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Spiced Pear Cake

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In my household we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day, we celebrate Valentine’s Week! I generally make 2-3 desserts during Valentine’s Week with a grand finale of the chocolate variety on the 14th. I recently found some really good pears at a local farmers market, and so I decided to bake a Spiced Pear Cake for this year’s celebration. My kids were super skeptical about a pear cake at first, but once they tried it they just had to go back for seconds. The best part? This cake is fat-free and heart-healthy!
Servings: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 2 large pears
  • 1 1/2 cups pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup figs, (chopped)
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup, (divided)
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  • Line the bottom of a 9-inch round non-stick baking pan with parchment paper.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and stir well. Set aside.
  • Cut one pear into thin slices about 1/4-inch thick (avoiding core). 
  • Finely chop the other two into large chunks (avoiding core).
  • Arrange sliced pear in a prepared pan in any design you wish.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of maple syrup over the pears, reserving the rest.
  • Put pear chunks into a blender with 2 tablespoons water, then blend well until reach the consistency of applesauce. reaches
  • Make well in dry ingredients and pour in pear and apple sauce. 
  • Add remaining 1/2 cup maple syrup and other liquid ingredients, stirring until combined (don't over-stir!). 
  • Carefully spoon batter over pears so you don't move them and change the design.
  • Bake until inserting toothpick in the middle comes out clean (about 35-45 minutes). 
  • Remove from oven and let rest on the kitchen counter for 10 minutes.  
  • Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen any stuck-on parts of the cake. 
  • Place serving dish over cake and invert, tapping lightly to dislodge cake from pan. 
  • Very carefully take off the parchment paper and serve.