Quick Old-Fashioned Pear Cake

There’s something about a simple cake that just warms the cockles of my heart. This one is very straight-forward in flavor – just cake and lovely pear. You could add a whisper of almond, if you’d like.

Old-Fashioned Pear Cake
Old-Fashioned Pear Cake

Not very sweet, this would make an ideal coffee cake for a brunch or lazy weekend. Or a wonderful snack cake for after school.

My kids would have loved to come home from school to this. It’s sturdy enough to pick up and eat out of hand.

Old-Fashioned Pear Cake
Old-Fashioned Pear Cake

For after dinner, a little whipping cream, maybe flavored with pear brandy, would never be wrong alongside this.

Or maybe you’d like to warm it and serve with a nice scoop of vanilla ice-cream. A drizzle of caramel? Or chocolate?

Old-Fashioned Pear Cake
Old-Fashioned Pear Cake

Old-Fashioned Pear Cake

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 1/2 cups flour, stir to lighten, then measure
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons (1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 extra large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pear brandy, vanilla or almond extract
  • 4 pears, peeled, two in chunks, 2 in 3/8″ slices (make sure pears are fully ripe)
  • 2 tablespoons flour (for pear chunks)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (sprinkle on top)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9″ spring form pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk dry ingredients: flour, cornstarch and baking powder, together and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese with the 3/4 cup sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add brandy or extract of choice.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing on low until just incorporated. Toss pear chunks in a little flour, then carefully mix in by hand.

Scrape into prepared pan, level, and then top with the pear slices in a ring. Add a few chunks to the center. Sprinkle with additional sugar.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until the top just barely begins to color. Do not over bake. Remove from oven and rest 10 minutes, then run a knife around the sides and release the spring form. Cool and serve.

Slightly adapted from An Italian in my Kitchen

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I’ll be sharing this post at Fiesta Friday, hosted this week by Julianna @ Foodie on Board and Zeba @ Food For The Soul, as well as at Throwback Thursday.

To view the links or add your own at Throwback Thursday, click the frog, below!

45 thoughts on “Quick Old-Fashioned Pear Cake”

  1. I am so happy to see a simple, basic recipe which uses pears. Sadly pear recipes are few and far between. Apples by far have overwhelmed the food world with more apple recipes than there are stars in the sky at night. I like apples, I like apple recipes most of the time but I’ve always LOVED pears. The worst part of working with pears is they are so blessedly difficult to get to ripen all at the same time you need them. Whenever my mom would can pears she would begin with a big bushel of them in the kitchen and everyday as enough would ripen she would can a quart or two. It was a task that just went on and on and on whereas most other fruit you can just do it all at once. That I would say is the pear’s one and only fault. I’m just so tickled to see this recipe and while I could make it now with the pears available in the supermarket, I think I’ll wait for the local ones to become available in the autumn. After all, everything is always better with local homegrown produce where you can go and see the tree if you want. Any other recipes with pears, don’t hesitate to send them our way. I for one will be thrilled.

    1. Ok, now I see your first comment!! 🙂 Pears have always been a favorite – I love my first tooth biting into a pear when I was a kid! 🙂 How lucky do you feel to have a Mom who canned pears! 🙂 I love pears anyway I can get them, btw. 🙂

  2. I made the pear cake yesterday for Sunday dinner dessert. Followed the directions exactly. The dough was so stiff the pears chunks wouldn’t fold in. I pressed ‘the dough’ in the pan. The aroma was wonderful. It did not look baked enough after 45 minutes, but I took it out anyway. It had no flavor. The pears did not make up for the lack of sugar in the batter. Rarely disappointed in a recipe. First time for everything. Any suggestions on what went wrong?

    1. Diane, 1st of all, thanks for coming back and letting me know there was a problem (and being so very straightforward & nice about it) because I made a major mistake in this recipe.

      You hit it on the nose; I somehow left out the sugar both in the instructions and in the ingredient list – that’s the worst kind of mistake because you’d have had no clue because it was left out in both places, and to make matters worse, I mentioned the cake wasn’t very sweet so one might not be alarmed to not see sugar in the ingredients!

      I apologize profusely – I’m kind of a perfectionist (normally) about recipes, especially baking recipes, and I could just kick myself for causing you to be left w/o dessert, and wasting your time AND ingredients!

      I haven’t heard anything from anyone else, on a comment or in an email, but I learned from being in customer service for a big company that a lot of times people will simply not bring it to anyone’s attention if something isn’t right. Thanks for bringing this mistake to my attention and saving anyone else from a ruined cake.

      Mollie

      1. By the way, I was out of town when I got your note, but am back home, now. I’ve bought pears and as soon as they are ready to use, I’m remaking this cake just to make sure it works out well and I didn’t make any other errors!

        Mollie

    2. Since I see sugar in the ingredients and the instructions can I assume what I’m seeing now is a corrected version? I didn’t read the other comments until after I wrote mine. thanks

      1. Yes, sorry I wasn’t around to comment earlier; it IS the corrected version. Just be very careful to take it out at the earliest moment it’s done or it is prone to be a little dry.

  3. Mmmm! This is a beautiful pear cake, Mollie! I am imagining this with some whipping cream and a steaming cup of tea! Wow! Thanks so much for sharing this with the gang at FF! 😀

  4. I can just imagine the aroma wafting through your house with this wonderful pear cake recipe. I make something similar, I love the idea of pear brandy in the whipping cream. Nothing quite like a boozy dessert 🙂

    1. You just keep sayin’ that, lol! I gotta say I do like baking. I’d bake everyday if I had enough people to eat it all up, although I’ve noticed how it gets harder with all the standing…ah, if only it could be done from the couch…

    1. I have friends who have pear trees and every year I wish I would have asked them to let me grow a few pears inside the bottles…pear brandy is so cool I always thought it would be fun!

    1. I don’t either, due to their persnickity natures, I think. you wait and wait and wait for them to ripen, then turn around and in the blink of an eye it’s too late…but when I catch them at the right time!? Sublime…

    1. Nickki, you’re right, these simple cakes just need to be brought back into fashion. Not that I don’t love a big celebratory layer cake, but it’s just fun to have something humble around like this….

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