The cake is buttery, crumbly, moist, and tender. It’s a double layer, but the recipe is easily cut in half to make a single layer.
Unfortunately, there’s no pictures of every single step…I’m the cook AND photographer, so I didn’t feel like washing my hands after every single step before I man-handled my camera.
The first step is preparing the pears. After peeling, coring, and slicing them, you’re going to cook them just for a little bit in a non-stick pan (or pot) to coat them with this honey butter spice mixture that has cinnamon, a pinch of kosher salt, lemon juice…and black pepper. Before you wrinkle your nose, trust me – it’s good. I wanted to add a different warmth to the cinnamon that wasn’t the common nutmeg or clove that you find. White pepper is too much of a kick, though I wanted to go that route because I thought the color blend well with the pears and cake, but black pepper is just right for the taste profile. It didn’t look too bad either!
Once the pears are cooked and coated with the delicious syrup, you want to divide the pears and liquid between two 9-inch round cake pans that have been greased or coated with non-stick spray. It’s VERY important to prep your pans because when the cake bakes, the honey glaze caramelizes and it can be a mess to get your cakes out of an ill-prepared pan. Now, it might seem like there’s a lot of liquid and that it’s too runny, but that’s okay! It thickens up when it bakes and it also gets soaked up into the cake batter.
After you arrange the pears, it’s time to make the batter! It’s a quick and easy recipe and it seems to go against logic for mixing batter ingredients…But I’ve tried mixing the ingredients in a different order and the cake turned out all wrong. So I stick to the method that I’ll list in the recipe below. Since we used lemon juice for the glaze, we’re going to use zest in the cake. Might as well make use of it, right? Once the batter is mixed together, pour it over the pears and spread it out over them gently. Some of the juice will come up the sides and that’s fine. It won’t ruin the cake – I promise.
After baking in the oven for a little over half an hour, you get this! A nice golden cake with caramelized honey deliciousness. Let them cool in the pan for 20 minutes in a wire rack, then carefully run a knife along the edge so that it loosens up the cakes. Put a plate over the top, send good thoughts of a nice turned out cake, turn it over. And ta-da! Cake. Little bits of the cake will stick to the pan, and that’s okay! I like to sneak those as my tasty bites since I usually bake whole cakes for the office. Carefully put one layer a top the other and you’re done! Well…Except for eating the cake…And washing the dishes…
I brought the cake into work for my coworkers and everyone loved it. People kept asking me what the spice in it was and were shocked when I told them it was black pepper.
PIXIE’S HONEY SPICED PEAR CAKE
- 6 bosc pears – peeled, halved, cored, and sliced.
- 1/2 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 pinches of kosher salt
- zest from one lemon
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 cups white sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, melted.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans with non-stick spray, or by greasing with butter and flour.
- Melt the three tablespoons of butter in a non-stick pan or pot. Add in lemon juice, honey, cinnamon, black pepper, and salt. Stir and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes minutes. Add in the pears and stir well so the sauce coats all the slices. Cook for an additional 8 minutes. Divide the pears and juices between the two cake pans and set aside to cook.
- Combine the sugar and lemon zest in a bowl, whisking together. Add in the eggs, one at a time, whisking thoroughly after adding each egg. Add in flour half a cup at a time and mix until just combined. Add melted butter in three part, mixing until well combined after each addition.
- Divide the batter between the two cake pans, pouring it over the pears, spreading it into an even and flat layer.
- Put the pans into the center of the oven and bake for 35 minutes. The top of cake should be slightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen. Invert cakes onto a plate before carefully stacking on a service dish.
The cake can be served with whipped cream, ice cream, or with a dusting of powdered sugar.