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
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…