A tea cake baked with beautiful autumn pears, warming spices and rye flour for a delicious afternoon treat. My Spiced Pear Cake is utterly divine with thin caramelized pear slices resting on top of soft, golden cake crumb. Very easy to bake and great with a dollop of cream. Try it today!
💚 Why you'll love this cake?
This Spiced Pear Cake uses rye flour that has an earthy, dense complexity. It makes the cake deliciously rustic and deeply golden like one from your favorite bakery. The spices make it deeply aromatic and it literally makes your home smell festive.
- It is low-sugar. Just two-thirds cup of sugar in the whole cake.
- It uses autumn's best pears. A lovely sweet treat.
- It is really simple to make - mix the batter, pour the batter, top with pear slices and bake!
- It keeps well for a good 4-5 days in cool weather.
- It travels well making it ideal for picnics, potlucks and gatherings.
🍐 Autumn and Beurré Bosc Pears
Every year I proclaim that autumn is my favourite season and winter a close second. Autumn and I are kindred spirits. Golden leaves, red hair, bear hugs, foggy breath, a rust scarf, soft sun, a fallen carpet, snug boots, steaming cups, baked fruit, a warm kiss, a smattering of sugar, a hint of spice. An extension of each other, like sisters that mimic each other in every walk of life and thrive together.
When my sister Nature comes to visit, I love to bake. There are many joys in life and one of them is a slow Sunday morning wrapped tight in your dressing gown, sitting out in the morning chill caressed by a soft glow holding a steaming mug like a treasure found. A slice of something baked at your side. With fruit and spices and wholesome ingredients that nourish your insides and spoil you a bit. Like this warm Spiced Pear Cake.
This simple cake is a gorgeous mix of nuts, rye, fruit and spices making it one of the most delicious cakes I have ever eaten. It indulges with butter and satisfies with the harmony of flavours. A cake that is put together and baked in under an hour using the season's prize bounty - Beurré Bosc Pears.
The Bosc pears were discovered in the early 1800s in Europe. They are also called Kaiser pears in some countries. The aristocrat of pears, Beurré Bosc pears are hard to miss with their thin tapering top and beautiful russeted skin with hues of green and gold. Their flesh is hard and crisp but sweet like a sorbet that literally melts in your mouth - hence the name "Beurré" which means butter in French. They are perfect for baking recipes. And they are an artist's dream.
📝 Ingredients & Substitutions
Flours - This spiced pear cake has a combination of rye and plain flours. The rye flour adds a lovely depth and rustic feel to the cake. It pairs beautifully with spices. If you'd like to make this cake gluten-free, substitute the flours with sorghum or chestnut flour. You can also use a combination of gluten-free flour and toasted crushed pecan nuts for a highly textural cake.
Spices - This cake uses mixed spice. Mixed spice is a fragrant spice mix often used in British baking. It is readily available at supermarkets and spice merchants. It has a sweet spicy and warm flavor and consists of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and/or mace, cloves, ginger and coriander. You can substitute with any sweet baking spice mix like apple pie spice, pumpkin pie spice or gingerbread spice mix.
Almond - Almond meal can be substituted with hazelnut meal. It changes the flavour quite a bit but I have tried this variation and it is absolutely delicious.
Pear - Beurré Bosc pears are the best for baking this spiced pear cake. They have a fantastic shape and firm flesh that has a sorbet-like sweetness when ripe. They are excellent to cut into slices as they are thin and long. Any sweet pear with firm flesh makes a good substitute. Try William Bartlett or Packham pears.
🥣 How to make Spiced Pear Cake
- Trim the top off a pear. Cut it in half and remove the pith. Slice the pear very thinly into paper-thin slices.
- Beat eggs, sugar, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer for a few minutes until light and creamy.
3. Beat flours, almond meal, spices, salt and baking powder into the wet mixture very briefly for a few seconds until just combined.
4. Pour the batter in the cake tin. Top with pear slices in a circular pattern, add cinnamon and sugar and bake.
🍰 Serving Suggestions
- The warming spices in this Spiced Pear Cake are perfect for a good vanilla cream. Try a slice with creme anglaise . You can even warm up a slice and serve it with a good vanilla ice cream or homemade vanilla gelato.
- Serve a slice with this Tiramisu Martini as an after-dinner treat.
🙋🏻 Recipe FAQs
Any pear with firm flesh works well in a pear cake recipe. Beurré Bosc pears are the best for baking as they have a beautiful elongated shape that allows thin, long slices of pears to be cut from the fruit. These look wonderful when baked. These pears also have a very distinct sorbet-like sweetness and stay firm and hold their shape even when quite ripe. William Bartlett or Packham pears are other great pears that you can use to bake pear cakes.
This spiced pear cake recipe uses a generous amount of mixed spice. It is a sweet and warming baking spice mix made up of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and/or mace, cloves, ginger and coriander. You can substitute with any sweet baking spice mix like apple pie spice, pumpkin pie spice or a gingerbread spice mix. You can also just use cinnamon and a bit of nutmeg if you don't have a spice mix on hand.
💛 More Plain Cake Recipes
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Spiced Pear Cake
- 200 g butter, softened
- 2/3 cup (140 g) raw sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teapsoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (70 g) rye flour
- 1 cup (130 g) almond meal
- 1/2 cup (70 g) plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2½ teaspoons mixed spice
- ¼ tsp flaky salt, crushed
- 1 Beaurré Bosc pear, top snipped, very thinly sliced
- ground cinnamon, for dusting
- raw sugar, for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease and line an 8-inch round springform pan with baking paper.
- Combine butter, sugar, egg and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer for a couple of minutes until creamy and smooth.
- Add rye flour, almond meal, plain flour, baking powder, mixed spice and salt. Beat briefly for a few seconds until just combined and creamy.
- Spoon batter into the prepared cake tin. Arrange pear slices in a circular pattern, fanning out from the center. Sprinkle with some raw sugar and dust the top with cinnamon. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 55 minutes until well-risen, cooked through and golden.
- Remove from the oven. Cool in the tin for about 20 minutes before removing from the tin and serving warm.
- The pear slices have to be close to paper thin in order to avoid them from sinking in the batter.
- Apple can be easily substituted for pear.
- Nuttier original version - Substitute plain flour with 1/2 cup toasted and crushed pecan nuts.
- Make it gluten-free - Substitute rye flour and plain flour with sorghum flour or chestnut flour or a combination of one of these flours with crushed pecan nuts.
- Mixed spice - Mixed spice is a fragrant spice mix used in baking. It has a sweet spicy and warm flavor and consists of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and/or mace, cloves, ginger and coriander. You can substitute with any sweet baking spice mix like apple pie spice, pumpkin pie spice or gingerbread spice mix.