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!
- 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
- 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.