Fresh Ginger and Pear Cake

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!

Fresh Ginger and Pear Cake on a piece of white parchment paper.

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.

Pears on a plaid linen towel, and fresh ginger and pear cake ready to go in the oven.

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!

Fresh Ginger and Pear Cake on a piece of parchment paper, with pears on a plaid linen towel in the background.

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.

Fresh Ginger and Pear Cake with a slice being taken out.

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.

A slice of fresh ginger and pear cake, with another slice and forks in the background.

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.

Fresh Ginger and Pear Cake on a baking rack, sliced into pieces.

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

4.5 from 40 votes

Fresh Ginger and Pear Cake

Fresh Ginger and Pear Cake ~ this buttery breakfast cake is lightly spiced with fresh ginger and cardamom, and topped with fresh juicy pears.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Yield 8 slices
Author Sue Moran


  • 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.

Cook's notes

You'll notice I placed the slices of pear casually on the surface of my cake, but if you want to take more time you can arrange them in a pretty spiral pattern.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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 ~


fresh ginger and pear cake pin

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    August 26, 2021 at 8:21 am

    I was wondering if this might work in an 8inch square pan? For whatever reason, I do not have a standard 9 inch cake pan.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      August 26, 2021 at 8:56 am

      I think it should work, it will just be a little thicker, so you’d need to add some baking time.

      • Reply
        August 26, 2021 at 9:57 am

        Thank you so much for your rapid reply!

      • Reply
        August 26, 2021 at 7:30 pm

        5 stars
        This was fantastic, thank you so much for the great recipe! Will definitely make again, 5-stars ??

  • Reply
    May 24, 2021 at 8:33 am

    My pears are taking forever to ripe 🙁 do you think that they will still cook okay even though they are not very ripe? Thanks a lot! can’t wait to try it!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      May 24, 2021 at 10:10 am

      Generally speaking I prefer to bake with under-ripe fruit, so it should be fine. And many types of pears never get soft, so yours may be ripe even though they’re still quite firm.

  • Reply
    May 6, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    5 stars
    With an abundance of pears gifted to us at Christmas….I made this cake and froze it! Just ate it this week! It froze well and was outstandingly delicious! I am a huge fan of pear, cadamon and ginger! Thanx for sharing!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      May 6, 2021 at 6:09 pm

      Wow what a delayed treat! Thanks for the feedback Bea <3

  • Reply
    Sandra Merino
    April 24, 2021 at 4:02 pm

    Hi, can I sub whipping cream for the yogurt?
    Thank you.

  • Reply
    March 16, 2021 at 11:56 am

    5 stars
    This was fantastic! I love the ginger and cardamom flavors.

  • Reply
    January 25, 2021 at 9:33 am

    5 stars
    Made this for dessert yesterday. Delicious, and pretty easy! We ate leftovers for breakfast, and I highly recommend enjoying with a cup of earl grey.

  • Reply
    November 25, 2020 at 8:27 am

    My pears are really ripe now and I am considering making this today, but I won’t be serving the cake for two days. Do you think it will store OK in the refrigerator? How would you recommend storing it?

    • Reply
      November 25, 2020 at 9:26 am

      I would let it cool completely and then wrap in plastic and refrigerate. Then let come to room temperature before serving, or even gently warm it in a low oven, covered loosely with foil.

  • Reply
    September 27, 2020 at 9:16 am

    3 stars
    I love making this cake and the smell during baking was amazing. It turned out a little dense and dry so I am not sure what I did wrong. I did not have fresh ginger so I minced some crystalized ginger and used that. I measured accurately and my baking powder is fresh. Any ideas?

    • Reply
      September 27, 2020 at 10:22 am

      Hey Cindy ~ the two things that come to mind are making sure you really cream the butter and sugar for the full 5 minutes, and then continue beating after each egg. This really helps the cake become light as it bakes. And the other thing is to make sure your oven is at the accurate temperature, and not to over bake. Even over baking a cake by just a little bit can dry it out. Hope this helps.

  • Reply
    September 17, 2020 at 3:52 am

    I love all the ingredients except pears. What would be a good substitute. ? Firm plums ?

    • Reply
      September 17, 2020 at 5:47 am

      You could use plums, sure, or apples.

