These Pear Spice Cakes are soft, sweet, and fruity, and the brown butter glaze adds a touch of nutty sweetness that sends these over the top.
I seriously think I could live on fruit. I’m pretty sure that there isn’t one fruit that I have tried and haven’t liked. Even the more obscure fruits like pomegranates, star fruit and persimmon have made their way through my kitchen and into my mouth and been met with lots of love. I love the tangy sweetness of Granny Smith apples, the refreshing bite of summertime berries, and the fuzzy exterior of peaches.
But, somehow, despite my love of fruit in all forms, all the time, there was one fruit I had never tried before last weekend – a pear. Yup, seriously. You’ve probably been eating pears your whole life, but I don’t think anyone in my family likes them too much, because they never made their way into our house before.
I guess my parents never bought them when I was kid, so as I’ve started to do the grocery shopping I’ve never had the inclination to pick one up. Last weekend though I was sitting in the car with my Aunt Vero and she asked me to grab her a pear from the bag that was at my feet and offered me one as well. I grabbed it, curious. I bit into it and my mind was blown.
It was perfectly juicy with such a good flavor. I was astonished this fruit had never been introduced to me before. I mean, come on! It was a pear. Nothing exotic. So why had I never tried one?! It was absolutely amazing. The texture, the taste, the flowing juices staining my shirt. It was oh so yummy. So of course, upon returning home (I had been visiting my sister in Los Angeles), I headed right to the grocery store to stock up.
I bought about 6 but I had no idea what to do with them. I wanted to make something that would showcase their wonderful flavor but that would also have some texture and depth. I searched Foodgawker (as always) and found an astounding-looking recipe for pear-spice cakes. So…I did what I always do when I find a recipe that sounds good. I immediately get into the kitchen and make it.
Mind you…my cousin was over (and he didn’t exactly want to sit and watch me bake) and we were about to go to dinner. Whatever. Dinner can wait. Pear-spice cakes cannot.
I got peeling and chopping and sauteeing and mixing and these gorgeous mini-bundts were the result. If you’ve never had a pear, like me, go buy them, savor them, obsess over them, and then go make these cakes. Do me a favor. Do yourself a favor. Thank you and goodnight. Here’s the recipe. You’re welcome.
By the way: I’m curious. Any fruits you’ve never tried, or just recently tried?! How did you like it/them?! Share your fruit experiences in a comment!
Pear Spice Cakes with Browned Butter Glaze
For the cakes
- 4 ripe pears peeled and cut in chunks
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups flour
For the glaze
- 1 stick 1/2 cup butter, unsalted
- 1 1/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3-4 tablespoons milk
For the cakes
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray 4 mini loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray and place on a baking sheet. Set aside. (I used a pan of 6 mini-Bundt cakes. I'm sure a regular sized Bundt pan would work beautifully as well.)
- In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, combine pear chunks and 1/4 cup of sugar, and lemon juice. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the pears soften and break apart. You can help them along by smashing them with a potato masher, or just cook until they get soft on their own. Measure out 1 1/2 cups of pear sauce and set aside to cool.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, the remainder of the granulated sugar, and the brown sugar. Mix on high until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time, incorporating well after each addition. Add in vanilla, and beat on medium high speed for 4 minutes. Mix in sour cream.
- In a small bowl, combine spices, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour. With mixer on low, add dry ingredients to butter and sugar mixture. Mix until just incorporated. Stir in reserved pear sauce. Pour into prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes.
For the glaze
- Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Cook until browned, about 3-4 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Whisk in confectioner's sugar until thickened. Stir in vanilla extract. Stir in enough milk until icing is pourable. Drizzle over cooled cake/cakes.