Spiced Pear Cake

Spiced Pear Cake

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!

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Servings: 12


  • 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


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

  2. Line bottom of 9-inch round non-stick baking pan with parchment paper.

  3. In medium mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and stir well. Set aside.

  4. Cut one pear into thin slices about 1/4-inch thick (avoiding core). 

  5. Finely chop other two into large chunks (avoiding core).

  6. Arrange sliced pear in prepared pan in any design you wish.

  7. Pour 1/4 cup of maple syrup over pears, reserving rest.

  8. Put pear chunks into blender with 2 tablespoons water, then blend well until reach consistency of applesauce. 

  9. Make well in dry ingredients and pour in pear and apple sauce. 

  10. Add remaining 1/2 cup maple syrup and other liquid ingredients, stirring until combined (don't over-stir!). 

  11. Carefully spoon batter over pears so you don't move them and change design.

  12. Bake until inserting toothpick in middle comes out clean (about 35-45 minutes). 

  13. Remove from oven and let rest on kitchen counter for 10 minutes.  

  14. Run knife around edge of pan to loosen any stuck-on parts of cake. 

  15. Place serving dish over cake and invert, tapping lightly to dislodge cake from pan. 

  16. Very carefully take off parchment paper and serve.