  • Reply
    September 15, 2020 at 7:07 am

    I love the ginger flavor in this cake. It is the first time I have used fresh ginger in baked goods and am amazed at how well it works. Thank you for a great recipe! This cake was my husband’s birthday cake this year, and it was a hit.

  • Reply
    Billy Campbell
    July 6, 2020 at 6:36 am

    Sue What is the conversion of quantities for UK measurements either OZS or Grams can you advise thanks
    recipe looks super

  • Reply
    May 13, 2020 at 6:15 am

    5 stars
    Loved the cake, but wondered if it freezes well.

    • Reply
      May 13, 2020 at 7:23 am

      It should freeze fine.

  • Reply
    Amy Davidson
    May 11, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    An excellent cake! I left out the ginger and the cardamom (didn’t have any on hand) and added some vanilla and it was yummy! Family loves it!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2020 at 11:59 am

    can I sub non dairy milk or cashew yogurt for the Greek yogurt? I realized I forgot to get the yogurt!

    • Reply
      April 3, 2020 at 4:49 pm

      Sure, that should be fine.

  • Reply
    February 29, 2020 at 1:57 am

    5 stars
    It was super easy to follow.Perfect recipe.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2020 at 11:19 am

    Love the sound of this recipe but could I use Almond flour/Coconut flour as I am on Keto?

  • Reply
    January 28, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    Hello do you have suggestions for an egg substitute that is easy to find in a supermarket?

  • Reply
    Gillian Hinson
    January 22, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    5 stars
    Heavenly cake. Very Easy. Most items will be in anyone’s pantry. I will definitely bake again and again. Thank you for the recipe.

  • Reply
    December 9, 2019 at 8:43 am

    Since there is yogurt in the recipe, I was hoping to figure out if I could substitute baking soda in place of baking powder. Do you have suggestions on how I should make that substitution? Thank you!

    • Reply
      December 9, 2019 at 9:04 am

      The general rule is for 1 tsp of powder you could substitute 1/4 tsp soda, so that should be fine.

  • Reply
    Deb Wasserman
    October 4, 2019 at 10:39 am

    5 stars
    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!

  • Reply
    Deb Wasserman
    October 1, 2019 at 9:57 am

    Thank you. I’ll let you know but I’m confident we will. Your GF chocolate cake and the Meyer lemon cake were fantastic! I’ve made both several times. Always a huge hit. And your cranberry pie with the gingersnap crust appears every Thanksgiving. So beautiful and so tasty.

    • Reply
      October 1, 2019 at 1:40 pm

      That’s so nice to hear 🙂

  • Reply
    Deb Wasserman
    September 30, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    Hi Sue! How will this cake hold up? Can I make it a day in advance?

    • Reply
      September 30, 2019 at 7:41 pm

      Hey Deb!! This should hold up well overnight, I wouldn’t wrap it super tightly with plastic, just foil would be fine. Hope you like it!

  • Reply
    Sam Waz
    September 28, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    Why does it take longer to bake in an 8″ round pan? The center is 4″ from the edge, as opposed to a square 9″ pan, where the center would be 4 1/2 ” from the edge and 6 1/4 ” from the corners of the cake.

    Also, do I need to adjust baking time and temperature, if using gluten- free all purpose flour? Thanks.

  • Reply
    September 28, 2019 at 7:04 am

    That would be pear not lead!

    • Reply
      September 28, 2019 at 7:08 am

      lol! You can use the photo of the unbaked cake as a guide Sue, but basically you’ll cover the top of your batter with thinly sliced pears, very slightly overlapping. If you have a little more or less it won’t make much difference. As for dry ginger, I’d say a tablespoon would be a good amount.

  • Reply
    September 28, 2019 at 7:02 am

    Can you provide a more accurate measurement of the amount of lead to use? Also if using dry ginger how much would I use?

    • Reply
      October 3, 2019 at 8:29 am

      That would be pears.

      • Reply
        January 22, 2020 at 12:39 pm

        5 stars
        I was looking for a recipe to use up all the ginger paste and the two pears I had chilling in my fridge and I found this! This recipe was super easy to follow and quick to prepare. My bake time was a little closer to an hour but admittedly I don’t know what size my springform is haha.

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