Pear Cake

Makes one 8- or 9-inch cake

This moist pear cake is best eaten the day it is made. Serve it for breakfast, afternoon tea or dessert. 


1 1/2 cups crushed amaretti or other type cookie crumbs

2 large, ripe Bosc or Bartlett pears, halved, cored and thinly sliced

1/3 cup honey or maple syrup

4 large eggs

1 1/4 cups sugar

6 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup milk

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8- or 9-inch spring-form pan with butter/flour spray. Use half the cookie crumbs to coat the pan. Set the pan aside.

2. Combine the pears with the honey or maple syrup in a bowl. Set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the olive oil and, on low speed, the milk. Set aside.

4. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Combine the flour mixture with the egg mixture. Mix well. Stir in the remaining cookie crumbs. Set aside.

5. Using half of the pear slices, make an overlapping layer of pear slices in the base of the spring form pan. Spread the batter over the pears. Make a second overlapping layer of pears on the top of the batter.

6. Bake for 35–40 minutes, or until the cake is nicely browned and a cake skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle. 

7. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and cut into wedges to serve.

More of Mary Ann Esposito's recipes you may be interested in

Cuccidatu (Sicilian Fig Cookies)

Makes 2 dozen

Sicilian Chocolate Cookies from Modica

Makes 5 1/2 dozen

Mom’s Date Bar Cookies

Makes 16 bars

Sicilian Chocolate Spice Cookies

Makes about 28 large cookies

Mom’s Dried Cherry Cookies

Makes 4 1/2 to 5 dozen, depending on the size of your cookie cutter; you can make more by making these cookies mini-size.
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