A piece of cake.
Apple cake gets more attention, but I’m in love with this lovely little pear cake recipe. This easy pear dessert is a true autumn baking standout: ripe pears plus easy cake batter, kissed with cinnamon for a delicious flavor and moist, tender texture.
What to do with a lot of pears? Bake an easy pear dessert!
Apple recipes — apple cake, applesauce, apple pie, apple cider — tend to get the most attention in fall and winter, when apples are at their peak and recipes abound. But this simple, easy vanilla pear cake recipe makes a strong case for the season’s other best fruit: the pear.
What can I say? I love this moist little pear cake recipe. This simple dessert is loaded with chunks of fresh, ripe pears tossed just-so with cinnamon.
Also be sure to check out this roundup of the Best Apple and Pear Dessert Recipes, featuring the best crisps, pies, cakes, and more.
How to Make This Fresh Pear Cake Recipe
This easy pear dessert recipe starts with a basic vanilla cake batter. Here are the simple instructions, in a nutshell:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a standard 8″ or 9″ cake pan.
- Combine the oil and sugar, then add the eggs, vanilla, juice, and cinnamon.
- When that has lightened, add the dry ingredients, stir in the pears with the flour mixture and liquids.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan and bake.
While this pear cake recipe makes a single 8- or 9-inch layer cake, it can easily be doubled and baked in two cake pans or a single tube pan. If you bake this in a tube pan, or vary the size of the round pans, the baking time will vary, so keep an eye.
Finally, the spice ingredient here are simply cinnamon, which I think is all you need. But you could also add a pinch of nutmeg and cloves if you want a stronger fall baking spice flavor and aroma.
What type of pears to use in this pear cake recipe
You do not need any specific type of pear. Any will do; just make sure the pears are nice and ripe and it adds up to two cups of diced pears to stir into the batter. That said, I prefer ripe d’Anjou pears, Bosc pears, or Bartletts.
And be sure to peel those pears; top to bottom is the easiest way.
How to tell when pears are ripe? Ripe pears feel soft, but not mushy.
Knowing When Your Pear Cake Is Baked
Your cake is done when a cake tester or skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean, and the top feels firm but not hard, like a sponge. You may also notice the edges pulling away from the pan. In a round cake pan, this will take about 40 minutes.
When cool enough to handle, turn the cake out onto a cooling rack or plate, then invert back to right-side up onto a wire rack. Cool, then serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, spread with buttercream, or just plain.
Finish This Easy Pear Dessert With Buttercream Frosting
Finally, your finished fresh pear cake will be perfect as-is, or with a dusting of powdered sugar.
But you can also add a layer of vanilla buttercream frosting. You won’t need much, so I would use the below ratio. Combine in a bowl and mix until smooth and fluffy.
- 1 stick (4 ounces) of unsalted butter, at soft room temperature
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- A generous pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
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Fresh Pear Cake
- 1/2 cup neutral vegetable oi, such as canola
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup pear juice, apple juice, apple cider, orange juice, or water
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 Large ripe pears, such as Bartlett or Anjou
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease and line a standard 8" or 9" cake pan.
- Peel, core, and dice the pears into a medium dice, about 1/2" x 1/2" size. Set aside in a bowl.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the oil and sugar until emulsified. Add the eggs, vanilla, salt, juice or water, and cinnamon. Beat on medium, scraping the bowl once, until lightened and smooth.
- Add the flour and baking powder and mix just until combined. Use a spatula to fold in the pears.
- Pour the cake batter into the cake pan and bake on the center rack until finished, about 40 minutes.
- Cool on a cooling rack until the cake pan can be handled with bare hands, but still warm. Run a knife or offset spatula around the edge of the cake pan to loosen the cake. Turn the cake out onto the rack and let cool fully.
- Leave plain, or top with powdered sugar or vanilla buttercream frosting. Serve with a scoop of vanila ice cream or fresh whipped cream if you like.