One of our favorite desserts is this slightly spicy pear and walnut cake. We’re not sure which part of this recipe is our favorite: the way it makes our kitchen smell or the combination of sweet spiciness in each and every bite. It’s probably both! We love the combination of pears, walnuts, and cinnamon, so this dessert is right up our alley. This is a very simple cake to make and can go with just about anything, from a cream cheese frosting to a simple vanilla glaze. We think it tastes pretty darn good all on its own!
Pears go so well in this dessert, but we’ve also made this with chopped apples, and sometimes, for added flavor, we will lightly toast the walnuts for extra nuttiness. The pears help to sweeten the cake and add texture, too. Simple spices like cinnamon and ground ginger and that little bit of molasses from the brown sugar add warmth and a sweet savoriness. Every ingredient works together to make this something truly special. A spiced pear and walnut cake is meant to be shared, so take some over to a neighbor, send off in a care package, or serve it with a weekend brunch.
A warm spice cake doesn’t need a special occasion to be made; we like to whip one up on a Saturday morning so we can enjoy it over the whole weekend, with a cup of coffee in the morning or with a scoop of whipped cream after dinner. We’ve also been known to sneak in a slice or two as a late night snack. There’s no way this will last in your kitchen for very long, so be sure to grab a slice whenever you can!
Spiced Pear and Walnut Cake
1 hour + cooling time to prepare serves 8-10
- 3 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and diced
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup granulated white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Coat an 8-inch square or 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a bowl. Set aside.
- With an electric stand or hand mixer, beat both sugars, eggs, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract until well mixed.
- Slowly add dry ingredients to wet until batter forms. Gently fold in pear chunks and walnuts.
- Pour batter into prepared baking dish and bake for 40-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before slicing.
Recipe adapted from Bunny's Warm Oven.