An understated beauty.
Apple recipes — apple cake, apple sauce, 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 am in love with this moist vanilla cake loaded with chunks of fresh, ripe pears tossed just-so with cinnamon. You will be, too.
You’ll also like: Homemade Apple Sauce and Classic Apple Pie
Moist Vanilla Pear Cake: Recipe Notes
This recipe starts with a basic vanilla cake batter. Combine oil and sugar, then add the eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon. When that has lightened, you will add the dry ingredients, then fold in the pears and bake.
You do not need any specific type of pear. Any will do; just make sure they are nice and ripe, and be sure to peel them. Top to bottom is the easiest way.
While this 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.
Knowing When Your Cake Is Baked, and to Finish
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.
Finally, this cake is perfect just as-is, 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
Did you make this vanilla pear cake recipe? Share how it went!
A Lovely Vanilla Pear Cake
- 1/2 cup neutral vegetable oi, such as canola
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 cup pear juice, cider, orange juice, or water
- 2 cups diced ripe pears, peeled and cored (about 3 large pears)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease your cake pan.
- 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, and cinnamon. Beat on medium, scraping the bowl once, until lightened and smooth.
- Add the flour and baking powder and mix just until combined. Fold in the pears.
- Pour 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.