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Pear Bundt Cake

Speaking as someone who chronically does this, pears are an underutilized fruit when it comes to baking and dessert. This is a shame because they have great flavor, work well with a variety of spices and are easy to bake because they already have a soft texture and you don’t have to worry about undercooking them (it can occasionally be a problem with apples, which is why many apple muffin recipes call for them to be shredded, or finely diced).
This is a pear bundt cake, relatively low in fat and made with pear sauce, which I found at Trader Joe’s. Applesauce can easily be used instead without sacrificing anything in terms of flavor. The cake has a tender, but firm, crumb of the kind that is ideal for pairing with coffee or tea, when you want to pick up the slice of cake and eat it with your fingers, rather than delicately nibbling off a plate. The pieces of pear are wonderfully moist and blend in with the cake well. You would never know that it was low in fat.

Tempted? I hope so, because I loved the way this cake turned out. Unfortunately, I spilled coffee all over my notes for the recipe and can no longer make out my final version. I’m going to go back through my notes and piece it together again (update: the recipe is up now!), but I couldn’t resist putting the photo up now. I’ll bake another cake, if I must (not a big sacrifice, I assure you), to get it right again.

Pear Bundt Cake
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/2 cup pear sauce (unsweetened apple sauce is fine)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk
1 1/2 – 2 cups peeled, diced pear (1 large or 2 small)

Preheat over to 350F. Grease a 10-inch bundt pan well, brushing it with melted butter or nonstick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg and cinnamon.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. It will look sandy when well-combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by pear/apple sauce and vanilla extract.
Working in two or three additions, alternately add flour mixture and milk to the sugar mixture. Stir only until just combined, then gently stir in the diced pears.
Pour into prepared pan and bake for 60 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean and the cake springs back when gently pressed.
Let cake cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Serves 12.

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  • Helene
    December 9, 2006

    Please, please, please…I hope you can piece your notes back together too, because this cake looks lovely and sounds delicious. I just made pear sauce and when I read the title I jumped!

  • Nic
    December 9, 2006

    Hi Helene! I got it together. I hope you like it!

  • julie
    December 10, 2006

    Seems likemy kind of cake too!

  • Lydia
    December 10, 2006

    Recently I’ve been on a bundt pan collecting kick, though I don’t bake much at all. But I love my bundt pans, and I love pears, so this is definitely a recipe I’ll try. Thanks.

  • Scott at Real Epicurean
    December 10, 2006

    I absolutely agree with your comments – pears are horribly underused.

    You’ve inspired me for a pear recipe of my own, which I’ll blog about later in the week.

  • Patricia Scarpin
    December 11, 2006

    Nic, I loved coming back here and find the recipe – I’m a huge pear fan!

    I baked your pear muffins once and ate 3 fresh from the oven… shame on me!

  • Julie
    December 11, 2006

    I agree that pears are under utilized in general. I love that there are chunks of pears within the cake. I have clipped quite a few good pear recipes this year, but I just got a new bundt pan, so I want to try this when the holiday cookie craziness is done.

  • Gustad
    December 11, 2006

    i’ve always wondered where the word “Bundt” comes from. such a weird one

  • Chubbypanda
    December 11, 2006

    Excellent! I’ve been looking for some baked desserts with pears. The fiancee isn’t a big fan of baked goods with apples. I also had an odd thought. Have you considered poaching the pears in wine before dicing them and adding them to the cake? I think it would be kind of wild.

    – Chubbypanda

  • Acme Instant Food
    December 12, 2006

    Hurrahhhh! Pears are kind of the bastard step-child in desserts and baking. I adore them and I can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks for the post.

  • Claire
    December 13, 2006

    I’m having a meeting at my house on Monday afternoon and I think I’ll make this for the snack! I’ll let you know how it goes…looks WONDERFUL!

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