m going to post about it on my blog sometime today. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  37. Milou March 4, 2009 Reply

    When you combine the eggs, butter, sugar, etc. Do you mean with an electric mixer or just by hand, stirring?


  38. jennifer March 5, 2009 Reply

    Milou, either way is fine. It’s simple enough to mix that you don’t have to use a mixer. Enjoy!

  39. DPLK May 10, 2009 Reply

    Hi Jennifer, I just made this recipe yesterday (you can see my newest post on my blog for details), and I wanted to let you know that as always your featured recipes are top-notch as are your literary skills of persuasion and description. My family loved the pear bread–my father-in-law declared it was the best “cake” he’s ever had. And you’re so right about the addictive qualities of this bread!! I just want to keep eating… this will be a staple in my repertoire for sure!

  40. D July 16, 2009 Reply

    I actually made this bread and is quite pleased. I used a 10-inch tube pan to bake this bread. I used white whole wheat flour in pace of all-purpose flour; used oil instead of butter; 4 red pears (purchase weight: 2 pounds) and coarsely grated the pears using the largest holes of my box grater. Used a mixer to put the bread together like any other quick breads using a mixer. Baked for 60 minutes and looks exactly like the photo. This recipe is a keeper.

    For those who knows this recipe includes the buttermilk glaze, don’t use it. It was pretty on the bread, but I like my glaze to harden where you can wrap a slice with plastic wrap. The glaze stayed wet. Next time, just sprinkle the bread with powdered sugar or just leave it plain as pictured above.

  41. sherri September 29, 2009 Reply

    Thanks for the pear bread recipe. Everybody that has tried it says it’s the best quick bread they have ever had!! I did make a couple of changes. I canned pears and than ran the peelings and cores thru a juice and used the pear mush in the bread. I heated the mush and added thickner to make it the thickness of mashed bannanas. But the real kicker was I linned the pan with walnut crumbs and raw surger. It gives the bread a wonderful crunchy crust. People love this with all of my quick breads.

  42. Darcy November 28, 2009 Reply

    Would it ruin this recipe to use half whole wheat flour?

  43. Darcy November 28, 2009 Reply

    Would it ruin this recipe to use half whole wheat flour and to put them in a muffin tin instead? I’m always looking for breakfast muffins and I would love to turn this into a little healthier muffin recipe for my kids for breakfast. If I substitute oil for the butter does that make it healthier? Any ideas to make it a little healthier but still so tasty? Any help would be great!

  44. jennifer November 29, 2009 Reply

    Darcy, I think using whole wheat flour would be fine. Making muffins should only change your baking time. I don’t know that there is any advantage of oil vs. butter. As many muffins as this would make, there wouldn’t be that much butter in each one.

  45. Scott December 19, 2009 Reply

    Try substituting the cinnamon and vanilla with 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground fennel. Turned out great!

  46. Kerry May 12, 2010 Reply

    I hate this recipe. It was so delicious I couldn’t stop eating it! Seriously delicious! I didn’t peel the pears, just gratd them and scooped out the pulp…left a lot of the juices in the recipe. I also used vegan margarine and 1/4 canola (boost the omega 3’s). SO GOOD! And the whole house smelled amazing! Thank you! :) :)

  47. llla July 31, 2010 Reply

    I would like to exchange links with your site
    Is this possible?

  48. Estella September 26, 2011 Reply

    I just had to try this recipe immediately when I saw it on your site. Could you please let me know how thick the batter should be? For some reason when I made it the bread never firmed up, in fact I baked it for almost two hours and it just became more and more soupy and “sticky” except for the edges. I’m wondering if I needed to include more flour or if I grated the pears too much (they became more like pear mush than strips of pear like you’d get strips of cheese on a cheese grate). Any thoughts on how I could make it next time? The batter and edge crust tasted AMAZING so I’m really looking forward to trying the bread.

    • jennifer September 27, 2011 Reply

      Estella, my first guess is that your batter was over-mixed. You might also check the accuracy of your oven’s temperature. I have a thermometer that can go inside the oven that gives me an idea of how accurate my oven’s temperatures are. The pears don’t really grate like cheese. They’re going to be pretty mushy. Good luck and enjoy!

  49. Estella September 28, 2011 Reply

    Thanks Jennifer! And thank you for responding so quickly. Could you give me an idea of how think the batter should be? I tried again last night and was careful not to overmix but got the same result. I’m thinking that the “stickiness” I’m seeing in the pan is the release of the pear juices so I might try adding more flour? I even tried baking a little of the batter in muffin cups but those didn’t firm up either.

    • jennifer September 30, 2011 Reply

      Estella, it’s not a really thick batter. It’s about the consistency of a normal cake batter.

  50. Patricia October 18, 2012 Reply

    Thank you for this recipe. My boyfriend had experienced a great pear bread at one time in his life and had a moment of euphoria thinking back to this bread, so naturally I wanted to attempt to make some. Today I searched online for recipes and stumbled across this one. I made a few changes by cutting my pears in chunks and using coconut oil in place of butter and it was fantastic! Now on the search for more of a bread pear bread and less of a dessert pear bread. Thank you!

  51. Patricia October 18, 2012 Reply

    Oh! I also used hazel nuts and added cinnamon to the flour I dusted the pan with! Yummy!

  52. tracy September 13, 2013 Reply

    My 1 1/2 year old loves pears and they are awesome for his belly. Problem . . .he’s allergic to eggs. Any thoughts on how to replace the eggs in this recipe?

  53. Kendall Stark October 29, 2013 Reply

    I made this in two loaf pans, had one for me and my husband at home and then took the other to work. Amazing texture and flavor! I couldn’t really tell that it was pear, however. My boss totally raved about it, and I’m going to give her the recipe!

  54. Kat July 25, 2014 Reply

    I made this two weeks ago and again today . It is really delicious bread. We have pear trees in our garden . So now I have a fantastic easy recipe to make with them. This time I added 1/2 tsp apple pie spice just to spice it up a bit. It only took about 50 minutes in my over to bake it. It also slices better if you let it get room temperature. I found the texture and flavor even better the next day. Husband loved it!! Me too.


    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry July 28, 2014 Reply

      It’s one of my favorites, Kat. So glad you’re enjoying it, too!

  55. Linda July 25, 2015 Reply

    I have 3 pear trees I gave away tons last year and still have several bushel so I decided to c
    Peel core and chop them in my food processor and can them
    I will try this recipe using them
    Looks yummy

  56. Gigi September 11, 2015 Reply

    The recipe looks delicious and I have a bunch of ripe pears that need to be used. Do you think I can substitute yogurt for the butter? I did so when I made banana nut bread and it seem to work well.

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry September 11, 2015 Reply

      I’ve not tried that substitution in this recipe, but the general rule is not to replace the butter completely. Try substituting half of the butter with half the amount of yogurt.

  57. Zac December 30, 2015 Reply

    unsalted butter or salted butter

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