Three red Anjou pears have been sitting on the counter for what seems like forever.  They were there while we baked all the cookies and desserts before Christmas. They sat there all week while people shuffled in and out of the kitchen grabbing snacks.  They managed to survive even after I dumped an entire crate of clementines on top of them in the big fruit bowl. The clementines have gone, one by one, but the three pears remained.

Yesterday while the rest of the family was standing in line for Sherlock Holmes I finally gave the pears their day.  This is my ideal kind of cake, a moist little square with a generous frosting to cake ratio.  Using a whole vanilla bean in the frosting is an extravagance, but it’s still technically the holidays.  And besides, I’ve got to clear some space in this kitchen, it’s starting to stress me out.

Pear Snack Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting         (inspired by ButterYum)
oven to 375 (350 for a glass pan)
2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg
3 Tbsp butter, room temperature
1 cup ripe pear, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

Vanilla Bean Frosting
3 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
milk or cream to thin

  • Cream together the sugar, sour cream, egg and butter.
  • Add in the pear and vanilla.
  • Fold in the dry ingredients just until blended.
  • Spread into an 8×8, 9×9 square or equivalent small cake baking pan (I used a 7 1/2 x 11 1/2 pan)
  • Bake for about 20 minutes just until the edges are starting to brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  • For the frosting, cream the soft butter with the vanilla beans with the back of a spoon.  Add in the sugar and blend together, then add in the cream or milk until you have a spreading consistency.  Beat it until smooth and glossy.
  • Ice the cake when it’s completely cooled.

Now if I can just tackle that ham…

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12 Responses to Pear Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting

  1. Magda says:

    I don’t think I tried similar pear variety like this one, they look lovely. And when it comes to frosting, if I can I prefer to skip it, I feel I can eat one piece of cake more that way ;)

  2. grace says:

    would you just look at your massive layer of frosting to your thin but still-reasonably-sized layer of cake? tremendous.

  3. OMG, pear vanilla cake AND vanilla bean frosting?? Yum!

  4. Kathy says:

    Wow…This cake looks fabulous! Just the kind of cake I enjoy eating…
    Happy New Year!

  5. Stephanie says:

    Mmm real vanilla bean. Looks simple and beautiful.

  6. Kitchen Belleicious says:

    I love the idea of the vanilla bean frosting- it just ups the anty on the cake itself. pears and vanilla pair so well together! Awesome

  7. Nelson says:

    Hello! My first visit, will visit you again. Seriously, I thoroughly enjoyed your posts. Congrats for your work. If you wish to follow back that would be great I’m at http://nelsonsouzza.blogspot.com
    Thanks for sharing!
    Happy New Year!

  8. I think you should have a luncheon for your New England friends! I’ll bring the wine! LOL!!! This is my kind of cake! I want to know how you find the time to whip up these masterpieces!

    Happy New Year!
    Mary

  9. Love the flavor of pears in cake and that frosting sounds divine.

  10. Hungry Dog says:

    I’m pretty sure I could eat vanilla bean frosting on anything. This cake does sound good–and these are my favorite kind of pears.

  11. That looks so great. I love anything that’s flecked with vanilla bean (seeds)- they’re a total weakness! And thanks for the reminder that Sherlock Holmes is out…I can’t wait to see it.

  12. I want to live in your house. Everyday its another delicious dish or dessert. This cake looks yummy. The flecks of the vanilla in the frosting is a nice touch. Have you ever made ham croquets?( Not sure of the spelling) There supposed be be outstanding.

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