Posts by tag: cake

  • Pear and Blackberry Almond Cake

Pear and Blackberry Almond Cake

Posted on September 12, 2016

During the Summer months, I pretty much leave my oven dial set squarely in the “OFF” position. I occasionally break the rules to bake up a batch of perfectly moist muffins. Or if there is some emotional crisis that calls for chocolate therapy, then a pan of fudgy brownies is a fair trade for a little brow sweat. But other than that, it’s kind of not worth the risk of turning my kitchen into Satan’s den.

Which is why I was starting to get just a teeny tiny bit excited about Fall baking. I even had big plans for this past weekend: blondies, sticky buns and cookies were all on the menu. But then it ended up being crazy hot and humid here. So my oven dial stayed put. Which is kind of a shame. But probably better for my waistline in the long run, if I’m being completely honest with myself.

However, I did manage to sneak in this Pear and Blackberry Almond Cake last week when we had a cooler day. And I’m super excited to share the recipe with you guys today.

Pear and Blackberry Almond Cake |

I find that pears are so underused in the Fall. Everyone is in some kind of pumpkin-induced delirium. Which causes pears (and even apples) to get overlooked. So I always try to give them a little bit of loving when I get the chance. These pear and ginger scones and this sweet potato and pear soup are two of my personal favorites from last year, if you’re at all interested.

This cake is the perfect way to highlight seasonal pears and blackberries. And it feels kind of like a transitional cake. Not too heavy, not too light. With notes of both Summer and Fall flavors. You could serve this cake for brunch. Or add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert. I don’t think you can really go wrong here. I definitely had a slice or two for breakfast!

Pear and Blackberry Almond Cake |

Make sure to buy pears that are ripe, but still firm. If they are overly ripe, they will release a lot of juice and the cake directly underneath the pears will turn out a bit on the gummy side. And that’s no bueno.

I’m sharing my Pear and Blackberry Almond Cake as part of our monthly #eatseasonal round-up organized by Becky from Vintage Mixer. Check out Becky’s September produce guide for the low down on what’s in season this month (there is A LOT!). And see what some of my blogging friends made this month to celebrate September’s bounty of fruits and vegetables. The links are below!



Recipe adapted from my Rhubarb-Almond Cake

Pear and Blackberry Almond Cake

Yield: Makes one 10-inch cake

Pear and Blackberry Almond Cake


  • 1 cup plus 1 tsp. sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 pears, peeled, halved and cored (make sure they are ripe but still firm)
  • 3/4 cups blackberries
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • Powdered sugar for serving, if desired


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan with a round of parchment paper. Then generously coat the parchment paper and the sides of the springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat 1 cup of the sugar and the butter on medium speed until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs in one at a time, mixing after each addition. Then beat in the yogurt, lemon zest and the extracts.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, 1/2 tsp. of the cinnamon, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the cake batter, adding in about one-third at a time, mixing on low speed until no more white streaks remain.
  4. Spread the cake batter into your prepared springform pan, making sure the top is even. The batter will be thick and a bit tacky. Arrange the pears, cut side up, on top of the batter, pressing them down slightly into the batter. Sprinkle the pears with the remaining 1 tsp. of sugar and 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon. Top with the blackberries and sliced almonds.
  5. Transfer the cake to your pre-heated oven and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove the cake form the oven and set it on a wire rack to cool. Once cooled, run a knife around the outer edge of the cake and release the sides of the springform pan. Cut the cake into slices and serve with a dusting of powder sugar, if desired.
  6. The cake is best served the day it’s made, but it can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 day.

September Eat Seasonal Recipes

September Eat Seasonal Recipes |
Coconut Curry Cauliflower Rice Bowls by Kitchen Confidante

Homemade Pumpkin Pasta by Bless this Mess

Melon and Raspberry Soda Float by Letty’s Kitchen

Ratatouille Lasagna by Flavor the Moments

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Carrots and Radishes by Vintage Mixer

Harvest Tortilla Soup by Simple Bites

Peach Muffins with Pecan Streusel by Cafe Johnsonia

Pear and Fig Tarts with Goat Cheese and Honey by Food for My Family

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread by Foodie Crush

  • Strawberry Shortcake with Lemongrass-Basil Whipped Cream

Strawberry Shortcake with Lemongrass-Basil Whipped Cream

Posted on June 9, 2016

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Driscoll’s. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting companies that help to support Floating Kitchen!

It’s my birthday this weekend and…

{insert dramatic pause}

I’m going to be turning 36 years old.

Which officially makes me closer to 40 than to 30.

I’m not sure how I feel about that.

