Pear Spice Cake

Pear Spice Cake // One Lovely Life

Help me Rhonda!

I’m bound to eat all of this before Michael even makes it home from work today.

I LOVE apple spice cake (have you tried this one?) and I love pears, so the idea of a pear spice cake really sent me over the moon. Especially since the recipe I based this one on came from Jaime at Sophistimom (I have mentioned I want to be her when I grow up, right?). After swooning, recovering, then swooning again over her Pumpkin Torte with Dreamy Brown Sugar Frosting, I completely trusted her about this pear cake. Plus, when pears are this perfectly in season and it’s blustery outside, I couldn’t think of anything better than filling my kitchen with the smell and warmth of something baking in the oven.

Pear Spice Cake // One Lovely Life

I was able to find organic pears for the same low price ($1 per pound) as the regular pears in my local market. This was a definite perk, as the regular pears were rock solid and had obviously just been pulled out of cold storage. The organic pears, on the other hand, gave just a little when pressed and many of them had a pretty pink blush I swooned over.

If you don’t have cardamom on hand, it might be time to pick some up. It’s one of the pricier spices ($6-7 per jar), but it’s a really delicious flavor. I use it in this cake, the above-mentioned pumpkin cake, and (one of my favorite foods) Indian Butter Chicken. You can sometimes find it available in bulk at places like Whole Foods, if you want to try it out before buying a jar. Or, you and a friend can split one, if you’re nervous. Personally, I’ve been converted.

I’d like to try making this in bundt form sometime soon, though I might need to play with the amounts a bit. I’ll let you know how it goes if I’m successful. As is, this recipe makes two smallish loaf cakes. One last tip is not to skip greasing AND flouring the pans you use for the cake. You’ll be glad you did.

Pear Spice Cake // One Lovely Life

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Pear Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Glaze



For Pear Sauce:

  • 4 medium-sized ripe pears, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1/4c brown sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

For Cake:

  • 1/2c butter, softened
  • 1/2c brown sugar
  • 1/2c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2c sour cream (I used light)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2c flour

For Cream Cheese Glaze:

  • 3 Tbsp light cream cheese, softened (you can use full-fat)
  • 3 Tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/3c powdered sugar
  • 24 Tbsp milk


For Pear Sauce and Cake:

  1. Make pear sauce by combining diced pears, brown sugar, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Cook 20-25 minutes over medium heat or until pears are softened and falling apart. Mash with a potato masher or fork until roughly mashed (does not need to be pureed). Set aside 1 1/2c to cool (should be about all of it).
  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream butter and sugars 1-2 minutes on high speed or until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated. Add vanilla and beat 3-4 minutes. Batter should be light in color and fluffy. Mix in sour cream.
  3. In a small bowl, sift together spices, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and flour. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture until just combined (batter will be thick). Stir in pear sauce. This will loosen the batter up quite a bit. Don’t worry.
  4. Pour batter into two loaf pans that have been greased and floured. You can use cooking spray and then a tablespoon or two of flour. Shake flour around in pans to cover spray, then tap out any excess flour. Smooth tops of batter.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 35-37 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of one of the cakes. Allow cakes to cool 5-7 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edges of the loaf pans, and remove cakes from pans. Set on a cooling rack to completely cool.
  6. Top with cream cheese glaze (recipe follows).

For Cream Cheese Glaze:

  1. Cream together cream cheese and butter. Stir in vanilla. Add powdered sugar. Add enough milk to reach your desired consistency (some want it thicker or thinner–I used 3 Tbsp).
  2. Makes 2 loaf cakes

Adapted from Sophistimom


  1. Is this so good it makes you want to forget about ever eating another bite of Apple Spice Cake?
    OR, is it so deliciously different that it just needs it’s own separate cake category?

    Inquiring minds want to know…

    1. I’d go with deliciously different. Both are great–I love the apple spice cake with caramel sauce or buttermilk syrup, and I love the different flavor of this pear cake with the cream cheese glaze.

  2. It says to “mix in sour cream” but I don’t see sour cream in your ingredient list at all…

    I’d love to make this though it sounds wonderful!

  3. That looks like something I’d make for after dinner, then eat half of it for dinner and half of it for breakfast the next day. Yes, I think I’m going to have to make it.

  4. Delicious!! I had to simplify the cake part though. I used one spice cake mix, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup oil and 1/2 cup sour cream and cooked in a 9 x 13 glass pan for 40-45 mins. and went thick on the glaze so it was frosting. Turned out great. Thanks for sharing.

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