This beautiful maple pecan pear cake is light and fluffy with a gorgeous texture from roasted and ground pecans and moist pears. It takes under 30 minutes to prepare and is sure to become a fall favorite afternoon snack.
So this pear cake is the culmination of a banana bread recipe mixed with fall maple pecan flavors. The recipe was adapted from our banana pecan bread, another delightful recipe that you must try! We love maple and pecan flavors, just like this maple brown sugar oatmeal.
There's something about the pears in this that just add a lovely texture as well as moisture to the cake, because there's nothing worse than a dried out piece of pear cake (or any cake for that matter)! If you're interested in a more decadent cake, give our tiramisu cake a go!
To make this cake even more delectable, we drizzle it with a tahini maple glaze. It’s so simple to make and adds another delicious dimension to the cake. This one should be on your favourites list along with our almond plum cake.
We know you'll love this maple pecan pear cake so don't forget to leave us a comment and rate the recipe card below. Use the following links to get exactly where you need to.
Why you'll love this recipe
You need this pear cake in your life and these are the reasons you need to get in the kitchen today:
One bowl - this recipe only really uses one bowl for mixing everything together, making for less washing up! It's even quicker in a stand mixer.
Pecan crumb - just like our banana pecan bread this recipe uses ground pecans to give the cake a great texture and flavor.
Flavor - the maple pecan notes of this pear cake are so enticing during the cooler months. A great snack for cosy days.
Moist - using pears in two ways, we create a super moist pear cake that is totally moreish.
Seasonal - use seasonal pears and spices to give you all those fall and winter seasonal feelings.
This pear cake recipe is fairly simple to put together; here are the ingredients you need:
Canned pears - these have the perfect texture and moisture content for this cake and there's no faffing around with poaching fresh pears!
Blush pear - we like to add some sliced fresh pears on top before baking to make the cake extra pretty. We like to use firm blush pears as they're super pretty, but any ripe but firm pears will do!
Pecans - we use raw whole pecans for this recipe, which get roasted. Half are ground finely and half are roughly chopped, adding to the lovely nutty texture. We’re also sprinkling some on top for decoration.
Pure maple syrup – for that irresistible flavor. We use grade A amber, but you could use a darker maple syrup for more intensity.
Spices - ground cinnamon and nutmeg add a perfect warmth to this cake.
We know you love to customize and mix it up when it comes to recipes so here are some suggestions:
Spices - make a ginger and pear cake by adding ground ginger or some chopped up crystallized ginger into the pear cake mix. Ginger goes perfectly with pear!
Walnuts - you can switch out the pecan nuts for walnuts or hazelnuts instead if you prefer.
Gluten free - switch out the all purpose flour for a gluten free all purpose flour, we haven't tested this yet. If you do try this let us know in the comments.
How to make pear cake
So you’ve got all your ingredients ready, the next bit is simple and straightforward; you'll have a beautiful pear cake in no time!
- Spread the pecans out evenly on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5-8 minutes until fragrant. Set aside to cool. In the bowl of a stand mixer beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the maple syrup, vanilla extract and continue beating until smooth. Mix in the mashed pears until combined.
- In a small bowl of a food processor, add ½ cup of pecans and pulse gently until finely ground. Roughly chop the remaining pecans. In a medium bowl, whisk together the finely ground pecans, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and stir together.
- Fold in the chopped pecans. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan and top with the sliced pears, a few additional chopped pecans and sprinkle with demerara sugar if desired.
Follow these expert tips to ensure you have success every time with baking this pear cake:
Baking time - the pear cake will bake in about 40-50 minutes. You want your cake tester or toothpick inserted into the thickest part of the cake to come out clean. If it’s not ready, return to the oven and check in 5 minute intervals.
Canned pears - one can of pears, drained, should give you 1 cup of mashed pear. Coarsely mash for pear flecks throughout the cake.
Fold - when combining dry and wet ingredients fold until just combined and then fold in the chopped pecans. You don't want a tough cake, so be gentle.
Raising agents - ensure your raising agents are fresh and not out of date, we use these instead of self raising flour as the flour doesn't age well and can lose its lift over time.
Glaze - be sure to glaze the pear cake when fully cool, otherwise you'll melt the glaze and it'll be too thin.
How to make a light and fluffy cake
To ensure you get a nice and light fluffy pear cake ensure you follow these recommendations:
Whip - make sure you whip together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Aeration of the butter helps create a lighter crumb for the pear cake.
Sift - sift your flour, this separates the flour and leads to a lighter cake.
Don’t over mix - this is the most common mistake made. If the cake mix is over mixed, the gluten will develop and this makes a tighter dense structure to the crumb.
Raising agents - use raising agents instead of self raising flour as this gives predictable, controllable results. Self raising flour doesn’t age very well if you don’t bake often! And be sure to check that your baking powder or baking soda aren’t out of date.
For longer storage, keep the cake in the fridge. However we recommend eating the pear cake within 2-3 days of baking as the fruit on top can start to go a bit soggy.
This cake is great on its own, warmed up or served cold from the fridge. We recommend our glaze to top it but you can also serve it with ice cream or whipped cream. Definitely enjoy with coffee or your favorite hot drink.
Yes you can. It's so delicious though that it'll be unlikely to last that long. This cake is best stored in individually wrapped slices in the freezer for up to 3 months. Unfortunately, the texture of the pears on top will suffer if you freeze it though.
Love this maple pecan pear cake recipe? Then you definitely want to check out more of our baking recipes. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
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Pear Cake with Maple & Pecans
For the cake
- 1 cup pecans
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ⅓ cup soft brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 can can peeled pears, 411g/14.5oz drained and mashed (225g/8oz drained weight, 1 cup mashed
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda, bicarbonate of soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1-2 blush pears, cored and cut into ¼ inch thick slices to top
- 2 tablespoons pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon demerara sugar, optional
- Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease and line a 9 inch round cake tin with parchment paper.
- Spread the pecans out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5-8 minutes until fragrant. Set aside to cool.1 cup pecans
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.½ cup unsalted butter, ⅓ cup soft brown sugar
- Next beat in the eggs one at a time until fully combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and continue beating until combined and smooth.2 large eggs, ½ cup pure maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Mix in the crushed pears until combined.1 can can peeled pears
- Add ½ cup of the pecans to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground - but take care that you don’t blitz them into butter! Roughly chop the remaining pecans.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the finely ground pecans, flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently stir in until just combined. Fold in the chopped pecans.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan. Top with the sliced pear, a few extra chopped pecans and a sprinkle of demerara sugar if desired. Bake for 40-50 minutes - you want a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the thickest part of the loaf to come out clean. If it’s not ready, return to the oven and continue to check in 5 minute intervals. Leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.1-2 blush pears, 2 tablespoons pecans, 1 tablespoon demerara sugar
- Once cool, if desired, top with chopped pecans and a drizzle of maple syrup or tahini maple glaze. Makes 12 slices.
For the tahini maple glaze
- In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, maple syrup, vanilla extract, icing sugar, milk and salt until smooth. If the glaze is too thick, add extra milk a teaspoonful at a time, but take care not to add too much as we want the glaze to be thick enough to drizzle nicely.1 tablespoon tahini, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ cup icing sugar, 1 tablespoon milk, 1 pinch of salt
- Check for doneness with a cake tester at the edge of the pears on the top. The skewer will come out clean when fully baked.
- Fold in the dry ingredients and avoid overworking the mixture.