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.


  • 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


  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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  • Hi there; I’m dying to try your recipe out, our tree is dropping it’s pears now and they need using up ! Hubby would like me to follow your recipe but the only cake tins I have are 26cm diameter (germans like their cakes on the large size!!)…..should I just double up all ingredients and hope for the best????? Thanks in advance from a beginner cake maker!

    • Hi Jane! Yes you would definitely want to at least 1 1/2 times (or double) the recipe for a 26cm pan. Alternately, if you have an 20cm (8-inch) regular round cake pan and you aren’t super concerned with pretty slices, you could line one of those with parchment and just slice it out of the pan. As I mentioned, you won’t get the prettiest slices (especially the first one ;), but just as tasty! Obviously, cooking time may be different if you double, so watch closely and test often.

        • Hi Jane,

          How did it go? I only have a 10” Springform pan and a 9.5” regular round pan. Would love to hear any lessons learned before I jump in. (I, too, am a less experienced baker…!)

  • I made this cake for a northern Italy themed dinner party last night and it was fantastic! Added a teaspoon of almond extract to the batter which intensified the almond flavor (which I love). My pears weren’t fully ripe yet but they still softened up beautifully in the cake. Also made the mascarpone to go with it. Didn’t have sweet Marsala so subbed a teaspoon of bourbon vanilla and it was perfect – the mascarpone turned out to be my husband’s favorite part. Thanks for the unique and delicious recipe!

  • Hello !
    Would really apriciate if all the ingredients were written in grams and mililiters. Thank you in advance. Looking forward to make this cake :)

    • Hi Rosie, below the list of ingredients there are links (in red) to switch between Imperial measures and Metric measures you can use to get this one in grams etc.

  • Thank you for sharing such wonderful recipe!
    I adore wheat but unfortunately it done st love me back… I know it is such a small amount, but If I were to prepare it with a gluten free flour mix, which substitutions for flour do you think might workor in this case?
    Thank you so much again, can’t wait to try it 🌷

    • Hi Leigh, I don’t add either to this cake, though a touch of vanilla is never out of place if you feel you’d like a bit. I’ve never been a big fan of almond extract myself. Just a personal preference. I find it a bit over-powering in most dishes.

  • Hello Jennifer,

    I have loads of pears to use from our Allotement tree, and found your recipe for the Italian Pear Almond Cake, which looks delicious !

    I am planning to make a few cakes with this recipe but will need to freeze, will this be ok ?

    Also I’m wondering as I plan to freeze it, if I should cook the cake, just for the 25mins then freeze ! and then when I need the cake, defrost and finish it off with the sprinkling of flaked almonds and cook for the additional 8-10mins ?

    Look forward to hearing back from you with your advise ! !

    Thanking you in advance


    • Hi Sylvia, I am jealous of all your pears :) As for this cake, I have never frozen it, so I have no idea how it holds up. That said, my most recent pear recipe on my blog (French Pear Cake) I did freeze and was surprised at how well the pear held up. Based on that, I’m thinking you might just be ok baking fully and freezing. Enjoy! – Jennifer

  • hi! does the cake need to cool completely b4 taking it out? at what temp do u recommend to serve it? i like my desserts warm :P

    • Hi Sylvia, If you make it in a springform pan, you can run a knife around the edge and remove the outer ring after it has cooled only a bit, for sure. Getting it off the bottom probably requires a bit more cooling, but no reason you can’t serve, slice with it still on the ring, as shown in the photos. It is lovely warm or at room temperature, so you can go either way.

  • Hey Jennifer!
    This cake sounds divine and I’m glad to see above that the recipe can be adapted to be gluten free. My question is, would it work the same using coconut sugar or honey or agave nectar instead of white and or icing sugar do you think? Paleo convert here trying to be good : )

    • Thanks Michelle :) I wish I could help, but I have absolutely no experience with alternate sweeteners in baking. Sorry.

    • Hi Holly, I’m not an expert on gluten free, but I’m pretty sure you could use any of the “cup-for-cup” gluten free flours to replace the wheat flour in this recipe.

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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