This fresh pear cake is subtly flavored with spices, like ginger and cinnamon, and topped with fresh pears. It’s naturally sweetened, vegan friendly, and includes a gluten-free option. It’s the perfect cake to celebrate the delicious fall fruit!
I don’t usually get tired of all the pumpkin and apple-y treats this time of year, but sometimes it’s nice to try something a little different. I think pears often get overlooked as a delicious autumnal flavor alternative, but the sweet and tender fruit adds something special to baked treats, like this simple spice cake. It’s not overly spicy, like gingerbread, but subtly flavored with just a touch of cinnamon and ginger, which complements the pears perfectly.
The pears are pretty fanned out and baked on top of the cake, but you could also chop them up and mix them into the batter as well. Both options produce a moist, yummy, and lightly sweetened cake that can be served for breakfast/brunch or for dessert. It just so happens to be naturally sweetened, vegan friendly, and includes a gluten-free option as well!
I also brushed a simple maple syrup glaze onto the cake when it came out of the oven, which gave it a little shine and some extra sweetness, but it’s totally optional. It’s good either way!
This fresh pear cake is based off of my apple cake recipe, so if you like this cake, you definitely will want to give that one a try as well! Scroll down for even more fall inspired dessert ideas!Print
- Total Time: 50 mins
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
This cake is subtly flavored with spices, like ginger and cinnamon, and topped with fresh pears. It’s naturally sweetened, vegan friendly, and includes a gluten-free option. It’s the perfect cake to celebrate the delicious fall fruit!
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (or for gf: 1½ cups gluten-free cup for cup flour blend + ½ cup blanched almond flour)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1–2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup olive/avocado oil or melted butter/coconut oil (use refined coconut oil for less coconut flavor)
- ⅔ cup maple syrup or honey (I used a combo of both)
- ¾ cup almond milk or other milk of choice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 pears*, cored and thinly sliced
Maple Glaze: (optional)
- 1 tablespoon melted butter or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- pinch of cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 325ºF and lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
- Mix together flour(s), baking powder, spices, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add oil, sweetener, milk, and vanilla. Beat 2-3 minutes or until smooth, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Pour batter into the springform pan and smooth evenly across the pan.
- Fan pear slices and place onto the batter, pressing them down slightly into the batter.
- Bake cake for 45–55 minutes or just until cake is lightly brown and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs.
- For the glaze, mix together the melted butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the warm cake with the maple mixture. The maple glaze just gives the cake a little shine and is totally optional.
- Let the cake cool slightly and run a knife around the edges to loosen the cake from the sides of the pan. Remove the outside of the springform pan and carefully separate the bottom of the cake from the metal bottom with an offset spatula. Transfer to your serving plate. Yields 8-10 servings.
*I used red anjou pears, but green anjou or bosc pears would also work.
- Cook Time: 50 mins
- Category: vegan, gluten free, dessert
Hi, I just made this pie using khorasan and spelt flours (50/50) and it just did not work. The pie was not eatable, so I just went with pears on the top 🙂 I cooked it way more than an hour and it was very very heavy and felt chewy and still not done. I often look for inspiration in your blog and made not one recipe but I rarely get the dessert or pancake to look like in your pictures 🙂 so, I wonder what flours you used to make this particular cake in the picture? My guess is some combination with almond flour. I must say I followed instructions precisely, so I guess it must be flour combination which was wrong, although I use khorasan for making lady fingers and it works just fine. Thanks!
Joscelyn | Wife Mama Foodie says
Hi Birute, the problem is definitely the flours that you used! I have not used Khorasan flour before, but in reading about it I see that it’s an ancient whole grain flour, similar to spelt. Using two heavy and dense flours in a cake recipe, without eggs to give it some rise, will result in a very heavy, dense, and dry cake. If wanting to incorporate whole grain flours in recipes, I suggest only use it for 50% of the all purpose at the most. Including all-purpose along with whole grain flour will give it more of a light and fluffy texture. For this cake I used King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour or if I make it gluten-free, I use King Arthur measure for measure gluten-free flour along with some blanched almond flour.
Some recipes are more forgiving when using certain flours, which is why some of your recipes may turn out with your flour blend. It’s best to use the flours suggested in the recipe or ask about alternative flours beforehand so you don’t waste ingredients. I know they’re costly and I’m sorry it turned out inedible! You can also look for recipes online which use khorasan or spelt flours. They’ve already done the recipe testing with those flours to ensure they turn out right. Let me know if you have questions about any other recipe. I’d be happy to help!
Thank you for your answer! I stopped using all purpose flour even not bleached as I found out that whole grain flours work in almost all recipes I need. But you are right that most of them include eggs. I guess it’s a lesson to learn 🙂 I enjoy your blog and recipes a lot, so best wishes and keep safe!
Joscelyn | Wife Mama Foodie says
You’re welcome, Birute! I understand that you prefer to use whole grain flour, and you’re right that they’re typically easy to substitute. I’m sorry I don’t have many whole grain recipes as I bake mostly gluten free, which convert easily with ap flour. I appreciate your kind words though and hope you can still find something to try from time to time! Enjoy the rest of your weekend! 🙂
Joscelyn | Wife Mama Foodie says
I’m so glad you’re enjoying this recipe, April! I think the addition of nuts is a delicious idea, one which I will definitely be trying as well! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review and share your adjustments! Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂
I’ve made this pear cake twice now, and it’s quite lovely! The first time I made it for a church potluck, without any adjustments, and found it was a little too sweet for me (other people loved it!). The second time I made it I brought down the coconut oil and maple syrup/honey to 1/3cup each, and did a simple apricot glaze. I found that this was just the right sweetness level for me. Everyone also loved it at the dinner I brought it too. I don’t have ground ginger so I used my pumpkin spice instead. I may consider adding pecans next time because my husband loves anything with added nuts. And it’s such a beautiful design! Thank you so much for the fantastic recipe Joscelyn!
I love pear cakes! Looks amazing!