Why are pears dubbed “fancy” among foodies? I really don’t understand what makes this simple tree fruit so much more sophisticated than an apple. I just don’t get it. Nevermind all that because today we’re brushing shoulders with the “in” crowd and baking a delicious ginger pear cake.I first saw a whole pear cake a couple of weeks ago and was awestruck by how pretty it looked sliced. Yes, this might be the mark of a sheltered life, but I’m telling you this pear cake was gorgeous. I immediately set out to develop my own pear cake recipe adding in spicy notes of ginger.
Ginger pear cake take one was a flop, literally. I underbaked my nevertheless delicious cake and ended up with more of a pear cobbler at serving time.
Ginger pear cake take two was overbaked. Goodness, when would I ever get this right?
Thankfully, I finally tweaked this recipe to turn out great. This beauty is elegant and a flavor sensation that was worth the effort of a few trial runs to perfect.
We ‘ll start by poaching the pears in a honey ginger bath. The leftover ginger pear nectar is absolutely incredible, so you should definitely save it and add it to tea or simmer it and reduce to a syrup and pour into your favorite bubbly.
Next, we’ll mix up the cake. The cake batter is simple and made from basic ingredients. I like that. Once the batter is combined we’ll pour it into the prepared pan, press in our aromatic pears, and slip the cake into the oven.
- Poached Pears
- Water to cover pears
- 3 whole pears, peeled
- ⅓ c. honey
- 1⅓ c. sugar
- 2" ginger, peeled and in large chunks
- ½ a lemon
- 3 whole poached pears, drained
- 1¼ c. all-purpose flour
- ¾ c. sugar
- 1 T. baking powder
- ¼ c. corn starch
- ¼ t. cinnamon
- ¼ t. ground ginger
- ¼ t. cardamom
- pinch salt
- 6 T. butter, melted and cooled
- 3 eggs
- Icing sugar (as adornment)
- Whipped cream, (as adornment)
- Add honey, sugar, ginger, pears, and lemon to a small pot. Fill with water until pears just begin to float. Bring to a boil, stir gently to dissolve sugar and reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes. Remove pears and cool. Stand pears on a flat surface to see if they stand upright. If not, slice a small piece off the bottom until they stand erect. Set aside to drain.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a loaf pan with parchment or butter and flour it.
- Measure flour, corn starch, salt, and baking powder into a medium bowl and whisk it together. Set aside.
- Cream eggs and sugar until lightened and fluffy, about 3 minutes. If you have any question as to whether they're fluffy, keep beating. The mixture will gently slink down the beater in ribbons when you're at the right stage. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until almost combined. Pour in butter and mix until smooth. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Gently press the 3 drained pears into the batter.
- Bake 60-75 minutes until a toothpick inserted near a pear removes clean. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan to a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing, if you can wait that long. Serve topped with icing sugar and a dollop of whipped cream.
I learned a few things through my cake experimentation that I’ll share with you to make sure you bake a great success first go ’round.
- Peel ginger with a teaspoon.
- Line the loaf pan with parchment paper if you’re prone to cakes sticking in pans. This will also keep the edges of the cake from getting too brown.
- Gently drape a piece of foil over the top of the cake while baking if the top becomes too brown.
- Be sure to handle the cake gently. Support the bottom of the cake when transferring from the cooling rack to serving plate lest the pears slip out from the bottom of the cake.
- Slice with care and slice graciously. Bigger pieces are easier to serve.
Do you know why pears are considered the elitest fruit? I’d love to know! Please share your insider knowledge and favorite pear recipes below in the comments. I can’t wait to see what you’ve got to say!
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I’ll pin this recipe. It looks really good. Both pears and ginger flavored things are popular with my family.
Thank you, Rebecca! I hope you find a pocket of time this week to try the recipe. It’s really delicious. Thank you for stopping by today.
This is beautiful! And it really does look so sophisticated and elegant. I feel like you need to have a fancy tea party to serve it at!
A fancy tea party sound like so much fun, Chelsea! I’m afraid that most tea enthusiasts would be pretty disappointed in my lack of tea cups and etiquette, but I’d love to attend one at someone else’s house ;). Thanks so much for stopping by this week.
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
Oh Jelli! This looks absolutely scrumptious (and so beautiful too). You are a whiz my dear!
I frequently make this pear bread (not my recipe but it’s fabulous):
Thanks so much for sharing your culinary treasures with us. Your skills are a blessing.
I just checked out that pear bread and it looks delicious, Jenn. Thank you so much for introducing me to a new site. I really appreciate your sweet comments here. They really make my day sparkle. You’re a gem!
What a BEAUTIFUL cake!
This is awesome! I never thought to bake a whole fruit in a cake like that. But it does look gorgeous.. fancy even 😉
Marwa Farouq says
I have never seen a whole pear cake!! and i think it is one amazing idea! i mean i just baked cinnamon pear muffins and they were great but imagive putting the whole pear there…it would look beautiful and give a very different experience to cake eating! wow!
thanks for sharing this on Live Laugh link up!
YUM!! This looks delicious–and so pretty!
Oh, thank you Annie! I really appreciate the sweet compliment. Have a beautiful week.
Natasha In Oz says
That looks so delicious. I’m glad you didn’t have experiment with it too many times!
If you have a minute to spare I’d be thrilled if you could share this recipe at my weekly Say G’Day party. It’s on now and this would be a great addition!
Natasha in Oz
Natasha, I’m pretty happy I got to try it twice through the trial and error baking, but you know, it was so yummy I’d have almost (almost) welcomed a third take too! Thanks so much for your kind words. Have a beautiful week.
Beth @ The First Year says
Jelli- You are AMAZING!! Be my neighbor?!
Likewise, lady! Thanks so much for stopping by, Beth.
Your cake looks absolutely gorgeous ! This is one cake I HAVE to bake. I wish I had 3 pears so that I could bake one right away. its so beautiful. Thank you so much Jelli for sharing it at Tasty tuesday. Featuring you at Ma Niche this week !
Thank you so much! Happy to join you again this week for the party. Hope you grab a few pears this week and give it a try!
renee@two in the kitchen says
This looks absolutely amazing Jelli!! I saw you featured on Wake up Wednesdays!! 🙂
Thank you so much, Renee! I hope you find plenty of time next week to bake up a whole bunch of goodness for Easter. Have a beautiful week.
Allie | Baking a Moment says
Oh, Jelli, this cake is absolutely gorgeous! I love pears and have also always wondered why they aren’t utilized more. Your photos are so pretty and I love your tips for what to do with the leftover nectar too! Sharing this all around 😉
Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie says
Wow I love the whole pear in the middle, gorgeous!