an everyday pear cake

an everyday pear cake

Pear Buttermilk Cake adapted from Smitten Kitchen

I made this cake with 3/4 cup all-purpose flour and 3/4 cup spelt flour, and reduced the sugar to 1/2 cup. Our family loved it, but if I were serving it to guests, I think I would make it as the recipe originally states [below], with more sugar and all white flour. I also think a tablespoon or two of bourbon would be lovely in here.


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pie plate
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour [see note]
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar [see note]
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 large pears, peeled and sliced thin [you need enough to cover the cake]


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 10-inch pie pan or 9-inch deep-dish pie pan.
  2. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together. Beat the butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the egg, buttermilk, and vanilla until just combined. Add the flour mixture gradually, mixing until just smooth.
  3. Pour into the prepared pie plate. Arrange the pears on top of batter, as closely as possible in a single layer, pressing them in a bit. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over the pears [I used vanilla bean sugar here].
  4. Bake the cake for 10 minutes, and then reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and bake until golden brown and a tester comes out clean, about 50 minutes to 60 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack.
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22 Responses to an everyday pear cake

  1. Nicole says:

    I adore that pretty swirl of pears. And yes to adding a little bourbon 🙂

  2. Ashlae says:

    This is so pretty, Sarah. And your little lady – she’s cute as can be.

  3. I love this cake the look so amazing =)

  4. Monika says:

    amazing cake!for winter:))

  5. Kasey says:

    I love a good pear cake…homey, rustic, and perfectly cozy.

  6. I’ve been looking for something to do with pears, and this cake seems so simple and lovely!

  7. Sonja says:

    Gorgeous! Beautiful photos, as always.

  8. london bakes says:

    Such a beautiful cake – a much prefer a good ‘everyday’ cake to something more fancy.

  9. Bourbon always makes it better : ) Beautiful pictures!

  10. Gorgeous cake and photos. Here’s to every day being as beautiful as this 🙂

  11. Anonymous says:

    Do I add the boubon to myself or to the cake? 🙂

  12. Courtney says:

    Your photos are always so lovely and dreamy! This cake looks delicious, and I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt to add a bit of bourbon 🙂

  13. Sacha says:

    I first made that strawberry cake (all the sugar and AP flour) several years ago and still think about it every once in a while! Your pear version is really beautiful, and I love the look of it when made in the cake pan as opposed to the pie plate.

  14. oooh this is so so pretty. Poor pears are always forgotten, nice to see them used here.

  15. Laura says:

    None of my peeps like pears! This is obviously devastating to me, but I feel like I could change minds with this cake. Simple and effective. Those are my favorite kind of cakes.

    Has to be said: your sweet little lady. So cute. xo

  16. Kathryne says:

    I can’t pull off fancy layered cakes, but I do love everyday cakes. The pears on top of this one are so pretty! It is perfect.

  17. Kelsey says:

    She will light up rooms with that smile for the entirety of her life. Beautiful.

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  20. Miss Cuckoo says:

    Looks very delicious, Love Pears!

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