Pear, Pecan, and Cardamom Cake

October 10, 2019
Created by Harmons
1 hour 45 minutes
Serves 8-10
  • 2 red pears
  • Cake
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • Glaze
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • Pecan halves, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 350° and grease and flour a 9″ cake pan. Line pan with a circle of parchment paper, grease and flour paper, and place pan on a rimmed baking sheet.

Halve and core pears. Thinly slice 1 pear lengthwise and place in a small bowl of cold water. Halve and squeeze 1/2 lemon into water. Chop remaining 1 pear into 1/2″ pieces and place in another small bowl of cold water. Squeeze remaining 1/2 lemon into water. Set aside.

To make the cake, in a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, and salt.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add butter and brown sugar and cream until smooth and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add 1/3 flour mixture and mix just until blended. Add milk and 1/3 more flour mixture and mix until just blended. Add sour cream and remaining 1/3 flour mixture and mix until blended.

Drain chopped pears and place on paper towels to dry. Add pears, pecans, if using, and ginger and stir to combine.

Drain sliced pears and place on paper towels to dry. Dot 2 tablespoons butter around on prepared parchment paper. Arrange pear slices in a circular pattern near outer edge of the pan, overlapping pears to make a circle. Continue making a circle with pears in center of pan. Carefully pour cake batter over the pears. Spread batter evenly in pan. Bake until golden and a cake tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 15 minutes before carefully turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Remove and discard parchment paper.

Meanwhile, to make the glaze, in a bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, salt, cardamom, and milk.

Place cooled cake on a serving platter or cake stand and drizzle with cardamom glaze. Garnish with pecans, if using.