Make Ahead

Pear and Almond Cake with Spikey Cream

November  9, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves 10-12
Author Notes

The cake is moist and tender on the inside and has a crisp chewy shell on the outside. The nuts are ground finely so that they add some flavor and texture but are not the star of the show. That role is reserved for the pears. Because of the fruit, the cake stays moist for several days. It might keep even longer, but in the many times I have made it, it has never lasted long enough around here for me to tell you for sure. The cake is delicious with a dollop of spiked whipped cream, although I love it even with just a dusting of powdered sugar. —Margy@hidethecheese

What You'll Need
  • 1 cup whole unsalted, raw almonds
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Calvados or Poire William
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a Bundt pan.
  2. Finely chop the almonds in a food processor. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the chopped almonds, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3. n a large bowl, whisk together the canola oil, eggs, brown sugar, 1 cup of granulated sugar, and almond extract. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until they are just combined. Gently stir in the pears.
  4. Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 30 minutes, and then turn it onto a cooling rack.
  6. If you'd like to serve the cake with whipped cream, whip the cream until it begins to stiffen. Add the liqueur and sugar and whip until it holds gentle peaks.
  7. When the cake has cooled, turn it onto a serving plate, cut yourself a nice big piece, top it with a dollop of whipped cream, polish a fork, and dig in.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Margy@hidethecheese
  • mrslarkin
  • Jennifer

4 Reviews

Margy@hidethecheese October 7, 2013
Interesting, Jennifer. I love that pear flavor on its own, but if you want to jazz it up, maybe use some of the same booze as in the whipped cream -- Calvados or Poire William -- to soak the pears? I haven't tried plums, but I think they would be great, although I might change the liquor and use something more earthy like a port. Have fun experimenting and let me know how it turns out!
Jennifer October 6, 2013
Beautiful cake. Although had difficulty gauging doneness and pulled it out a little early. One problem that I have had with pear cakes in general is that the pear is a little underwhelming. I wonder if the cake would benefit from soaking the pears in rum or other liquor or if I can bake the cake with plums, skin-on instead? The fruit is missing a bit of a bite to contrast with the sweetness of the cake. Please let me know what you think.
mrslarkin November 9, 2010
Margy@hidethecheese November 10, 2010
Thank you, Mrs. L.