Spiced Pear Cake

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Enjoy in-season pears in this delicious, spiced pear cake. It mixes up quickly and serves as a perfect snack any day of the week.

pear cake and pears with slice of cake in foreground

You see that pears are on sale at the store this week. I mean, they’re practically on perpetual sale it would seem, at the low price of only 99 cents per pound. But, besides eating them fresh, what should you do with them?

Bake them into cake, that’s what!

Pear cake is incredibly easy to prepare, and THIS Spiced Pear Cake is the perfect pear dessert. Its impressive presentation makes it the ideal candidate for sharing with guests or taking to an event, but it’s simple enough to turn into an afterschool snack for the kids.

When are pears in season?

While typically considered a late summer/fall fruit, pears seem to be readily and inexpensively available all year round. You know what that means, right?

You can enjoy pear cake twelve months out of the year! And you’ll certainly want to when you see how easy it is to prepare this pear cake.

three kinds of pears for sale at the grocery store

How do you choose pears?

I have an almost magical memory of purchasing a pear at a sidewalk Parisian fruit vendor and peeling it with my Swiss army knife on a park bench near the Musee Marmottan over twenty years ago. Choosing a pear for that occasion necessitated allowing the vendor to choose one that was perfectly ripe.

Unfortunately, most of us don’t have those daily pear-choosing moments. Since that almost Proustian moment so long ago, I’ve purchased pears a week or two in advance of serving.

You see, commercial pears in the US are packaged long before they’re ripe. One of the perks of pears is that they do ripen well off the tree which is a good thing since ripe pears bruise quite badly. Plan in advance, and purchase your pears rock hard and blemish free.

Can you ripen pears at home?

Once home, leave the pears at room temperature until they ripen. In the case of Bartlett pears, they will yellow softly and soften. Once they are ripe, enjoy them quickly or refrigerate for a day or two to buy yourself some time.

Should I cook pears or leave them fresh?

Pears can be used poached, simmered into sauce, or used in baking. They are also delicious served fresh out of hand or in salads.

What are some good pear recipes?

These are some of my favorites:

pear cake on white platter with fresh pears nearby

How to make this good and cheap:

You know I don’t typically want to make something if I can’t make it good as well as cheap. Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:

  • Stock up on ingredients when they are on sale. When I find regular kitchen staples on sale, I buy a lot. I’m currently using a price book to track prices and that’s saving me money. For this recipe, keeping an eye on the price of flour, butter, and spices can help keep the price down. And of course, stock up on pears when they’re at a great price!
  • Buying in bulk – I also have gotten into the habit of buying cases of flour from Bob’s Red Mill or VitaCost so that I always have baking supplies on hand.

How I make this recipe easy:

This recipe really couldn’t be easier than it is, but having the right kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs.

Here are the tools that I use for this recipe:

  • hand mixer – I’ve had mine for years now and love it for quick mixing jobs.
  • springform pan – A must-have for cheesecakes and snack cakes.
  • mixing bowl – I love having a set that nests.

pear cake on a white platter with fresh pears nearby


0 from 0 votes
Spiced Pear Cake
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
45 mins

Enjoy in-season pears in this delicious, spiced pear cake. It mixes up quickly and serves as a perfect snack any day of the week.

Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pear cake, pear dessert, pear recipes, pears
Servings: 8
Calories: 289 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 to 3 large pears peeled, cored, and cut into 1/8ths
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, zest, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and ginger.
  3. In another large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and 3/4 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. Blend in the vanilla.
  4. Add the flour mixture and blend until well combined. Do not overmix.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Place the pear slices in a circle around the surface of the cake, spacing about 1/2-inch apart.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and the 1 tablespoon sugar. Sprinkle this mixture over the pears.
  7. Bake the cake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until a tester comes out with a few crumbs attached.
  8. Cut around the cake to loosen it from the sides of the pan. Release the sides of the springform pan. Cool on a rack.
  9. Cake can be served warm or at room temperature.
Recipe Notes

You can wrap and freeze leftovers up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts
Spiced Pear Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 289 Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat 13g20%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 71mg24%
Sodium 191mg8%
Potassium 138mg4%
Carbohydrates 41g14%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 23g26%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 425IU9%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 38mg4%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


This pear cake is adapted from this plum cake recipe.

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About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Kimberly says

    I may have missed it (up way too late!)….but would canned pears work in this, or just get too mushy and mostly disappear? Thanks!

    • Sorry for the delay in getting back to you…. I haven’t tested this, so I can’t really say. Try it and report back?

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