Spiced Pear Cake

September 17, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Makes A 9 inch layer cake or 16 cupcakes or bake in a rectangular 12x16 pan
Author Notes

This cake was adapted from a recipe by John Barricelli for Everyday Food. I had planned on entering in the pear contest but missed the deadline. He made it with apples I have made it with both. Actually pears and apples are almost interchangeable for me I often mix them in recipes. The cake is so moist and delicious and so easy to make. No stand or hand held mixer it's only gently stirred and poured into your cake pan or cupcake tins, The pictures you see are the cupcakes I made with this recipe proudly iced by my grand daughters Maia 6 and Laila 3. They feel that adding copious amounts of multi-colored sanding sugar is necessary and encouraged. I am going to make it again and post more pics later. I generally don't ice this cake I find it unnecessary just a dusting of powdered sugar, served warm with ice cream or whipped cream. When I do ice it I make either a brown sugar swiss meringue buttercream or a cream cheese icing —sdebrango

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick melted butter
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 4 pears (I used starkrimson) 2 grated 2 diced (If using apples I like granny smith
  • softened butter for pans
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 9 inch round baking pans, brush bottom with butter and lay parchment round, butter bottom and sides and flour. If you are making cupcakes this makes 16 so line 2 cupcake tins.
  2. Wash and peel your pears, grate 2 and dice 2. In medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and powder, spices and salt. In a large bowl whisk melted butter, brown sugar, eggs together then add pears, stir until well combined. Add flour mixture and stir just until combined. Divide batter into pans or cupcake tins.
  3. Bake cake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. For cupcakes approximately 20-25 minutes, but start checking at 15 minutes. Remove from oven let cool in pan for 10 minutes then invert onto cake rack to cool.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • boulangere
  • susan g
    susan g
  • AntoniaJames
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
I have loved to cook for as long as I can remember, am self taught learning as I go. I come from a large Italian family and food was at the center of almost every gathering. My grandfather made his own wine and I remember the barrels of wine in the cellar of my grandfathers home, I watched my mother and aunts making homemade pasta and remember how wonderful it was to sit down to a truly amazing dinner. Cooking for me is a way to express myself its my creative outlet. I enjoy making all types of food but especially enjoy baking, I live in Brooklyn, NY, and I share my home with my two dogs Izzy and Nando. I like to collect cookbooks and scour magazines and newspapers for recipes. I hope one day to organize them.

13 Reviews

susanweissman September 24, 2011
Planning to bake for Jewish New Year for my dairy allergic son. I have a great butter substitute and powder sugar is our "go to" allergically safe topping anyway.
susanweissman September 24, 2011
Going to try this cake out for the Jewish New Year for my dairy allergic son. Substituting the butter will be no problem - I've got a great "buttery" safe spread and I love that it doesn't need topping because powdered sugar is our allergically safe "go to."

boulangere September 17, 2011
Was last week some kind of time warp? You, I, ChezSuzanne, dymnyno - we all lost a day. I could swear that the previous contest - greens? - ended at midnight EST on Friday. But I'm very likely (a) dreaming or (b) wrong. At any rate, as I've mentioned elsewhere, though I don't remember exactly where, I'm declaring victory by giving myself the weekend to finish making and posting the ideas I'd had last week. If they work. If not, well . . . . I am truly loving the two-week contest cycle. Not that I've gotten better at making a deadline, but I am grateful for a rest from what had become for me a frenetic weekly pace.
boulangere September 18, 2011
Yes, I feel the same. I've been trying to post a bagel recipe and one for a country-style baguette for weeks, and I finally feel like I can. And I've got a couple of more pear recipes to finish trying and post. And now we're coming into fig season . . . It all adds up to not feeling so frenetic.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 18, 2011
I too am loving this 2-week cycle! It gives me a chance to exhale without feeling like I'm missing a contest. I can post things then as I want, which is perfect, and then I'm really ready when a new contest ramps up again. And I can tell you I will definitely be paying closer attention to the calendar in the future :-).
susan G. September 17, 2011
The cake sounds inspiring, and the adventures with grandaughters sounds like fun. I actually got my boys more interested in cooking than my daughter was, and now have 3 grandaughters close enough to do some baking with. We'll have to share the picture to get the ball rolling. All fine art should be honored.
AntoniaJames September 17, 2011
Love the recipe, and really love the photos! What gorgeous colors, and what nice work your granddaughters did. Please tell them I said so! What great fun. Looking forward to making these, but may put a streusel topping on instead of icing and sprinkles (unless, of course, I had some little helpers like yours). . . . ;o)
AntoniaJames September 17, 2011
The last time I had little helpers like that was when I was a teenager and my younger sister, food52'er SallyCan, was just a bit older than your Maia. Very happy memories, indeed. We baked a lot together! (I could never get my active, playing-outside-all-the-time sons interested in baking when they were little. Or, for that matter, since then.) ;o)
boulangere September 17, 2011
OMG, what a wonderful idea for a contest!
boulangere September 17, 2011
I hope some of the resident geniuses at food52 are checking in here. Brilliant idea for a contest!
TheWimpyVegetarian September 18, 2011
Oh man, a week around kids cooking with kids would be great!! I have a little granddaughter who's now 6 and a grandson who's 5 who both love to help in the kitchen. It would be so fun to create something with them for Food52. I'll bet your granddaughters are so excited to have the photo of their decorated cupcakes here. They did a beautiful job!!!
boulangere September 17, 2011
What was it with last week? You're the 4th one to confess to having missed the deadline. I love the cake, and totally agree with your granddaughters as to the importance of letting them use all the sugary colors they can get their hands on.
TheWimpyVegetarian September 17, 2011
I love this!! I'm so glad you posted this, and especially with the photos! I love the use of color here - very Jackson Pollack! And it looks so delicious too!!