Pear-Spice Bundt Cake
This is a slight twist on applesauce cake, relying instead on a homemade pear sauce. The cake can be made a day ahead. Keep it at room temperature, then glaze it and garnish it with pear chips just before serving.
- Yield: Makes one 10-inch cake
Photography: Rob Tannenbaum
Source: Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 pounds (about 5) ripe Bartlett pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 3/4 cups packed dark-brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- Cream Cheese Glaze, for serving (optional); or Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)
- Pear Chips, for garnish (optional)
In a saucepan, spread granulated sugar in an even layer. Cook over medium-high heat, without stirring, until sugar around edge of pan melts and begins to turn golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, slowly stir until all sugar has melted and mixture is translucent and golden.
Add pear chunks to caramel, and stir to coat. Cook, covered, over low heat until very soft, 6 to 8 minutes, swirling pan occasionally. Using a potato masher, mash pears until they are broken down but still slightly chunky. Continue cooking, uncovered, 5 minutes more, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; let cool completely.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 10-inch (12-cup capacity) Bundt pan, tapping out excess. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, baking soda, pepper, and nutmeg; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, brown sugar, and honey on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition. With mixer on the lowest speed, add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with milk and beginning and ending with flour. Add reserved pear sauce and mix to combine, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Do not overmix.
Spoon batter into prepared pan and smooth with a small offset spatula. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until cake is a deep golden brown and a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool slightly. Invert cake onto a wire rack set over a piece of parchment paper and allow to cool 10 minutes. Once cool, pour the glaze over the top, letting some drip down the sides. Alternatively, dust with confectioners' sugar. Garnish with pear chips, if using.