Roasted Pear Cake with Browned Butter Glaze

By Yossy Arefi
October 7, 2015
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Author Notes: This cakes gets its roots from a traditional applesauce bundt, but I have made a few crucial swaps for extreme tastiness. First, the base of the cake is roasted and smashed pears with a hefty dose of cinnamon and cardamom, and second I coated the cake in a rich and tasty browned butter glaze. The glaze is totally optional, but I think bundts always look best with a bit of frosting on top. Don't you?Yossy Arefi

Makes: one bundt

For the roasted pear cake:

  • 2 1/2 pounds pears
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons granulted sugar
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cardamom
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup crème fraîche
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Peel, core, and chop the pears into 1-inch pieces. Transfer the pears to a baking dish and toss them with the water, granulated sugar, and lemon juice. Cover the dish with foil and bake the pears until they are soft and cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. Remove the foil from the dish and let the pears cool to room temperature then mash them with a potato masher. Leave some larger bits of pear in the sauce. Measure out 2 cups of pear sauce and set aside. Save the rest for breakfast :)
  3. Turn the oven down to 350° F and butter and flour a bundt pan.
  4. Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices together in a bowl.
  5. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter, oil, and brown sugar together until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds in between each egg. Add the crème fraîche and pear sauce and stir to combine. Fold in the flour mixture.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and tap the pan on the counter to release any air. Bake the cake until golden and cooked through, 55 to 65 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert it onto a rack to cool completely.
  7. Let cool before glazing, if desired.

For the browned butter glaze (optional):

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons milk, for brushing
  • pinch salt
  1. Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Let the butter melt completely. It will begin bubbling. Continue to cook the butter, until it begins to smell nutty and darkens in color. Remove the butter from the heat and transfer it to a large bowl. Let cool slightly.
  2. Whisk in the confectioners' sugar and a pinch of salt followed by enough milk to make a smooth, pourable glaze. If the glaze breaks or curdles, add a bit of warm water to help it re-emulsify. Pour the glaze over the cooled bundt and let harden slightly before slicing.

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