Pear + Almond Cakes


 Prep Time : 15 Minutes | Cook Time : 25 Minutes | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! These delightful cakes were born out of a cake I made when a couple of friends came around for dinner. The last time we had gotten together one had suggested a future cake with pears and spices, maybe made with almonds. Naturally I got to work! The cake was delicious, and these mini-cakes have virtually no variations. The main change is that the original cake had a layer of thinly sliced pears in the bottom which became an upside-down decoration. The cake was fabulous until that layer of pear gradually made the whole cake soggy. So these cakes do away with it and stick to ribbons of sweet pears running through the cakes themselves. On the day of baking they will have a chewy golden caramelised crust. Over the next couple of days the crust will soften, the spices will become a little stronger and the pear will melt into the cakes. What you prefer is up to you! There are notes on making full size cakes in the Cook’s Notes at the bottom. These cakes can also be gluten free by switching out the small amount of flour with a cup-for-cup blend. These cakes are fast and delicious and look delightfully elegant and french. Perfect for your next cup of tea.

Heat the oven to 180C (35oF). Prepare your pan by brushing with melted butter and dusting with flour.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until as combined as possible after each one. This can take some time if either the butter or eggs are cold. Be patient. Beat in the vanilla.

Add the almonds, baking powder, spices, salt and flour. Fold a couple of times to start mixing.

Add the grated pear. Your can peel it if you like. I don’t because I can’t be bothered. Just remove the core and shred the pear using a box grater. Grate onto a plate to catch all the juice.

Fold until well combined.

Fill the wells or your pan 3/4 full. You should get about 12 to 15 cakes depending on size. The cakes will rise a bit then shrink back. This is totally normal.

Bake for 25 to 28 minutes until dark golden brown on top and the cakes spring back when touched gently with a finger. It seems like a long time but a lovely chewy golden crust will caramelise on the outside while the inside is moist and tender.

Cool for a few minutes in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To serve dust with a little icing sugar and add a dollop of greek yoghurt or creme fraiche. The cakes are so sweet and buttery on their own and don’t need frosting. A controversial stance but I’m sticking with it.

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Pear + Almond Cakes


Prep Time : 15 mins | Cook Time : 25 mins | Total Time : 1 hour | Difficulty : Easy | Makes : 12 to 15 small cakes

Tender buttery french-style almond cakes filled with sweet pear and aromatic spices.

Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons (115 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (115 grams) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 + 1/3 cups (150 grams) ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour or gluten free flour blend
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • pinch salt
  • 1 large pear, grated

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • Standing or hand-held electric mixer
  • 12 cup mini bundt pan, mini loaf pan, cupcake or friand pan

Directions:

Heat the oven to 180C (35oF). Prepare your pan by brushing with melted butter and dusting with flour.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until as combined as possible after each one. This can take some time if either the butter or eggs are cold. Be patient. Beat in the vanilla.

Add the almonds, baking powder, spices, salt and flour. Fold a couple of times to start mixing.

Add the grated pear. Your can peel it if you like. I don’t because I can’t be bothered. Just remove the core and shred the pear using a box grater. Grate onto a plate to catch all the juice. Fold until well combined.

Fill the wells or your pan 3/4 full. You should get about 12 to 15 cakes depending on size. The cakes will rise a bit then shrink back. This is totally normal.

Bake for 25 to 28 minutes until dark golden brown on top and the cakes spring back when touched gently with a finger. It seems like a long time but a lovely chewy golden crust will caramelise on the outside while the inside is moist and tender.

Cool for a few minutes in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To serve dust with a little icing sugar and add a dollop of greek yoghurt or creme fraiche. The cakes are so sweet and buttery on their own and don’t need frosting. A controversial stance but I’m sticking with it.

Cook’s Notes:

  • Replace some of the almonds with ground hazelnuts for an extra dimension of nutty flavour.
  • Choose a flavourful variety of pear to make the most of the flavour combination. The pear should be ripe but not too soft.
  • To make this recipe into a single cake, bake in an 8 inch ring pan or 7 inch round pan for 35 to 40 minutes. This recipe can also be doubled and baked in a 9 inch springform pan for 40 to 50 minutes. In both cases watch the cake carefully after 30 minutes for doneness.

 – These cakes are best the day they are made or the day after – 

Adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson.

© 2017 The Winsome Baker. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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11 thoughts on “Pear + Almond Cakes

    • Thanks! I have used grated apple in cakes before – it’s a good way to stop soggy patches from chunks of fruit and distributes the fruit better since it doesn’t really sink this way 😀

      • I also like to use fruit puree, mainly apple or pear, in cake batters, replacing butter. Concentrated stone fruit purees are perfect for frangipane tarts. I never use butter for frangipane cream, replacing it either with fruit puree, or cottage cheese. Gives more flavour and better texture to the bake.

      • That’s interesting about the texture – I will have to experiment! I find cakes have a softer texture if made with oil rather than butter because its liquid at room temp so doesn’t ‘set up’ – if only butter didn’t taste so good!!

  1. First of all, these tiny cakes are cute!! I want that pan. Do you have a link? The spices and pear combination sounds so delightful and warm. I’ve pinned this to try soon!!

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