Fresh Ginger and Pear Cake

Ginger pear cake, sliced, on a piece of parchment paper.

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


Ginger pear cake, sliced, on a piece of parchment paper.
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4.55 from 44 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

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.

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 theviewfromgreatisland.com 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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47 Comments

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    Please rate this recipe!




  • Reply
    Ritu
    February 23, 2022 at 5:43 pm

    5 stars
    Best cake ever!

  • Reply
    Vivian
    November 24, 2021 at 9:39 pm

    I really liked this recipe and I tried is but found an issue when baking it. I cooked it for 45 minutes and it’s still completely raw, not even a skin formed on the top. I think it was my mistake, maybe the pear slices covered to much of the cake? But I’m trying it with tin foil covering it so the pears don’t burn since they have cooked just fine

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      November 25, 2021 at 1:57 pm

      It really sounds like maybe an oven temperature issue Vivian, since you cooked it for so long without results. I’d recommend checking on that, for starters. Also sometimes foil covering, when put on early in the baking process, can slow the baking down quite a bit. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Emma Beckham
    November 15, 2021 at 5:22 am

    Feel silly asking this – but, do you peel the pears?

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      November 15, 2021 at 8:19 am

      Not silly at all ~ and no, I didn’t peel mine, but you can if you like.

  • Reply
    Dani
    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
        Dani
        August 26, 2021 at 9:57 am

        Thank you so much for your rapid reply!

      • Reply
        Dani
        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
    charis
    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
    Bea
    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
    Lisa
    March 16, 2021 at 11:56 am

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

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