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Cut slice and rest of pear cake on pink cake stand on brown surface

Fresh Pear Cake

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooling time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Breakfast / Brunch
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A simple fall cake that is nothing short of amazing. Sweet, easy to make, with juicy pears and a spiced crumb, it's perfect to have around as a snack or to serve with coffee for friends. It keeps well and can be frozen. 


Ingredients

Units Scale

For a 10-inch round springform or 11x7 inch rectangular pan:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of allspice or nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or paste
  • 2 large pears, peeled, cored and sliced
  • Optional: 1 or 2 tablespoons of cinnamon sugar to dust before baking

For a 9-inch round, springform cake cake:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Pinch of allspice or nutmeg
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or paste
  • 2 medium pears, peeled, cored and sliced
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon of cinnamon sugar to dust before baking

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF / 180ºC.
  2. Grease with soft butter or baking spray line the pan you’ll be using. Round pans don’t need to be lined, but, if using the 11x7-inch pan, I like to line it with a strip of parchment paper covering the bottom and two long sides; the short sides will remain unlined but greased. This makes it easier to remove the rectangular cake after it’s baked.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. I have them measured and sift them directly into the batter, but you can sift them separately in a medium bowl if that’s more convenient for you. 
  4. In a large bowl beat the soft butter and sour cream until smooth and no lumps remain.
  5. Gradually add both sugars while beating at medium/high speed for 3 minutes, until light in color and the sugar is partially dissolved.
  6. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. The batter might look curdled but it will be fine after the dry ingredients are added.
  7. Add the vanilla extract and mix.
  8. Sift the flour mixture (flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt) and add it in 2 parts together with the spices. I have them measured and sift them directly into the batter, but you can sift them separately if that’s more convenient for you. 
  9. Mix well at low speed, but don’t over beat at this point or the cake will be tough after it’s baked.
  10. Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. 
  11. Add the pear slices on top of the cake, creating a pattern or however you want them placed.
  12. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar if using.
  13. Bake for about 50-55 minutes for the 10-inch round or rectangular cakes, and 60-70 minutes for the 9-inch cake, until the top is golden and a cake tester or toothpick inserted comes out clean. 
  14. Important: if the top is browning too quickly, cover it with a piece of aluminum paper after 40-45 minutes of baking. This will prevent it from darkening further but the cake will still continue to bake. Start checking for doneness at the lowest time specified in this recipe and have patience until it’s fully baked. It might take a little more (than the highest time specified) depending on your oven, especially for round cakes.
  15. Let cool on a wire rack and remove from the pan. If you lined the pan, make sure the unlined sides are not sticking to the pan and then lift the paper carefully so the cake is also easily lifted with it. 
  16. Dust with powdered sugar if you want before eating. 
  17. It keeps well for a day or two at room temperature, covered in plastic wrap or under a cake dome. After that refrigerate or freeze, always well wrapped. 

Notes

Organization: always read the recipe first and make sure you have all the ingredients, at the right temperatures, and also the rest of the equipment and space to make it. This will make the process so much easier!

Baking time: keep in mind that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look the same or very similar. The baking time in my recipes are as accurate as I they can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer that is placed inside the oven (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust. 

Flavorings: you can adjust the amount of spices, substitute some of them like nutmeg or allspice with a pinch of cloves if you like it, or use cardamom instead. Also, pears go well with almond extract (in addition to the vanilla) but I would only use cinnamon in that case. Orange zest, maybe a teaspoon, will complement the flavors well.

Serving it: I like to make it in the rectangular pan, similar to a sheet cake, when making this cake for a gathering, party or brunch table. It's easy to cut in portions that can be eaten by hand. In that case, I place a piece of pear (more like a chunk than a slice) for each portion that I will be cutting.

Dessert style: if you make a sheet cake and serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, it qualifies as a dessert more than a cake. And it's delicious. 

Streusel: this is a fantastic cake to make with a crumble topping. Don't add too much, maybe 1/3 cup, so as not to need much more baking time. Remember it's another layer you're adding to an already dense cake that is weighed down by fruit.

Glaze: this is always a good idea, and a powdered sugar glaze will work wonderfully and make it sweeter. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/10
  • Calories: 338
  • Sugar: 25.8 g
  • Sodium: 213.9 mg
  • Fat: 16.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 43.6 g
  • Protein: 4.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 94.9 mg

Keywords: pear cake