I am an unabashed lover of Fall. It is maybe the only time of year I miss living on the East coast; I miss the gorgeous foliage and drinking hot chocolate in the chilly outside watching sports games. So here is my first of many Fall recipes: a spiced pear cake with cinnamon-nutmeg frosting topped with candied pecans.
Here’s the thing though. So after I made this cake and tasted it, I was like, “this is really good. I should share this.” And then I proceeded to think of people I could give my cake to. But then I started thinking…”but what if they don’t like these kinds of flavors? What if they think my frosting is too buttery? What if they are trying to eat healthy and don’t want my cake??” It’s now nighttime and the cake is still sitting on my counter. Most likely it will end up getting frozen to prolong my indecisiveness.
Does anyone else do this? Is it a girl thing or just me?
*A note on the recipe: this frosting just barely covered my cake, which is perfect for me because we like minimal frosting in my house, but your taste buds might prefer more than mine do, and doubling the frosting recipe will make for an easier time assembling the cake as well.
Spiced Pear Cake
Makes one 6-inch cake
- 1 cup cake flour
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1 cup pear, chopped
- 3 extra large egg whites
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1-3/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temp., cut into cubes
- pinch salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp cumin
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 lb. (4 oz.) pecan halves
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 Tbsp dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 Tbsp water
Preheat oven to 350F. Prep two 6-inch pans by lining them with parchment paper: trace the pans to make circles for the bottom, then cut slightly smaller to fit. Cut two 2×19 inch strips for the sides. Spray the pans lightly with oil to help the paper stick.
Beat together the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and oil.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves, and allspice. Mix into the batter. Fold in the pears.
Divide the batter between your two pans and bake for about 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool completely on a rack.
Prep a small pan with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, combine the salt, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, and ground cardamom. Set aside.
In a skillet over medium-low heat, cook your pecans, stirring often, until they are browned and smell toasted (about 4-5 minutes). Add the butter. As soon as the butter is melted, add the spiced and stir to coat. Then add the sugars and water. Cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring, until the pecans are coated and the mixture is thickened.
Spread your pecans onto your prepared pan, breaking up any clumps. Let cool.
Fill a medium-sized saucepan with an inch of water and bring to a simmer.
Combine the egg whites and sugar in a clean mixing bowl. Place on top of saucepan over the simmering water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then removed from heat. If you have any cooked egg pieces, strain them out.
Beat the egg whites until they reach stiff peaks. With your beater on low speed, add your butter one cube at a time until completely incorporated. Fold in your cinnamon and nutmeg.
Use a sharp knife to cut the tops of your cakes off, making them level. On your bottom cake layer, pipe a layer of frosting and smooth it out. Place the top cake layer over that. Use the rest of your frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake. Garnish with spiced pecans.