A gorgeous one-layer Pear Cake filled with fresh, juicy pears and warm spices. This easy tea cake features a soft buttery sponge and a crisp cinnamon sugar crust. It’s perfect for morning or afternoon tea.
Perfect Pear Cake 🍐
You’ll love this moist cake filled to the brim with fresh, juicy pears and covered in sweet cinnamon sugar.
The crumb is buttery and soft, while the crust is crisp and sweet. It’s the perfect one-layer cake for fall with fresh pears in abundance.
Quick and easy, my fresh Pear Cake recipe will delight cinnamon lovers.
Why you will love this recipe
- Simple ingredients: You don’t need any fancy ingredients, just pantry staples, to make this cake. There’s no buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt – just regular milk.
- Buttery cake: The cake crumb is seriously soft and tender.
- Juicy pears: Full of fresh sweet pears, this simple Pear Cake stays moist for days, just like my easy Lemon Ricotta Cake.
- Quick and easy: The cake comes together quickly, making it ideal for last-minute guests or an easy tea-time treat.
But since it’s pear season, I realised we needed a Pear Cake to join the collection. So I decided to get to work.
I started by using my favourite Raspberry Almond Cake recipe as the base, since pears and almonds are a delightful match.
I sliced the pears and added them to the top of the cake and sprinkled over cinnamon sugar. The result was lovely! But the pear slices on top prevented the cake from rising evenly.
So I continued to experiment, chopping the pears in different ways, adding some to the cake batter and some on top.
I also made the cake without almond meal to see the difference. While it was hard to tell between them on the day, the cake with almond meal stayed softer and more moist in the following days.
Overall this old-fashioned Pear Cake is everything I wanted it to be. It’s quick and easy to make.
The crumb is buttery and soft, the pears are juicy, and the crust is strong on the cinnamon. It’s an absolute delight.
My Pear Cake uses mostly pantry staples but there are a few ingredients that make it extra special. Here are a few key ingredients and any substitutions you can make.
- Butter: While my popular Apple Cake uses vegetable oil, I found butter worked well in this cake to give it extra flavour. I recommend using unsalted butter, not margarine or a butter substitute. If you choose to use salted butter, omit the salt included in the recipe.
- Caster sugar: We don’t use brown sugar in this recipe, only caster sugar. If you don’t have access to caster sugar, you can use granulated sugar.
- Almond meal: The surprising ingredient in this cake is almond meal. Almond meal is made from 100% ground raw almonds usually with the skin still on. It is not the same as almond flour, which is made from peeled, blanched almonds and has a finer texture. However, almond flour should also work in this recipe. To keep this cake nut-free, you can leave out the almond meal and simply use a little more flour. I have included notes in the recipe card for this.
- Fresh pears: I recommend using fresh pears for this recipe – any pears you like. I tested it using Bosc pears, but any pear variety like Barlett pears, Anjou pears or Honey pears will work beautifully. You don’t have to use ripe pears either – even underripe ones work well.
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
How to make Pear Cake
This simple cake is easy to make but you will need a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Here’s a snapshot of how to make it:
Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale and creamy, approximately 1-2 minutes.
Step 2: Add eggs and vanilla and beat briefly on medium speed to combine.
Step 3: Add flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt, along with the milk. Gently mix together on a low speed until combined and creamy.
Step 4: In a medium bowl, mix together cinnamon and chopped pears. Add pears to cake batter. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
Step 5: In a separate small bowl, combine melted butter, sugar and cinnamon. Drizzle over the top of the cake batter and smooth into cake.
Step 6: Bake in a preheated oven for approximately 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Tips for perfect Pear Cake
- Chop your pears small: Peel and chop your pears into half-inch cubes. Any larger and your pears might sink to the bottom of the cake or not cook through.
- Weigh your ingredients: For best results, I highly recommend weighing your ingredients using a baking scale. It’s very easy to over-measure ingredients like flour when using cup measurements.
- Avoid over-mixing your cake batter: Once your batter is combined, you can stop mixing. Over-mixing can result in a dry or tough cake.
- Don’t over-bake your cake: You’ll know your cake is ready when a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Your cake should no longer have a sticky or wet top.
- Storage: Once your Pear Cake is cooled completely, cover it with plastic wrap and keep it in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Make ahead: You cannot make the cake batter ahead of time – it needs to be baked as soon as it is made. However, you can make the cake ahead of time and freeze it. Simply wrap it in plastic wrap once cooled and place it in an airtight container in the freezer. To serve, simple thaw at room temperature.
Frequently asked questions
I recommend using fresh pears for this recipe for best results. Since canned pears are so much softer, they will become almost mushy in texture when baked and won’t hold their shape in the same way fresh pears do. Use fresh pears – any variety you like!
Yes. You can omit the almond meal and use extra flour instead. Use an additional 35 grams (1/4 cup) of plain flour or all purpose flour in the cake.
You can serve Pear Cake warm from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or custard. Alternatively, serve at room temperature dusted with icing or powdered sugar and a dollop of cream.
Yes. The cake won’t have the crisp crust that it does when it is fresh out of the oven but it is still delicious. Simply wrap in plastic wrap once completely cooled and place in an airtight container in the freezer.
More one layer cakes
An easy Pear Cake recipe filled with juicy pears.
- 115 grams (1/2 cup or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 150 grams (3/4 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 175 grams (1 and 1/4 cups) plain flour or all purpose flour
- 75 grams (3/4 cup) almond meal or ground almonds
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) full fat or whole milk
- 250 grams (1 and 1/2 cups or 2 medium-sized) pears, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Cinnamon sugar topping
- 15 grams (1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, melted
- 15 grams (1 tablespoon) caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F) standard / 160 C (320 F) fan-forced. Grease and line an 8-inch round cake pan with baking or parchment paper on the bottom and the sides of the pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale and creamy, approximately 1-2 minutes.
- Add eggs and vanilla and beat briefly to combine.
- Add flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt, along with the milk. Gently mix together on a low speed, just until cake batter is smooth and creamy.
- In a separate bowl, toss chopped pears in cinnamon. Add pears to cake batter and gently stir. Transfer batter to prepared pan and smooth the top using a spatula.
- In a separate small bowl, combine melted butter, sugar and cinnamon. Drizzle over the top of the cake batter. Use a butter knife to gently swirl mixture into the cake batter.
- Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Leave cake to cool for 10 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Pears: I used Bosc pears but any variety of pear will work. You don’t have to use ripe pears – even underripe ones work well. Avoid canned pears if possible. Since they are so much softer, they will become almost mushy when baked and won’t hold their shape.
Almond meal: Almond meal is made from 100% ground raw almonds usually with the skin still on. It is not the same as almond flour, which is made from peeled, blanched almonds and has a finer texture than almond meal. I tested this recipe with almond meal and recommend using it for best results. But almond flour should also work.
Nut-free: You can omit the almond meal and use extra flour instead. Use an additional 35 grams (1/4 cup) of plain flour or all purpose flour in the cake (210 grams in total).
Storage instructions: Once your Pear Cake has cooled completely, cover it in plastic wrap and keep it in an airtight container at room temperature.
Make ahead instructions: You cannot make the cake batter ahead of time – it needs to be baked as soon as it is made. However, you can make the cake ahead of time and freeze it. Simply wrap in plastic wrap once completely cooled and place in an airtight container in the freezer.
To serve: You can serve Pear Cake warm from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or custard. Alternatively, serve at room temperature dusted with icing or powdered sugar and a dollop of cream.