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.
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!
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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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
I tried apple and blackberry cake. This one sounds really good too!
I think any combination of cake is pretty good! 🙂
Just gorgeous Liz! I totally agree…always an over abundance of pumpkin and not nearly enough pear sweets! I’m sure I’d be enjoying this one for breakfast or dessert! There goes the waistline, but so well worth it!
Totally worth it! 🙂
I’m so glad baking season is back in style again, mostly because this pear cake is dang GORGEOUS and I need to make it asap! Holy gorgeousness!!
Aww…thanks, Sarah! I’m glad to be baking again, too!
This sounds like such a gorgeous flavour combination! Can’t wait to try it, Liz. xo
When I saw this on IG, I nearly fell over! Love the combination of blackberries and pears, Liz. I’ve already picked up some pears from the farmers market, so I’m looking forward to baking with them too (the pears seem so early!). We’ve still got lots of blackberries on the vines so I’ve got time for another round of picking. The yogurt and almond meal make this cake’s crumb sublime – sooo good! While I love pumpkin, it does get so much more attention than pears. So happy to see them here! Gorgeous photog Liz!
Thanks for all the wonderful words, Traci. You are the best! And let’s give those pears some loving! XOXO!
Pears are SO underutilized, especially since I don’t even love pumpkin that much (yep, I said it!). This looks like it would be perfect with my morning coffee, you deliver, right? 🙂
Glad you’re putting that out there. I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin either. Especially when there are other things to eat! And I totes deliver!
This cake sounds absolutely amazing!! Love the flavor combo! And gorgeous photos to boot!
Thanks, Lauren! XOXO!
Liz, this cake is just so darn pretty! I have been drooling over your photo since I first saw it in the collage. 🙂 I’m going to make a gluten-free version of your recipe. I’ll let you know how it goes. Blackberries and pears are primo together!
Oh yes, please report back! I would love to hear about a GF version!
Beautiful! I am enjoying pears in my kitchen too. I agree, they are sadly underused. Will be trying your lovely cake 🙂
Thanks, Jennifer! Glad we can give pears some love!
This is a bit of fall perfection, right here! Such a pretty cake, Liz. Pears are so underrated, but they’re definitely one of the best parts about fall.
Let’s give pears some loving!
I have no idea why pears are so underrated, but I guess that means more for us, right? I love baking with pears and they’re so great with blackberries….this cake is right up my alley! It looks so moist and I love that you used almonds in the cake and on top for a crunch. Gorgeous cake and I’d love a big slice right now!
Thanks, Marcie! Pears and blackberries are a great match!
I couldn’t agree more about pears being forgotten in the pumpkin frenzy each fall. I love them, and you use them so beautifully in this cake!
Thank you, Liren! XO!
Pears–any way–any how–are year round requisites in our fruit bowl! Good pear cakes are hard to find– love that you incorporated plain yogurt in the batter–what a great recipe!
Thank you so much, Letty. I hope you try it out!
I picked a ton of wild blackberries this year and last and froze them. Any thoughts on using frozen berries for this cake?
Hi Luisa! I would just thaw them out before hand. If you top the cake with them while still frozen, I’d be worried that they would release a lot of liquid during baking and make the top of the cake mushy.
Oooh, I love the addition of greek Yogurt! That always makes for a great cake batter!
Agreed! Thanks, Melissa!
This cake is a stunner! Love the almonds and that you included pears 🙂
Giving pears the spotlight for a change!
I must make this soon!! Sounds incredible Liz!!
Let me know if you try it out!
what a delicious way to bridge the seasons. i can imagine this paired with a cup of coffee for the perfect breakfast!
Now you’re talking!
I love that you combined summery blackberries and fall pears…this cake looks so delicious! I agree pears seem kind of forgotten sometimes.
Thanks, Denise! It’s the best of both seasons!
I totally agree!! Pears are not as appreciated and they are so good in baked goods. This cake looks amazing and a great way to showcase the pears.
Thanks, Z! Let me know if you try it out!
This sounds fantastic!! I’m going to try this weekend!
Let me know how it turns out!
Can you slice the pears and lay them out instead of just cutting them in half? Would this change the cooking time?
It shouldn’t change the cooking time. The pears may get a bit softer, since they will be in smaller pieces. But you’re going to want to maintain a similar baking time so the cake cooks fully.
The batter rose and covered up the blackberries and pears. I did slice the pears thin, though. I was worried about putting entire halves of pears onto the batter. That’s why I sliced them this. I wish I could send a picture because the cake just looks like a plain browned cake. Do you really put entire half of pears on top of the batter before baking the cake?
Hi Alli, Yes I really put an entire half pear on the top of the batter before baking. Just like the instructions say. I hope the cake still tasted good, even if it didn’t come out looking how you expected.
This will most definitely be at my next brunch!
You will love it!
Hi, I live in Sydney – Australia and I’m pleased to see at least two (2) questions were asked for information on procedures rather than all the comments of how wonderful pears are. I think we all know pears are wonderful, but it would have been lovely to see some comments of after baking and tried your lovely cake as this is what entices others to make your cakes.
After all that said I’m also pleased to say that I’m definitely going to make this tomorrow as pears of all varieties are in season here at the moment.
I hope you have success, Josephine!