Roasted Pear Bundt Cake with Browned Butter Glaze

October  7, 2015
4 Ratings
Photo by Yossy Arefi
  • Makes one bundt
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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  • 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. For the roasted pear cake:
  2. 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.
  3. 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 :)
  4. Turn the oven down to 350° F and butter and flour a bundt pan.
  5. Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices together in a bowl.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Let cool before glazing, if desired.
  1. For the browned butter glaze (optional):
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • charles
  • Emma Kelsey
    Emma Kelsey
  • mauldwright
  • Daphna Edgar
    Daphna Edgar
  • Ali Mack
    Ali Mack
Yossy Arefi is a photographer and stylist with a passion for food. During her stint working in restaurant kitchens, Yossy started the blog Apt. 2B Baking Co. where, with her trusty Pentax film camera, she photographs and writes about seasonal desserts and preserves. She currently lives in Brooklyn but will always love her native city of Seattle. Follow her work at &

23 Reviews

charles December 28, 2020
This cake was really nice. The spices come through well, but I did add vanilla and nutmeg also. If you don't leave some of the bigger pear chucks, the pear flavor will definitely be lost in the final result. We mashed more than we should have and I would call it a spiced bundt cake and not a PEAR spiced bundt cake. Between the pear mash and the creme fraiche this is a moist cake.

The brown butter glaze was good, but both my wife and me agreed that a cream cheese frosting probably would have taken up the cake a notch. Honestly, this could be us both just really liking cream cheese frosting.

Final option is that we will make it again, but will remember to not mash all the pear chunks and to switch the brown butter glaze for a cream cheese frosting
Emma K. October 4, 2020
This was very good! I halved the recipe and baked it in a loaf pan. I used sour cream instead of creme fraiche and lowered the sugar a bit since my pears were very ripe. I skipped the glaze and served it with Thomas Keller's mascarpone lemon sorbet. We shared it with friends who loved it!
Jake B. November 22, 2019
If there is leftover pear syrup from the roasting, why couldn't it be used instead of milk in the glaze?
Barbara F. October 26, 2016
Mauldwright: I'm sure that the time cooked would be much less in a round pan than a bundt pan, so I would watch closely, but it would still be just as delicious! And Daphna, I think that the "milk for brushing" is really milk for thinning and you "brush" the glaze on. I just "poured" the glaze on and spread it with the back of a spoon! :)
mauldwright October 26, 2016
Does this have to be a bundt? wondering if the time in oven would change it just baked it a round cake pan?
Daphna E. January 17, 2016
What is the milk for brushing? It's in the glaze directions, but not in the instructions? Do I brush the cake with milk after the glaze hardens?
Angela R. December 28, 2015
This cake is somewhat labor intensive but worth it. The pears give off a lot of liquid after roasting so drain the pears before and after mashing them so that you have a lumpy puree. Note also that the ingredient, 2 cups of light brown sugar, does not specify packed or unpacked. Each cup of brown sugar is about 200-217 grams unpacked. That seemed like a lot of sugar and I cut it back. Would appreciate clarification from Yossi. I made it in a large loaf pan and one smaller with these adjustments and it is delicious.
monica L. October 24, 2021
I know this is 6 years later, but I was also wondering about the weight measurements. She has a list of conversions in her cookbook so I used that as a reference for how she measures. The flour = 384g (128g/cup), the sugar = 400g (200g/cup). My cake is in the oven now so not sure yet how it turned out!
monica L. October 24, 2021
My pears also turned out way too watery so I strained some liquid as well.
Constantin M. November 20, 2023
How did it turn out? I would prefer weighted measurements too
Ali M. November 8, 2015
This is an amazing recipe. Great fall flavors. My family and I enjoyed every bite. It's so good that seconds are a must!
yayellie November 8, 2015
I made this and was AMAZING! I didn't have creme fraiche and used full fat greek yogurt... I served it to a crowd and everyone came back for more. Absolutely perfect, super sophisticated and mysterious with the cardamom and pear.
Kerri B. November 2, 2015
Browned butter glaze is never "optional" ;)
yayellie November 8, 2015
So true!
Linda E. November 2, 2015
I am allergic to apples, as is my daughter, so this is a wonderful alternative dessert. Thank you.
Barbara F. November 2, 2015
I made this recipe and it was absolutely fabulous! Very delicious. My friend had a pear tree with pears all over the ground that she said were not good for eating, but for making jellies and jams. Well, I made this cake and it was GONE fast! I added more cinnamon by mistake. I went to put a little bit more in and it spilled. I tried to get most of it out -- but I bet it had about 3 teaspoons total. Anyway, it was the so tasty! TRY IT!!
Shellsie November 2, 2015
I'm going to try this with canned pears. It won't be as good but local pears aren't available now.
Elizabeth November 2, 2015
Do you have a suggestion on the pear variety? Looks delicious & I can't wait to make it!
RLuxford October 15, 2015
It sounds like the pears are stewed, not roasted.

I'd like to try this with rilly roasted pears.
christa R. October 11, 2015
Wow! Delicious! Thank you
at Y. October 11, 2015
this was absolutely fabulous!
sydney October 8, 2015
I hate to be that 'non-gluten person' (I have a child with an autoimmune issue) you think you could use buckwheat flour or quinoa flour instead of all-purpose wheat flour?
Yossy A. October 9, 2015
I think you could probably use an all purpose gluten-free flour blend which usually contains a couple of flours, plus some starch which helps give baked goods structure, but I can't say for sure. I think using only buckwheat or quinoa flour would probably be too bitter.