Italian Pear Almond Cake

Italian Pear Almond Cake

This Italian Pear Almond Cake is not a cake with pears in it, but more pears with some cake in it. It features 3 pears, peeled and halved, nestled in a delicious, lightly sweet and moist almond cake. Perfect for any time of day.

As I mentioned in my last post, I am currently recovering from some surgery a few weeks ago. I am making good progress though, and as evidence of that … this cake! Yes, I ventured into my kitchen this past weekend not to make dinner for the first time in weeks, but to bake a cake. It is testament not only to my overwhelming need for cake, but as proof as to just how easy this pear almond cake is to make.

As noted above, this cake is not a cake with pears in it. It’s pears with some cake in it. It is classically Italian. It features 3 pears, peeled and halved that are placed on top of a thick batter flavoured with ground almonds. As it bakes, the pears sink in to the cake, just barely peeking out the top by the time it’s fully cooked. For the last few minutes of baking, it’s topped with a generous layer of sliced almonds, just to heighten the almond flavour.

Italian Pear Almond Cake

This cake is lovely, moist and light, owing to the large amount of fruit. It’s also lightly sweetened, so it’s perfect to enjoy any time of day. For a special dessert, serve it topped with a dollop of whipped cream.

Cook’s Notes for Italian Pear Almond Cake

If you can’t find fresh pears, canned or jarred pear halves would also work in this cake.

As this cake is very moist and mostly pear, it is best enjoyed shortly on the day of baking. Refrigerate any left-overs to stretch it to the next day.

Some people have made this cake with canned pear halves, instead of fresh, with good success, just in case you’re wondering if that will work.

Italian Pear Almond Cake

Italian Pear Almond Cake

Italian Pear Almond Cake

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake with fresh pears, pear cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Energy: 355 kcal
Author: Jennifer
A delicious cake, that's more pears than cake. Moist and lightly sweet, it is perfect for any time of day. Best on the day it's baked. If you have a scale, use the gram measurements, for best accuracy.
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Ingredients

  • 9 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 9 Tbsp white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 7 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3.5 oz ground almonds
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 medium pears ripe, peeled, cored and halved
  • 1.7 oz flaked almonds
  • Icing sugar for garnish

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375° F.
  2. Grease an 8-inch springform pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Prepare pears, by peeling, coring and cutting in half. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter and white sugar together until pale and fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Using a spatula, fold in the flour, ground almonds and baking powder. Spoon batter into the prepared springform pan and use a palette knife to even out the mixture. (Batter will be thick and fill the pan only about an inch thick).
  6. Arrange the pear halves over the top of the cake and bake in pre-heated 375° oven for 25 minutes. Remove cake from oven and sprinkle the flaked/sliced almonds over the top. Return to the oven for a further 8-10 minutes. The cake is ready when a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Leave the cake to cool in the tin, then run a knife around the outside and carefully remove the ring and base. Dust with icing sugar before serving with
  8. Optional Mascarpone, Marsala and Orange Cream: Whisk the grated rind of 1 orange and 2 Tbsp. of freshly squeezed orange juice in a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons sweet Marsala and 100 g (3 1/2 oz.) of mascarpone cheese. Sweeten with icing sugar to taste.

Recipe Notes

Be sure to read the "Cook's Notes" in the original post, for more tips, options, substitutions and variations for this recipe!

 

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174 Comments



  • Hey, could i ask you which function of the oven i should use? I was baking it in 190 degrees witha function of low and upper heating together, but it burnt :( all bottom and sides were burnt.

    • Hi Laura, you obviously have a much more customizable oven, so I’m guessing you are European. North American ovens pretty much just offer Bake, Broil and maybe, Convection (fan-assisted). Most North American recipes are written for basic “Bake” function, which would be bottom heat only and no fan-assist. So while 190C is the correct temperature, I think using just bottom heat and no fan, should work for you. Hope that helps :)

    • Hi Jess, I have never frozen it myself. It should freeze fairly well. It’s a lot of fruit in it, which may make for a more moist cake after it’s been frozen, but I don’t know by how much exactly.

