Breakfast Brunch Cake Dessert Fall

Fresh Ginger and Pear Cake




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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


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4.16 from 13 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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

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.

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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12 Comments

    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    Sam
    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
      Sue
      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
      Sue
      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
      Sue
      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
    Sue
    September 28, 2019 at 7:04 am

    That would be pear not lead!

    • Reply
      Sue
      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
    Sue
    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
      Sue
      October 3, 2019 at 8:29 am

      That would be pears.