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Pear Spice Cakes with Browned Butter Glaze

Author Rachel Conners

Ingredients

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

Instructions

For the cakes

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

  1. Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Cook until browned, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. 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.