Maple Pear Cake – a fresh maple pear cake with maple spice buttercream. A new layer cake recipe by our contributor, Tessa Huff.
Wherever you are and whatever you are celebrating this season, this is the cake for you. It doesn’t scream “Holiday,” but has all the makings of a festive treat. It’s the kind of cake you can enjoy either wrapped up in a cozy blanket next to a fire or impress guests with by presenting it at your next seasonal gathering.
Bottom line – this cake is just plain delicious. It has all of the flavors of the season, without being too in-your-face festive or gimmicky. The shredded pears add plenty of moisture while the bit of almond meal lends great texture and flavor to this tender, little cake. I was planning on a maple buttercream, but maple alone just wasn’t cutting it. Instead, a pinch of spice and dash of molasses create great depth of flavor and help balance out the cloyingness of straight maple syrup. The vanilla bean seeds add a touch of warmth in both the cake and frosting to round out all of the flavors.
Once assembled, I frosted the cake as smoothly as possible. I used an open star tip to pipe simple stars around the bottom. For the top of the cake, I piped shells around the edges – starting at the edge furthest from me, then tapering off the pressure and pulling the tails towards the center, rotating the cake as I went. To finish, pipe small stars again on top of the tails of the shells. The fluted tip ads an abundance of texture that makes you look like a world-class pastry chef without too much effort.
MAPLE PEAR CAKE
a recipe by Tessa Huff
(makes one 6″ 3-layer cake — 10 servings)
For the Pear Almond Cake:
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
3/4 cup shredded pears
1/4 cup milk
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour there 6-inch cake pans a set aside.
- Sift together the flour, almond meal, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
- With an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth.
- Add in the sugar and mix until light and fluffy (about 2 to 4 minutes).
- Add in the maple syrup, vanilla, and eggs. Mix until combined.
- Stop the mixer and scrap down the bowl.
- With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients in two batches – mixing until everything has just combined.
- Add in the pears and milk. Fold until combined.
- Evenly distribute the batter between the three pans. Bake for about 22 to 26 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before removing the cakes from their pans to cool completely.
For the Maple Spice Buttercream:
4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon molasses
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk to combine.
- Fill a saucepan with a few inches of water and bring to a simmer.
- Place the mixing bowl (with the egg whites) on top to create a double boiler.
- Heat the egg mixture (stirring intermittently) until it reaches 160 degrees on a candy thermometer.
- Once hot, carefully transfer the bowl back to the mixer. Whip on high with the whisk attachment for about 7 to 10 minutes, or until the outside of the bowl returns to room temperature and the meringue holds stiff peaks.
- Swap the whisk for the paddle attachment, and with the mixer on low, begin adding in the butter a few tablespoons at a time.
- Once the butter starts to incorporate, add in the maple syrup, molasses, vanilla and cinnamon. Turn the mixer up to medium-high and mix until smooth.
NOTE: If the mixture looks curdled after adding the butter, just keep mixing until it is smooth (this could take up to 5-10 minutes). If it appears soupy, place the mixer bowl in the fridge for 10 to 15 minutes, then mix until smooth.
YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY:
Honey Butter Cake
Apple Toffee Crunch Cake
Apple & Goat Cheese Cake
Caramel Cappuccino Cake
Poached Pear & Cranberry Cake
Find more cake recipes, cupcake recipes and tutorials in our Fall Baking Gallery!
Hi! This sounds delicious…except for the frosting. I just hate maple. Can you recommend an alternate frosting that would complement the cake?
Rosina Khan says
The pear cake receipt looks very delicious I have to try at weekend
June @ How to Philosophize with Cake says
Ooh that looks perfect! Love the maple spice frosting, bet it goes wonderfully with the pear flavors 🙂
Beautiful and elegant, Thanks for recipe..!!
Melissa Iellimo says
This looks incredible- I can’t wait to try it.
Thank you for sharing this recipe! It caught my eye because it’s such a unique, beautiful combination of ingredients that work really well together. The cake itself is perfection- I do have one question about the icing- I used the 2 cups of butter called for in the recipe, and it really seemed a bit too much. Could we reduce the amount of butter without altering the consistency of your icing?
Thanks again- and I’ll definitely try making any other creations of yours I find here.
what is this…a cake for ants?! 😛 I made the cake expecting it to be large, and totally missed the “grease and flour there 6-inch cake pans”. I’ll have to double or triple the recipe now! Tastes really delicious though 🙂
Carrie Sellman says
Yes, this is a petite 6″ round cake that will serve 10.
I bake for a household of two (humans, that is, not ants) and we always have 6″ layer cakes 🙂
I thought I had baked this cake wrong, but after reading the comments I can see there have been similar problems. There didn’t seem enough mixture for three layers. And then I found there was too much butter and so the frosting is a bit sloppy . I haven’t tasted it yet, so hoping it’s still delicious.
Carrie Sellman says
This recipe calls for 6″ round pans, which are on the smaller side. Take a look to see what size pans you used – using a larger sized pan would result in thinner layers.
This buttercream is meringue based, meaning you make a meringue first and then add the butter and flavorings. It requires some extra mixing time for the butter to fully emulsify into the meringue.
You should have nice peaks after beating the egg and sugar mixture. Then it will ‘break’ and look runny or curdled when you add in the butter. Just keep mixing until it comes back together into a silky smooth texture. This can take 10 minutes sometimes!
Hope this helps!
Carrie — my icing does indeed look curdled, as if the ingredients don’t want to mix together. The thing is, it seems impossible for them to emulsify. I spent about 20 minutes just trying to get peaks in the meringue, and after adding the butter, the mixture still isn’t smooth. I put the icing in the refrigerator to cool and tried to mix it smooth today, Even after 10 minutes with the hand mixer on medium speed, it doesn’t look smooth. Any other suggestions?
I am about to make this recipe and realized I forgot the almond meal. Does the almond help the cake with stability or is it for flavor. How would you precede with the recipe without it?
Hi, this look delicious! would it be possible for you to provide the ingredient measurements in weight ? thank you
Due to allergy issues, what can I use instead of almond meal? Thank you!!!
Is it possible to receive the measurements in grams please?
The Maple Pear Cake is fabulous! Thank you for sharing.
The Maple Spice Butter Cream frosting tastes magnificent- it is too liquid-y.
Next time, less butter and perhaps a tad more sugar …
Photos are stunning!
sabrina avelar cohen says
Worked perfectly to me! I have a simple question though. How did you cut your pears. I did mine in chuncks and at you cake photograph there is nothing showing. Let me know please! =)
Our pear tree is begging for me to make this cake and I’m so pleased to have a recipe that includes New England’s wonderful maple syrup along with our pears.
I only have two 6″ pans, but love the height and the size shown here. What would happen if I baked two and let the rest of the batter wait for a second round? I have actually always wondered this with three layer cakes, since I only have two pans of the various sizes. Thanks for any advice you can share!
This is one of my favourite recipes and I do this all of the time as I only have 2 x 6″ pans as well. I have never had any problem leaving the batter while the first 2 cakes are baking, but I don’t let it stand for too long. I still let the cakes cool when they come out of the oven but as soon as I turn the cakes out I rinse the pan, line it with clean paper and then get the next cake straight in the oven.
I want to use this recipe for cupcakes instead. How much do I adjust the cook time and temp for?