Honey Cake with Caramelized Pears
This moist cake -- inspired by the Rosh Hashanah traditions of eating honey cake and honey-dipped fruit to represent hope for a sweet year ahead -- is simply a single honey-infused layer; it's made luscious with a warm topping of pears in a honey syrup. A generous dollop of cold whipped cream is the perfect complement.
- Yield: Makes one 10-inch cake
Photography: Charles Schiller
Source: Martha Stewart Living, September
- 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.