  • This was over the top Amazing!!! I saw the comments so I added a touch of almond extract. Everyone loved it! It was very easy to make. I am going to make another one on Friday! Thank you for this great Recipe!

  • I just made this today, and it turned out wonderfully! I wanted to share it with neighbors, so I baked it in 6″ tart pans, so 3 for them and 3 for us! I adjusted the baking temp and time for the smaller sizes, and all is great. The recipe seems to flit from Cups / Tbsp measurements to ounces measurements, so I had to do some Googling for a few conversions. All worked out though. Thank you so much!

  • This looks easy and delicious and I plan to make it in the next week. Only on thing want to ask. Did you buy ground almond or you make it yourself. I heard it wasn’t that easy to grind the almonds at home and you are more likely to end up with almond butter. May I know how you did it? Thank you!

    • Hi Yang, I always buy pre-ground almonds for baking. I just find it easier and only marginally more money than buying blanched almonds and processing my own.

        • Hi Tabata, almond flour is generally almond ground to a fine powder, while ground almonds are more coarse in texture. They are generally labelled “ground almonds”. You could also grind blanched almonds yourself in a food processor.

    • Hi Yang. If you can’t find almond meal, just put almonds in a food processor but don’t just turn the food processor on. If you do, that will give you almond butter. Instead pulse (turn on and off) the food processor for just a second or two each time. If you notice all the fine b powder going to the bottom and very big pieces at the top, mix what is in the food processor from time to time. All of this should only n take a couple minutes at most. Good luck!

  • hi
    Is it just me or did the metric convertor button disappear ? IF so , would it be possible to reinstate it onto your amazing website as it was great and Ive used it before .
    Thanks
    LP

    • Hi Louisa, yes, it did disappear. I discovered that my recipe card wasn’t calculating the metric conversions correctly. As you can imagine, that can have some really nasty consequences, especially when baking. So I’ve turned it off on some recipes for now. I do like to provide that option though, so I’m looking for an easy, more accurate solution. Stay tuned :)

  • Hello Jennifer
    This recipe looks elegant and delicious; I would love to make it for my father’s birthday. I would like to accommodate his egg allergy. I understand that eggs may serve different purposes in different dishes and that would dictate the appropriate substitution, if any.
    How would you advise replacing the eggs in this treat?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Gi, I haven’t tried this, but Google tells me you could possibly replace the 2 eggs in this recipe with 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce plus 1/2 tsp baking powder. If you try this, let me know how it works out :)

    • I am making this cake for Friday and Sunday so I doubled the recipe. Would you suggest baking both cakes and refrigerating the cake for Sunday or just refrigerate the batter till Sunday and bake then?

      • Hi Chelsea, that’s a tough one! I’m thinking it might be best to bake both, then refrigerate the baked cake until Sunday.

  • Hello Jennifer,
    This looks like an elegant and delicious treat. I would love to make it for my father’s birthday.
    He has an egg allergy that I must accommodate.
    How would you advise that I replace the eggs? I understand eggs can serve different purposes in baking and that would dictate the appropriate substitution, if any.
    Thank you!

  • Love this recipe! I have made it 4 or 5 times. I am about to make it again, but I can’t use butter. What do you think would be a good substitute for this recipe?

    • I think it would have to be oil – vegetable, canola or sunflower for example. And I did some math and looks like you would substitute 6 3/4 Tbsp oil for the 9 Tbsp butter. The resulting cake will be lighter, with a bit different crumb, but should taste fine. Let me know how it works out.

      • Hey Jennifer, I decided to use applesauce for the butter and it turned out excellent! I made a gluten free version as well! It was a hit! Thanks for this awesome recipe!

        • Hey Kaity, I’d also like to make the cake without butter. I assumed I’d have to substitute with oil but applesauce would be a much preferable alternative… How much applesauce did you use, and did you have to make any other changes to the recipe (i.e. amount of liquid)?

        • Kaity, yes…how much applesauce did you use? I have a whole bunch of pears right now so I’m thinking if I made some “pear sauce” it would up the pear flavor in the cake also. <3

I love hearing from you, so if you have a question or something isn't quite clear, I'm happy to help. If you made this recipe, I'd love to know how you liked it ~ Jennifer

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