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  • Prep-time: / Ready In:
  • Makes one 9-inch cake

Add interest to the holiday dessert table with this warmly spiced homemade cake, which is topped with pears and pecans. The beautifully arranged pear slices make it a spectacular way to end a meal. Or serve it at a festive brunch. 

See Ingredient IQ: Pears for help selecting pears plus more tips for incorporating the sweet, tender fruits in your cooking.

pear spice cake recipe


  • 2 medium pears
  • 1¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup light molasses
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted
  • Powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Core and cut 1 pear lengthwise into very thin slices. Peel and chop remaining pear.
  2. In a large bowl stir together the next seven ingredients (through cloves). In a medium bowl stir together the next four ingredients (through vanilla) and 2 Tbsp. hot water. Add applesauce mixture to flour mixture; whisk just until well combined. Stir in chopped pear. Spoon batter into a 9-inch round or square silicone baking pan, spreading evenly. Arrange pear slices over batter. Sprinkle with pecans.
  3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool slightly in pan on a wire rack. If desired, remove cake from pan. Sprinkle cake lightly with powdered sugar. Serve warm or cooled.

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