Honey Cake with Caramelized Pears
The topping of red Anjou pears lends color and flavor, and the sweet fruit holds its shape when cooked. The honey comes through in the topping and cake, and a touch of lemon zest adds little zing.
- Unsalted butter, softened, for pan
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons best-quality honey
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- Caramelized Pears
- Freshly whipped cream, or nondairy whipped topping, for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 10-inch springform pan. Dust with flour; tap out excess. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl; set aside. Mix eggs and sugars on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until pale and thick, about 3 minutes.
Whisk together honey, milk, oil, and zest. With mixer on low, add honey mixture to egg mixture; mix until combined, about 1 minute. Add half the flour mixture; mix until smooth. Mix in remaining flour mixture. Pour batter into pan.
Bake until dark golden brown and a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Run a thin knife around edge of cake; carefully remove sides of pan.Transfer cake to a platter. Top with pears. Serve with whipped cream or topping, if desired.