I created this recipe because I wanted to make a fruity layer cake similar to an apple spice cake, but one that felt less fall inspired and more holiday themed. Pears are a really good fruit to use during November and December when we are ready to move away from apples and pumpkin and turn towards holiday flavours like gingerbread. Luckily pears are available all year round and this cake also works as a delicious cake any time of the year. For this cake shown above I paired the fresh pear layers with my Fluffy Brown Sugar Frosting. This gives the cake an even richer holiday feel.
I created the final cake design for an Instagram cake decorating collaboration. The theme was cute Christmas, so I tried out some cute Christmas fondant figures. I was particularly proud of the penguin. :)
Ingredient and Preparation Tips
How to create your own pastry flour:
I have used pastry flour (aka. cake flour) in this recipe which helps create a lighter cake. Luckily you don't actually have to go out and buy a separate bag of flour. To make pastry flour all you need is all-purpose flour and cornstarch. For every 1 cup of all-purpose flour, remove two tablespoons and replace with two tablespoons of cornstarch. Whisk them together and you have your own pastry flour.
Preparing your pears:
This recipe requires you to mash up your pears almost like you are making an applesauce. To do this peel and cube your pears. I found this easier to do when the pear is still firm because they are easier to handle. After you have cut them into cubes place them in microwaveable bowl and microwave for six to seven minutes, or until the pears are soft. Using a potato masher or a fork, mash the pears into smaller pieces. I recommend not mashing them up too small because having some small pieces adds flavour and texture to your cake.
You can see in the picture of the cake slice below that there are still visible chucks of pear in the cake. You can also see how the pear adds moisture to this cake. Soo delicious!
This recipe makes three 6" layers as represented in the pictures on this page, or two 8" layers.
4 Bartlett pears 2 1/2 cups of pastry flour 1 tsp ground cinnamon 2 tsp baking powder 3/4 tsp of kosher salt
1 cup of granulated sugar 1/2 cup of brown sugar 1 cup of vegetable oil 3 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare three 6 inch pans by covering the bottom with parchment paper and using baking spray to spray down both the sides and bottom of the pans.
Peel the Bartlett pears and cut into small cubes placing them in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave until soft (about 6-7 minutes). Using a potato masher or a fork mash the pears (they don't have to be smooth as bigger chunks will add more texture and flavour in the cake), set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk together pastry flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugars, eggs, oil, and vanilla extract. Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet fully combining after each addition.
Fold in the prepared pears.
Add batter to prepared pans, making sure that each pan is filled as evenly as possible.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until and inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Cool in the pans for about 15 minutes and then remove the cakes from the pans and place on cooling racks until completely cool. (*You cannot put frosting on a warm cake because it will melt the frosting and make the cake fall over!)
This cake goes perfectly with my Brown Sugar Frosting!