But I do know how I feel about birthday cake: pretty great.

Because I’m a June baby and strawberries are at their peak season, my Mom and Grandmother would always make me a strawberry shortcake to celebrate my special day (I’ve since learned that June 14th is National Strawberry Shortcake Day!). I fondly remember the light sponge cake, juicy strawberries and pillows of whipped cream that would mark this yearly occasion. And as an overly eager kid who could never seem to get enough sugar, that cake was definitely the best part of my day.

It seems that I’ve always preferred consumable gifts over material items.

This year, I decided to re-create my Grandmother’s strawberry shortcake recipe (with a few twists, of course!). And I’m so excited that Driscoll’s has agreed to help me out!

Strawberry Shortcake with Lemongrass-Basil Whipped Cream |

I made my Grandmother’s sponge cake recipe exactly as she had written it out (although after some internet searching, I’ve come to believe that the sponge cake recipe is pretty standard). And then I used my 3-inch biscuit cutter to cut out little rounds. You can certainly skip this part and serve the cake as a sheet cake (which is how my Grandmother used to serve it), but my love for cute, individual desserts knows no boundaries. And bonus: you get all these scraps of cake from around the edges, which I lovingly refer to as the “chefs prerogative”.

Strawberry Shortcake with Lemongrass-Basil Whipped Cream |

I slathered a thin layer of strawberry jam onto the sponge cake rounds. And then topped them with some Driscoll’s strawberries tossed in a little sugar and lemon juice. And because we’re all grown up now (at least according to my actual age), I made a wonderfully scented lemongrass and basil infused whipped cream. Don’t skip this part. The difference is rather remarkable. Trust me.

So…any advice for me in my 36th year of life? Eat more cake, maybe?



Strawberry Shortcake with Lemongrass-Basil Whipped Cream

Serves about 12

Strawberry Shortcake with Lemongrass-Basil Whipped Cream


  • For the Lemongrass-Basil Whipped Cream
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped lemongrass
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • For the Cake
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup sifted cake flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • About 1/4 cup strawberry jam

  • For the Strawberries
  • 2 packages (16 ounces each) Driscoll’s Strawberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice


  1. Infuse the whipped cream. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream, lemongrass and basil until small bubbles start to form around the edges of the saucepan. Do not let the cream come to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the cream cool to room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
  2. Meanwhile, make the cake. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a rimmed 10 X 14-inch baking pan (see my notes below about baking pan sizes) with a piece of parchment paper and coat it lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until small bubbles form. Slowly add in 1/2 cup of the sugar, beating on high speed until the egg whites becomes glossy white and stiff peaks form. Transfer the beaten egg whites to a clean bowl and set aside. In the same mixing bowl (no need to clean it out), beat the egg yolks until they become thick and pale yellow. Slowly add in the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, beating on high until smooth. Beat in the lemon juice and zest. Gently fold the beaten egg whites into the egg yolks. In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Then gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, working the batter until everything is just combined.
  4. Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan and smooth the top to create an even surface. Transfer to your pre-heated oven and bake for 15 minutes. The cake should be starting to brown a little bit around the edges and pull away from the sides of the baking pan slightly. Remove from the oven and set the baking pan on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes. Then remove the cake from the baking pan by carefully inverting the baking pan over a parchment paper-lined wire rack. The cake should easily come out. If the parchment paper has stuck to the bottom of the cake, peel it off and discard it. Allow the cake to cool completely before cutting and serving.
  5. Prepare the strawberries. Trim and discard the greens. Slice the strawberries in half or quarters. Toss the sliced strawberries in a large bowl with the sugar and lemon juice. Set aside for about 15 minutes to give the strawberries time to release some of their juices.
  6. Make the whipped cream. Chill your mixing bowl and whisk in your refrigerator for 5-10 minutes. Then strain the infused whipped cream into your chilled bowl, discarding the solids, and whisk on medium-high speed until the cream starts to thicken. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extra and continue whisking until peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  7. Assemble the shortcakes. Using a 3-inch round cookie/biscuit cutter, cut out rounds of shortcake. If you carefully space the cuts, you will be able to get 12 individual rounds. Spread about a teaspoon of strawberry jam onto each shortcake round. Then top with a spoonful of the strawberries, making sure to get some of the juices. Top with a dollop of whipped cream. Serve immediately.


1. There is some variability in the sizes of baking pans commonly labeled “jelly roll pans” or “half sheet pans”. I’ve made this recipe successfully in both a 10 X 14-inch pan and an 11 X 17-inch pan. Just adjust the cooking time by a minute or two, if necessary.

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