Spiced Pear Cake
On Christmas Eve, I was gathering everything we needed to make our big dinner when suddenly I realized that I hadn’t planned a dessert. Really?!?
I’ve been in heavy baking mode this month, but I had neglected to think of something special for Christmas. Sure, I had some leftover Deep-Dish Pecan Pie, but such an occasion warrants its own dessert. So, we made a trip to our neighborhood market to peruse the possibilities. Some ingredients procured and my fingers crossed, I whipped up this cake.
This cake. This cake! This cake is what I want a winter cake to be like. Lots of those spices you only break out when it’s cold. Plenty of pears, which are my favorite cold weather fruit. And, of course, a little (or a lot) sweet glaze on top. And, the texture of it is so lovely and soft and moist.
I debated what kind of glaze to put on this cake. Ultimately, I decided that I’d go big with a cinnamon cream cheese glaze. I used a lot, but half the recipe will suffice, too. If you want something a little less wow-that’s-sweet, try a simpler glaze like this one or just a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.
I came very close to adding some nuts to this cake, but Quinn’s opinion was that it wouldn’t need them. And, now I agree. Although, if you wanted to toss some chopped pecans in a little melted butter with a pinch or two of cinnamon, those would be a great garnish.
Despite its last-minute origins, I can safely say that this is one of my favorite cakes I’ve made. I think I’ll be revisiting this one again before too long.
Spiced Pear Cake
Yield: 12-16 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
For the cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 large pears, cut into small pieces (about 2 cups)
For the glaze:
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 & 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
To make the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°. Generously grease a 10-cup Bundt pan.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg. Set aside.
- Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Stir in sour cream.
- Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually add flour mixture. Mix just until combined. Stir in pears.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake 50-55 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Then, remove cake from pan to wire rack to cool completely.
To make the glaze:
- Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon until smooth. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until glaze is pourable.
- Pour glaze over cooled cake. Allow glaze to set for 10-15 minutes before serving.