I am a sucker for anything ginger and always have some on hand. I happened to have some pears hanging out in the fridge and decided to make a ginger pear cake out of them. Both the ginger and pears looked as if they were on their last leg and so I killed two birds with one stone and threw them both into a recipe.
I sort of deserve a slap on the back for this one. It reminded me of Fall which happens to be my favorite time of the year. The cake was dense and was able to absorb the liquid and flavor of the ginger simple syrup without making a mess. The chunks of pear then added texture and moistness.
I was going for a beautifully rustic frosting on the outside of the cake. I wouldn’t say that I aced it, but ohhh well. I have a serious issue with leaving it rustic. I just want to keep going around and around until the frosting is even and completely smooth. Seriously, I could spend at least 2 hours on just trying to get the perfectly smooth surface.
I wish I was as passionate about having a clean house as I am about frosting a cake. I could use it right now with my 5-year-old having the week off.
Lucian has a new phase too. He loses everything, pretends he has been looking for it for hours, and then asks me to find it. Depending on my mood, I’ll lecture him for about two minutes and then find it for him. Other times, I won’t budge from what I’m involved in. At least on those days he may learn how to find his things on his own.
I couldn’t think of a better way to use up a couple of pears and some of my beloved ginger.
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 + 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 2 + 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup 100% pear juice
- 2 large pears, diced
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 inch ginger, sliced
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 3 + 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 4 T. milk
- 2 T. 100% pear juice
- 2 tsp. fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1/2 pear
- crystallized ginger, sliced
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 2 8 inch round pans with non-stick cooking spray. Dust the pans with 2 T. all-purpose flour. Tap out any excess flour. This will help keep the cake from sticking. Set aside.
Peel, core, and dice 2 large pears. Set aside while making cake batter.
In a large mixing bowl, add in the butter and sugar. Mix until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add in the vanilla extract and each egg one at a time until incorporated. Scrape down the sides after each egg.
In a separate bowl, add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine.
Measure out buttermilk and pear juice.
Alternately add the flour and buttermilk/pear juice always starting and ending with the flour. I did 3 parts flour and 2 parts buttermilk. Scrape down the sides and mix to combine.
Stir the diced pears into the batter until they're incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared round pans. Spread evenly out. I used bake-even strips to try to keep the cakes level as they baked.
Place into the preheated oven and let bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with moist crumbs.
Let the cakes cool for about 20 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
In a small saucepan, add in the sugar, water, and ginger slices. Turn on heat to medium and let it come up to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool with ginger slices in it.
In a large mixing bowl, add in the butter. Turn mixer on high and beat until creamy.
Add in the powdered sugar, milk, and pear juice. Beat on low until powdered sugar is mostly incorporated.
Add in the finely grated ginger. Turn mixer up on high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. It will take about 2 - 3 minutes of whipping.
Add the first layer of pear cake to a cake plate.
Add a decent amount of simple syrup to the cake. I think I used about half of the syrup and brushed it in. You can add as much or as little of the simple syrup as you like.
Add a layer of ginger frosting on top of the cake. Make sure the frosting is evenly spread on the layer.
Add the second cake layer. Brush on the remaining simple syrup. Again, add as much or as little as you like of the simple syrup.
Add a heap of frosting to the top of the cake. Spread it out evenly and push the excess off the sides. Work the frosting down the sides of the cake. Grab extra frosting when needed. Keep the frosting thin on the sides.
Add the pear and sliced crystallized ginger to the top of the cake.