Sour Cream Cardamom Pear Cake



Author Notes: A simple, moist sour cream cake is topped with slices of fresh pears. This recipe, adapted very loosely from a Land O'Lakes recipe, is perfect for anytime of day: It's not too sweet, so it's just as lovely for breakfast as it is for dessert.Posie (Harwood) Brien

Makes: one 9-inch cake

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 medium pears
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line it with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and ground cardamom. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and sour cream until smooth.
  5. With the mixer running (or working by hand), alternate adding the flour mixture and the egg mixture to the butter and sugar. Beat until just combined (don't overmix).
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared pan.
  7. Slice the pears thinly (about 1/4-inch thickness is good). Arrange the pears in a concentric circle, overlapping just slightly, over the top of the cake. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar evenly over the fruit.
  8. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a tester inserted into the center comes out cleanly.
  9. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
  10. Serve warm or at room temperature. Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or a simple vanilla pastry cream would be really delicious spooned over the top (just saying).

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Reviews (41) Questions (0)

41 Reviews

Marques November 11, 2018
Made this today for a brunch — fantastic and crowd pleasing. Followed suggestions and reduced sugar to 2/3c and increased cardamom to 2tsp. Definitely adding to the repertoire!
 
Karen September 29, 2018
This was WONDERFUL! A sweet little cake with a moist, dense crumb. Perfect after dinner (and again this morning with coffee!)<br />I usually don’t write a review if I’ve changed a lot of things (since then I am reviewing my own recipe and not the one posted) but I did increase, as someone else suggested, the cardamom to 2 tsp. And I am glad I did. Not sure you would even notice at 1 tsp.<br />And if you don’t have cardamom, GO OUT AND BUY IT! Otherwise using cinnamon will make it taste like any other coffee cake. Cardamom is what makes this little cake so special.
 
Karen September 29, 2018
This was WONDERFUL! A sweet little cake with a moist, dense crumb. Perfect after dinner (and again this morning with coffee!)<br />I usually don’t write a review if I’ve changed a lot of things (since then I am reviewing my own recipe and not the one posted) but I did increase, as someone else suggested, the cardamom to 2 tsp. And I am glad I did. Not sure younwould even notice at 1 tsp.<br />And if you don’t have cardamom, GO OUT AND BUY IT! Otherwise using cinnamon will make it taste like any other coffee cake. Cardamom iswhat makes this little cake so special.
 
Tysiepup February 11, 2018
I did the brown sugar swap out and it was the hit of the party. Served with crepe fraiche.
 
mousouchop May 17, 2017
Yum! Just made this, reducing sugar to about 2/3rds (130g) and still thought it was plenty sweet. Also subbed just 1 tsp light brown sugar, as I didn't have the other stuff, also seemed plenty sweet.
 
Alison January 14, 2017
really nice cake for those of use who like something that isn't overly sweet, to have with tea or coffee. I used 1.5 tsp of cardamom, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, to enhance the flavors. My pears were overripe (really, sadly) by the time I started putting it together, and I had to make a last minute substitution with apple. That worked out very well from a flavor perspective, even if unintended! The cake itself was perfect--moist, even crumb. I decided to try making it as an upside down cake, but that wasn't ideal. The apples made the top of the cake a little gooey as a result, and I think it would be better to keep the fruit on top so it caramelizes better and dries out a bit. Still very tasty, though! I will make it again the right side up.
 
Kbeatz October 18, 2016
Do you think this would work as an upside-down cake (pears go on the bottom of the pan first)?
 
SeaGrey August 1, 2016
I made this twice now. The first time it was very good! I used my mandolin to thinly slice pears and cooked result was very pretty. The second time I doubled the amount of cardamom and much preferred that. Thank you for the wonderful recipe.
 
jenny April 15, 2016
Made this today as I have soooooo many pears to use up! But found it to be the blandest cake ever. Nice texture, but no flavour at all. Would suggest doubling the cardamom, and adding vanilla or some other flavour too. Ginger may be nice...
 
sydney March 20, 2016
Very forgiving and versatile recipe. I did 1/4 cups each of unbleached white, millet, and quinoa flours. Only put in 1/4 cup of sugar. Switched out sour cream for full-fat, plain yogurt. Sliced 1 large pear very thinly and it all stayed on top. Dd the whole thing in a parchment-lined pan (no flouring or greasing). Baked about 10 minutes more than recipe indicated. Turned out beautifully and ate it for breakfast. Thanks for recipe!
 
nooshin March 16, 2016
Great cake! Perfect with afternoon tea. I made this cake for my girlfriends and they loved it. The cardamom made the cake very special. Thank you!
 
Zalea S. March 12, 2016
I made this cake with peaches- the peaches sunk in a bit and that pushed the cake up out of the pan, which made me happy to have the parchment. The outer edges of the cake cooked much more quickly than the inside- I had to put it in maybe 10 or more minutes before the cake tester came out clean in the center.
 
Michelle March 5, 2016
I made this cake last week for a "Welcome to the Neighborhood" Party. It turned out absolutely beautiful! I sliced the pears very thin and baked it in a 9 inch round cake pan and had no sinking or spillage. I did have to bake it another 10 more minutes. Sweet Success!<br />
 
Julie March 5, 2016
I love this kind of simple cake. I made it today and it is really good. I sliced the pears very thin and the slices did not sink - that may be the trick. Thanks for sharing this recipe!
 
Lynda February 28, 2016
Made this last night. It was wonderful. Had to cook about 12 minutes longer. I also only used cinnamon and rubbed my pear slices in brown sugar and cinnamon before placing on top. It carmalized them nicely brown.
 
Mary L. February 28, 2016
Is this made with salted or unsalted butter?
 
Laura V. March 6, 2016
Unsalted
 
em-i-lis February 26, 2016
This is a simple, lovely recipe. We enjoyed the cake quite a bit.
 
Lisa February 26, 2016
I made this cake this evening. So delicious! I sliced my pears thinly and all looked lovely when baking was done. I used brown sugar instead of turbinado. Couldn't tell if there was difference. I'll make this again.
 
Michelle February 24, 2016
What is turbinado sugar?
 
em-i-lis February 26, 2016
Hi Michelle, It's a light brown cane sugar with larger crystals than standard granulated sugar.
 
Alison February 24, 2016
This cake was fantastic! I cut the sugar to 2/3 cup without issue and baked it in a 9" springform pan to prevent overflow. Will definitely save this recipe and make it throughout the year with different fruits and spices. Thanks!
 
calendargirl February 28, 2016
Alison, I did the same with this lovely cake. I learned years ago to reduce the sugar by a third in most recipes and have been doing so without any ill effects. And, with less sugar, the flavors of the fruit and spices shine.