This simple Pear and Chocolate Cake brings out the best of both flavors! Chocolate sponge base topped with sliced pears - a great dessert or tea-time treat!
During our most recent trip to Italy, we were offered a slice of chocolate-pear cake for breakfast and it's was amazing! Needless to say, a Pear and Chocolate Cake quickly made it to the top of my baking to-do list, and a couple of tries later, here it is!
This pear and chocolate cake brings together two flavor profiles that I never thought would pair so well together: the richness of chocolate cake combined with juicy pears.
The base for this cake is a simple chocolate sponge which is then topped with thinly sliced ripe pears and baked to perfection. The result is a crumbly chocolate cake with a sweet and moist top pear layer. Just add a dusting of powdered sugar or a drizzle of maple syrup and let the compliments flood in!
This chocolate pear cake is a great make-ahead treat and a perfect way to use up extra pears when in season. It makes a perfect breakfast, dessert, tea-time, or a treat for special occasions.
Ingredients and Variations
Flour - Ideally, use cake flour for this recipe. You can also use all-purpose flour. For accuracy and to ensure you achieve the right consistency, I suggest you measure your ingredients using digital kitchen scale.
Pears - You can use any type of pear available to you for this cake.
The amount of pears required depends on the size of pears you chose and your personal tastes.
For this recipe, I opted for Coscia pears which are small in size, sweet, and juicy. You can leave the skin on. You will need to cut the pears in half and core them, then thinly slice them.
Cocoa - I used unsweetened cocoa powder. You can also add extra chocolate chips to the batter, if you wish.
Sugar - Granulated sugar works well here. You can also use light brown sugar.
Butter - Use unsalted softened butter at room temperature.
Eggs - For biding and texture. You will need 3 medium-sized eggs for this cake.
Milk - Use semi-skimmed or whole milk.
Ground Cinnamon - I love the flavor combination of chocolate, pears, and a hint of cinnamon. This is optional.
Vanilla - Use good-quality vanilla extract for flavor enhancement.
Baking Powder - Leavening agent
Salt - To balance the sweetness of the cake.
For the optional topping, you will also need powdered sugar for dusting or maple syrup for drizzling.
How to Make Pear and Chocolate Cake
- Preheat the oven and prepare cake tin
- Preheat the oven to 175°C (350F)
- Line a 9" (or similar) round springform cake tin with parchment paper or grease well with butter.
- Prepare dry ingredients
- Sift and mix flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa, and ground cinnamon and set aside.
- Mix wet ingredients
- Cream butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until pale and fluffy (about 1-2 minutes on medium speed).
- Add vanilla extract and eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition (1 minute after each)
- Add dry ingredients
- Add the flour mixture (dry ingredients) in two additions, alternating with milk.
- Mix until just combined - do not over mix.
- Assemble cake
- Pour chocolate cake batter into cake pan.
- Wash, halve, core, and thinly slice the pears.
- Press pear slices into cake batter, and arrange them in a circular pattern.
- Bake chocolate pear cake in the center of a preheated oven for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool, decorate, and serve
- Allow the cake to cool in the cake tin for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling.
- Decorate cake with a dusting of powdered sugar or a drizzle of maple syrup.
- Slice and serve!
COMMON CAKE PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
Cake Too Dense - Use the right amount of flour (I suggest weighing the flour using digital kitchen scales) and do not overmix the batter once you add the dry ingredients.
Sunken Cake - Cake is undercooked. This chocolate pear cake requires 45-55 minutes of baking time at 175°C (350F). Make sure to check for doneness by inserting a wooden skewer into the center. If the cake batter sticks to the skewer, it needs more baking time.
Cake Not Rising - Use the right amounts of baking powder. Make sure you are not using old, stale, or improperly stored baking powder. Try to bake the cake as soon you mix the dry ingredients into the batter, and do not leave it to stand for too long before baking.
Store leftover cooled cake in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 5 days. Make sure to completely seal the cake to prevent it from drying out.
Yes. Feel free to use a square pan or loaf tin for this cake. You can also use a larger round springform pan and double the ingredient amounts for a larger cake.
You can use any type of pear that is available. This cake is a great way to use extra or over-ripe pears when in season. Bosc pears and Coscia pears work perfectly for this dessert cake.
Yes! This cake actually tastes better after a couple of days as the pears become more juicy and moist. Make sure to store the cooled cake properly in an airtight container to prevent the sponge from drying out.
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Pear and Chocolate Cake
- 250 g cake flour (2 cups)
- 40 g unsweetened cocoa (¼ cup)
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon optional
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 150 g granulated sugar (¾ cup)
- 75 g unsalted butter softened (⅓ cup)
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 medium-sized eggs
- 120 mL milk semi-skimmed or whole (½ cup)
- 2-3 pears
- 2 tsp. powdered sugar optional, for topping
- maple syrup optional for drizzling
- Preheat oven to 175°C (350F) and grease a 9" round springform cake tin with butter or line it with parchment paper.
- Sift and mix flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon and set aside.
- Place butter and sugar in a large bowl of a stand mixed fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 1-2 minutes until pale and fluffy.
- Add vanilla extract and eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition.
- Add dry ingredients in two additions, alternating with milk and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Pour cake batter into prepare cake tin.
- Wash and core pears and thinly slice them. Press pear slices into cake batter, in a circular pattern.
- Bake cake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Allow cake to cool for 10 minutes in cake tin, then transfer to a cooling rack to continue cooling. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, slice, and serve.
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