It’s a new year and that means a new cake cookbook for the Cake Slice Bakers! This year it’s Zoe Francois’s new Zoe Bakes Cakes.
I chose the Pear-Cardamom Cake since pears are kind of in season (even though it’s really citrus season in January/February) and we still have some beautiful pears in our area.
Another reason I chose this cake is because I’ve always wanted to make a pear cake where the pears are sitting upright with little stems on them. And no, as you can see, my pears aren’t standing upright!
The instructions tell you to peel and core the pears. If anyone has figured out how to core a whole pear without a coring utensil, please let me know! I ended up halving the pears, then coring them.
Still ended up pretty, even though the pears aren’t standing up.
Besides wrangling the pears – they get very slippery, so careful – the cake is fairly easy to throw together.
Make sure your ingredients are room temperature – it really helps the batter not curdle when adding them (the eggs, buttermilk and butter). The batter will be thick.
The recipe calls for a 10-inch tube pan. As you can see, I used a 10-inch cheesecake pan. I did that because my tube pan doesn’t have a removable bottom and I wanted to be able to get the cake out after it’s baked. Worked great!
Because I didn’t over beat the batter, the cake came out so tender. It’s delicious!
The molasses flavor is pretty strong, so if you’d rather have a more subtle molasses taste, cut it back to 1 tablespoon. I will probably do that next time since the cake is already fairly sweet.
The cardamom gives it a different, more European flavor to me. I’m going to try cinnamon next time. Cardamom is a little too earthy for me, although it works pretty well in this cake.
This Pear-Cardamom Cake is so pretty and we’ve really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to have a big slice for breakfast with a big cup of coffee. Delicious!
More Cake Recipes You Will Enjoy!
- Spice Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream Frosting
- Walnut, Pear and Espresso Cake
- Cider Glazed Apple Bundt Cake
Check out the other Cake Slice Baker’s cakes (under the recipe below)!
- 3/4 C (165g) butter, room temperature
- 1 C (200g) granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp finely chopped candied ginger
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 3/4 C (210g) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 C (120ml) buttermilk, room temperature
- 6 small ripe pears, peeled and cored
- 1 C (120g) powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp heavy whipping cream (plus more if needed)
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- Preheat the oven to 350° (175C). Generously spray a 10" (25cm) tube pan and flour the pan, including the tube.
- In a stand mixer, cream the butter on medium-high until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute.
- Turn the mixer speed to low; add the sugar, molasses and vanilla to the butter. Mix until combined. Turn the speed to medium-high and mix until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the ginger and mix until combined.
- Turn the speed to medium-low and add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing on low until just combined.
- Add half of the buttermilk and mix until combined. Repeat with another one-third of the flour, then the remaining buttermilk, and finish with the final one-third of the flour. Scrape the bowl and paddle as needed.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared tube pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Gently tap the pan on the counter several times to release any air bubbles. Press the pear, upright, halfway into the batter, spacing them evenly around the pan Set the pan on a baking sheet.
- Bake until the cake is golden and a toothpick comes at clean, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes (mine was done at 55 minutes). Check the cake at about 20 minutes to make the pairs are still standing upright; if not, carefully push them upright and continue baking. Transfer the baked cake to a wire rack and let cool completely in the pan.
- Run a knife around the edge of the cake, around the tube, and around the bottom edges of the tube pan. Carefully transfer the cake using a large spatula to lift it off of the base to a serving plate.
- Prepare the Icing: Place the powdered sugar into a small bowl along with the cream and cardamom then stir with a spoon until combined.
- Add additional cream if the icing is still too thick, about 1 tablespoon at a time until it's the consistency you want (I prefer it a little thick so it will stick to the cake well). Drizzle over completely cooled cake.
- Storing Tip: Store covered in the refrigerator. Otherwise, the pear will get soggy and make the cake soggy. To serve: microwave for 10-15 seconds, then drizzle icing over warm cake.
I halved and cored my pears, then lay them flat on the top of the batter, pushing them in slightly so they'd adhere. (coz I couldn't figure out how to core them whole!)
I used a 10" cheesecake pan since I don't have a tube pan with a removable bottom. Worked great - use what you have!
I didn't have cream for the drizzle, so used evaporated milk. Use what you want - it will be richer with cream, though.
Zoe says to bake for one hour and fifteen minutes, but mine was thoroughly done in 55 minutes. Check it after 45 minutes.
Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is Zoë Bakes Cakes by Zoē François. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th – never before – we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes!
Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the links below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.
The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.
It is a new year and a new book – Zoë Bakes Cakes – and our choices for January 2022 were ~
Coconut-Candy Bar Cake