I was so happy to finish my 8-week intensive course earlier this month. It completely consumed me for that full eight weeks, and once it was over I was finally able to enjoy some free time in my schedule. The one thing I looked forward to doing the most was getting back into the kitchen. I haven’t been able to improve my piping skills much, but I have so much fun practicing, so I’d been dreaming up this cake for weeks.
This is a favorite cake flavor that I end up making almost every fall. I shared the recipe some years back, but I’m coming back with an updated version. This version just has more spice in it, because my husband loves LOTS of spices in his fall desserts. I filled it with my okaasan’s homemade pear jam, which was amazing and I highly recommend a pear jam for your filling (super easy to whip up yourself too). For my buttercream bouquet, I mostly continued practicing what I learned in my NYC class, but because I needed more variety, I ended up inventing a flower lol. It totally worked out, though, and I’m adding it to my future bouquets. The thing I love about buttercream is that it’s surprisingly forgiving. My teacher, Seyun from Rice & Flower, said that your color palette is even more important than your piping skills, and it’s so true! If you can create a great color palette, it really can trump any lack of skills or any missteps you make. I tried my best to add autumn colors to my bouquet, but I think the one successful thing I did here was getting the color of the leaves right. The leaves brought it all together and made me almost proud.
What are the things you can’t wait to do when you get a few hours or days to yourself??
Spiced Pear Cake II
- 1 cup cake flour
- 2 XL 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
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 cup pear chopped
- pear jam for filling
- Swiss meringue buttercream (link to recipe below) double if making buttercream flowers
Preheat oven to 350F.
Prep two six-inch cake pans: trace the pans on parchment paper and cut out two circles to fit into the bottom of each pan. First spray the sides and bottom of the pans with oil, then place the parchment circles down to stick.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, kosher salt, baking soda, cinnamon, ground cloves, allspice, and ground ginger. Set aside.
Beat together the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and oil. On low speed, mix the dry ingredients into the wet. Fold in the chopped pears, and divide the batter equally between your two pans.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Place the pans on a cooling rack and let the cakes cool inside of the pans.
Once cooled, use a butter knife to gently loosen the cakes from the edges of the pan. Flip the cakes onto your cooling rack and remove the parchment paper. Use a cake slicer or sharp knife to level off the tops of each cake. (Now you can munch on the scraps!)
Make the buttercream according to this recipe, and double if you plan on decorating: http://ginachongblog.com/2018/07/09/lemon-cake-with-lemon-curd-and-raspberry-jam/
To assemble: Spread a moderate amount of pear jam on the top of one cake layer, stopping at least half an inch from the edge. Place the other cake layer face-down over that, and cover with the buttercream. Enjoy!