Dessert Fall

Pear Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

Pear Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting ~ a simple little snack cake packed with  juicy pears and topped with a classic vanilla buttercream.

a slice of pear cake with vanilla bean frosting

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.

Now if I can just tackle that ham…

Also try ~

Pear Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting
Rate this recipe
1 ratings

Category: dessert

Servings: serves 9

a slice of pear cake with vanilla bean frosting


  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup ripe pear, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
    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


  1. Preheat oven to 375F (350F for glass)
  2. Cream together the sugar, sour cream, egg and butter.
  3. Add in the pear and vanilla.
  4. Fold in the dry ingredients just until blended.
  5. 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)
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes just until the edges are starting to brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. 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.
  8. Ice the cake when it’s completely cooled.


You Might Also Like


    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    January 2, 2012 at 12:41 am

    I don’t think I tried similar pear variety like this one, they look lovely. And when it comes to frosting, if I can I prefer to skip it, I feel I can eat one piece of cake more that way ;)

  • Reply
    December 31, 2011 at 9:19 am

    would you just look at your massive layer of frosting to your thin but still-reasonably-sized layer of cake? tremendous.

  • Reply
    December 29, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    OMG, pear vanilla cake AND vanilla bean frosting?? Yum!

  • Reply
    December 29, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    Wow…This cake looks fabulous! Just the kind of cake I enjoy eating…
    Happy New Year!

  • Reply
    December 29, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Mmm real vanilla bean. Looks simple and beautiful.

  • Reply
    Kitchen Belleicious
    December 28, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    I love the idea of the vanilla bean frosting- it just ups the anty on the cake itself. pears and vanilla pair so well together! Awesome

  • Reply
    December 29, 2011 at 3:24 am

    Hello! My first visit, will visit you again. Seriously, I thoroughly enjoyed your posts. Congrats for your work. If you wish to follow back that would be great I’m at
    Thanks for sharing!
    Happy New Year!

  • Reply
    Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes
    December 29, 2011 at 1:21 am

    I think you should have a luncheon for your New England friends! I’ll bring the wine! LOL!!! This is my kind of cake! I want to know how you find the time to whip up these masterpieces!

    Happy New Year!

  • Reply
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen
    December 29, 2011 at 12:54 am

    Love the flavor of pears in cake and that frosting sounds divine.

  • Reply
    Hungry Dog
    December 28, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    I’m pretty sure I could eat vanilla bean frosting on anything. This cake does sound good–and these are my favorite kind of pears.

  • Reply
    Heather @
    December 28, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    That looks so great. I love anything that’s flecked with vanilla bean (seeds)- they’re a total weakness! And thanks for the reminder that Sherlock Holmes is out…I can’t wait to see it.

  • Reply
    From Beyond My Kitchen Window
    December 28, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    I want to live in your house. Everyday its another delicious dish or dessert. This cake looks yummy. The flecks of the vanilla in the frosting is a nice touch. Have you ever made ham croquets?( Not sure of the spelling) There supposed be be outstanding.