This Pear and Cardamom Cake is a tasty, yet somewhat healthy, dessert idea, that would make a nice alternative to the more traditional autumn choices of Pumpkin or Apple Pie.
In addition to fresh pears, the recipe calls for olive oil and as little sugar as possible while still being a treat, seasoned with rum or brandy, cinnamon and the exotic flavour of cardamom.
Adding a scoop of French Vanilla ice-cream at serving time adds more sweetness to the plate, however, if you prefer, the recipe includes an alternative amount of sugar added to the cake batter. Or, you can add a decorative sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar or an icing drizzle made by adding a small amount of milk to confectioners’ sugar, after the cake has cooled.
And, if you’d like to make an extra-special cake, I bet this would be amazing covered in Brown Butter Icing. I’m pretty certain it would work for a layer cake too, so consider doubling the recipe.
On that note, I’ve halved the recipe and baked it in a small spring-form pan and it was just right for a little something for the two of us, plus leftovers.
After enjoying it for Thanksgiving dessert (as seen in this post), we had leftovers for breakfast the next day, so I suggest that it would also make a very nice addition to a brunch menu.
I hope you try it and love it!
Pear and Cardamom Cake
Serves 8 to 10.
Prep time : 25 minutes
Baking time : 55 minutes
– 1 1/4 cup flour
– 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1 1/2 tsp cardamom
– 3/4 tsp cinnamon
– A pinch of salt – around 1/8 tsp
– 1/2 cup sugar OR 2/3 cup if you want a sweeter version (note: 1/2 cup sugar yields a lightly sweetened cake, which might not be to everyone’s liking. It’s like a muffin’s amount of sweetness.)
– 1/3 cup olive oil. (Just under 6 tablespoons) – I promise your cake won’t taste anything like olives, but feel free to use vegetable oil if you prefer.
– 2 eggs
– 1/4 cup milk
– 1/2 tsp Lemon juice or plain vinegar
– 3 tbsp rum or brandy (or fruit juice)
– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
– Around 3 cups (4 pears) peeled, cored and chopped pears – a variety of types is nice, such as Bartlett, Bosc, Asian and/or Forelle, but not necessary. I’ve made it using just Bosc’s and it was very good. Try for a couple of firm pears like Bosc or Asian, and a couple of soft Bartletts.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Oil a 9-inch spring-form pan if you want to later remove the cake from the pan, or in a regular round or square baking pan if you want to serve the cake from the pan. I do this by pouring a bit of olive oil straight into the pan and then smearing it around with a pastry brush.
In a cup, stir lemon juice into the milk and let it sit while moving on with the recipe.
Peel and core pears. Chop into pieces about 1/2 inch square.
In one bowl, mix flour, cardamom, cinnamon, baking powder and salt together. (I pass everything through a sieve held over the bowl, to make sure there are no lumps.)
In another (larger) bowl, whisk sugar and oil. Add eggs. Whisk. Add other liquids. Whisk well.
With a spatula, gently mix the dry ingredients into the wet. Mix only to moisten.
Gently Fold in pears and mix only until pears are covered in batter.
If using a spring-form pan, place it on a cookies sheet before putting it in the oven.
Bake in the centre of the oven at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes, until golden on top. (It took 55 minutes in our oven)
Cool (and remove from pan if using spring-form.)
Optional, dust with powdered sugar or an icing drizzle before serving.
Cake may be served warm or room temperature. It’s nice with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream or sweetened whipped cream.
Leftovers can be covered and kept on the counter for one day, or refrigerated if they last longer.
Thanks for reading!