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Spiced Cocoa Pear Bread with Toasted Hazelnuts

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Spiced Cocoa Pear Bread with Toasted Hazelnuts has the best flavors of fall, with warm spices, juicy pears, crunchy nuts, and a kiss of cocoa.

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Apples get a lot of attention in the fall, but pears are also at their peak flavor and ripeness. So many gorgeous varieties of pears out there to enjoy. Anjou, Bosc, Comice, and Seckel are some of my favorites for their delicate floral flavors. I have been blessed in recent times, however, with the seasonal gift of these striking red beauties below:

Variety unknown from my friends’ tree, but they appear to be a type of red Bartlett, and are so wonderfully sweet and juicy! This spiced cocoa pear bread with toasted hazelnuts highlights their beautiful texture and complements the wonderful fresh pear flavor.

Making the Spiced Cocoa Pear Bread with Toasted Hazelnuts:

Hazelnut and pear is a classic flavor combination in many cuisines and happens to be a favorite of mine. It is important to know how to prepare hazelnuts for their best flavor. The hazelnut has a thin brown skin that can add bitterness. The skins are most easily removed by toasting the nuts. This not only loosens the skin but enhances the hazelnut flavor by bringing out natural oils. Spread the hazelnuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast at 300 degrees Fahrenheit until the skins start to loosen and the nuts are quite fragrant (about 15 minutes).

Rub the toasted hazelnuts in a dishcloth or napkin and the skins will flake off. Don’t worry about removing every bit. The goal is to get the majority cleared from the nuts.

An easy way to chop hazelnuts is to put them into a ziplock bag and then use the flat side of a meat tenderizer to carefully break them into pieces. This prevents rolling while trying to chop!

For this recipe, I use a combo of almond and oat flour, along with gluten-free quick oats to form the structure of the loaf. Cocoa powder gives a hint of chocolate flavor, layered with my favorite Scandinavian trilogy of spices: cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. These warm spices with the cocoa accent the pear flavor beautifully!

Maple syrup adds depth as a sweetener and I chose a neutral coconut oil as the fat.

The Process:

Mix together all dry ingredients by hand.

Separately, combine the melted and cooled oil with the eggs, syrup, vanilla, and chopped pears.

Combine the two mixtures and add half of the toasted and “chopped” hazelnuts to make the finished batter.

Prepare a 9×5-inch loaf pan by oiling and lining it with parchment. Allow the parchment to drape over the two long sides of the pan. This will allow you to easily lift out the loaf once it has baked.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and top with the remaining hazelnuts.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes. The loaf should be firm and a tester inserted in the center should come out clean. Cool the loaf completely in the pan, then lift out using the parchment as handles.

Slice and serve the Spiced Cocoa Pear Bread with Toasted Hazelnuts for a fall Fika break, or enjoy for breakfast or as part of a fall brunch. This moist, flavorful loaf freezes well or will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about a week if wrapped tightly in plastic or foil. Enjoy this fall treat!

Spiced Cocoa Pear Bread with Toasted Hazelnuts

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Spiced Cocoa Pear Bread with Toasted Hazelnuts has the best flavors of fall, with warm spices, juicy pears, crunchy nuts and a kiss of cocoa.


  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ¾ cup gluten-free quick oats
  • ½ cup oat flour
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup melted and cooled coconut oil
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 small ripe pears, peeled and cored, cut into ¼-inch dice (1 cup)
  • 1 cup toasted hazelnuts, skins removed and coarsely chopped


  • Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Oil a 9×5-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper so that there is some overlap up the two long sides.
  • Place the flours, oats, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda, salt and spices in a large mixing bowl; whisk until combined.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut oil, syrup, and vanilla; mix in pears. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Fold in ½ cup of the chopped hazelnuts.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the remaining hazelnuts over the top. Bake for about 40 minutes until a pick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  • Place pan on a cooling rack and cool completely before lifting out with the parchment. Slice and enjoy! Wrap the bread in plastic or foil and refrigerate for up to a week.
Course: bread, Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Fika, Snack
Keyword: Spiced Cocoa Pear Bread with Toasted Hazelnuts

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