Spiced Walnut Pear Cake Recipe: A rustic spice cake speckled with walnuts and topped with fresh sliced pears. This simple holiday cake is a show-stopper in appearance and flavor!
I love this season…
I love the crisp air. I love sweaters and boots. I love that the holidays provide ample opportunities to spend time with friends and family. And I love the harvest produce available with deep earthy flavors.
In the fall and winter I especially like to bake with seasonal produce like apples, walnuts, and pears.
When it comes to cakes, it’s important to think about why you are baking your cake…
Is it to show off your dazzling decorating skills? Or to quench a chocolate craving?
Is the cake for a holiday party, or to pack and take to a potluck?
Different kinds of cakes are better suited for different purposes.
For instance, today’s Spiced Walnut Pear Cake Recipe is a rustic utilitarian cake, perfect for transporting to events.
It’s moist, flavor-packed, and lovely to behold with pear slices baked in a decorative pattern on top.
However, with its single layer and lack of frosting, this cake is very easy to make, and also very easy to pack in the car.
That makes it the right cake to take to holiday gatherings, church events, and work parties!
Spiced Walnut Pear Cake Ingredients
- All-purpose flour – Necessary for all classic cakes. However, you can substitute gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour to make a gluten free version of this cake.
- Baking powder – To lift the batter in the oven and make the cake light and fluffy.
- Cinnamon & Nutmeg – For fabulous fall flavor.
- Granulated sugar – To sweeten the cake and provide texture as well. If needed, you can use a sugar substitute in exact equal measurements. (Like a zero calorie 1-t0-1 sweetener.)
- Butter – For baking, always go with unsalted butter. Make sure to set it out on the counter to soften before starting.
- Sour cream – This gives the cake a moist luxurious texture.
- Eggs – To bring all the ingredients together and provide lift.
- Vanilla extract – Underlying flavor.
- Walnuts – Because you have to have walnuts in a walnut cake. *wink*
- Pears – Use one very large, or two smaller pears to decorate the top of the cake.
How To Make Spiced Walnut Pear Cake
- Prep the pan – Line the bottom of a 10 inch springform pan with parchment paper. This makes it possible to slide the cake off the pan base later. Then spray the sides of the pan with nonstick cooking spray, or grease them with shortening or butter.
- Cream the butter and sugar – Creaming is a classic baking term in which you place softened butter and sugar in a mixer and beat on high until the sugar crystals break down into the butter, making it lighter in color and very fluffy This process is extremely important to create a light fluffy cake texture. Do not skimp on this step!
- Mix the dry ingredients – The flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt should be mixed in a separate bowl before combining with the other ingredients.
- Alternate ingredients for texture – Take turns adding the wet and dry ingredients so the batter comes together smoothly. Dumping everything in the mixer all at once, doesn’t always create the best cake.
- Pear up – After you move the batter to the pan, slice the pear into paper-thin wedges and arrange the slices around the top of the cake.
- Bake! – This cake is thicker than most cake recipes, so it will need to be baked a bit longer… About an hour.
Get The Complete (Printable) Spiced Walnut Pear Cake Recipe Below
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Spiced Walnut Pear Cake Recipe
Spiced Walnut Pear Cake Recipe - A rustic spice cake speckled with walnuts and topped with fresh sliced pears. This simple holiday cake is a show-stopper in appearance and flavor!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar (+ 1 tablespoon for the top)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 large ripe pear (or 2 small)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Spray the sides with nonstick cooking spray.
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Beat on high to cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
Turn the mixer on low. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Then alternate adding the flour mixture and sour cream, until both are combined in the batter.
Scrape the bowl with a spatula, then mix in the chopped walnuts. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan.
Peel the pear. Then core and slice into thin 1/16-inch wedges. Arrange the slices around the top of the cake in a flower pattern, tucking them into the batter just deep enough to hold them in place. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over the top of the cake.
Bake the cake undisturbed for 60 minutes. Check the center of the cake with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, remove from the oven. If not, bake another 5-10 minutes. Cool completely before releasing from the pan and cutting.
This cake can be made 2-3 days before serving. Cover and keep in the refrigerator, or on the countertop. Serve at room temperature.