Fresh Ginger and Pear Cake ~ this buttery breakfast cake is lightly spiced with fresh ginger and cardamom, and topped with fresh juicy pears. As if you needed another reason to celebrate pear season!
My fresh ginger and pear cake is a one bowl wonder, and a great way to use up those pears that are ripening alarmingly fast on your counter.
This is a lovely and unusually flavored cake that would be perfect for breakfast, brunch, or with a warming cup of tea on a chilly afternoon.
Freshly grated ginger makes this pear cake stand out from the rest.
There’s enough in there to be noticeable, but it’s not overpowering, in case you’re worried. It gives a really nice warmth to the cake and the flavor goes beautifully with the pears. It made me wonder why I don’t use fresh ginger in cakes more often! The hint of cardamom gives it that subtle je ne sais quoi, where cinnamon would just overpower the cake. And the whole thing is so darned aromatic, it’s the kind of thing you pop in the oven when friends are coming over and you want everything to seem effortless and casual.
The combination of buttery cake, juicy fruit, and gentle spice is just heavenly!
This pear cake is the solution for when you’ve been there done that with pumpkin-spice, but still want something that feels like fall.
Any sort of pear should work fine for this cake, you just want to make sure they are ripe, without being at all mushy. You should be able to glide a knife through them easily (no crunchy pears please!) for nice clean slices. That way when you bake them the juices will release but they won’t fall apart.
Don’t love fresh ginger?
If you’re not a fan of ginger, you can definitely add vanilla extract or almond extract (1-2 tsp) in place of the ginger and cardamom, or try adding some traditional fall spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. The base of this cake is very similar to my super popular Strawberry Buttermilk Cake, so you know it’s going to be good. Feel free to play with it.
The correct pan for this fresh ginger and pear cake:
I used a 9-inch springform pan for this recipe, which makes it really easy to get the cake out of the pan. You could, if you wanted, bake this recipe in a 9×9 square baker. Just make sure to line it with parchment paper that hangs over the sides so you can lift it out easily after baking. Either that or plan to cut and serve from the pan.
If you need to use an 8-inch round pan, be aware that the cooking time will be longer and, depending on how much fruit you use, it may be tricky to get it cooked through in the middle before over cooking the edges.
Reader Rave ~
“It was perfection! Such a delicious cake for breakfast, just the right amount of (modest) sweetness for the morning and a delicious crumb. It held up overnight just beautifully, wrapped in foil as you suggested. I give it A+, 5 stars, Sue!” ~ Deb
Fresh Ginger and Pear Cake
- 1/2 cup or 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp grated fresh ginger, about a 3 inch piece of ginger
- 3/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 2-3 ripe pears, sliced
- A couple tablespoons powdered sugar for dusting
- Set oven to 350F. Butter a 9 inch springform pan.
- In an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, letting each become fully incorporated.
- Add the baking powder, salt, ginger, and cardamom, and mix briefly to combine.
- Add the flour, and mix to combine, alternating with the Greek yogurt.
- Give the mixture a final stir by hand to make sure everything is evenly incorporated, and spread the batter into your prepared pan.
- Arrange your pear slices on top of the cake, pushing them into the batter very slightly.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the cake is puffed and starting to turn golden on top.
- Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the springform pan. Continue to cool on a baking rack, and dust with powdered sugar when completely cooled.
Pears are lovely at this time of year and sometimes get overshadowed by apples. Here are a few more pear recipes you might try this season ~
- Spiced Vanilla Pear Oatmeal
- Pear Salad with Creamy Walnut Vinaigrette
- Spiced Pear Crumble Bars
- My Favorite Pear Crisp
Questions and Reviews
This recipe was delicious! I didn’t realize until too late that I didn’t have any cardamom so I used allspice as a substitute. It was very moist and delicious! I also added some slivered almonds on top before baking.
I made this for the first time and was very pleased with the outcome. My springform pan was dark, so I monitored the last few minutes to ensure it wasn’t over baking in my oven, and all went well. What a lovely and moist white cake. I did use a sprinkle of coarse sugar on my sliced pears, and had to use the preserved ginger I had on hand in place of the grated fresh. That may have subdued the ginger bite so next time (and there will be a next time!) I will try it with the grated root. As Monica commented, it made for a lovely breakfast.
I was looking for recipes to use canned pears in. Would they work with this recipe?
Yes, just drain them well.