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Easy Italian Pear Cake

This Easy Pear Cake recipe, is a simple Italian cake that is perfect served as an afternoon snack cake, morning breakfast cake or even as a dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Made with creamy mascarpone and fresh pears it is lovely any time of the day!

Pear cake on a glass cake stand.


 

I discovered when I came to Italy that Italian cakes, homemade-every-day-cakes were very rarely, if ever, frosted. But most of the times they were dusted with icing sugar or unsweetened cocoa.

This cake and a my simple Yogurt cake are perfect for anyone who loves a less sweet cake. A dusting of powdered sugar is all it needs!

If you wish you could also add some finely chopped walnuts or pecans to the cake batter.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Flour – all purpose flour
  • Cornstarch
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Sugar – granulated sugar
  • Eggs – room temperature
  • Mascarpone – room temperature
  • Vegetable oil – I use sunflower or corn oil
  • Salt
  • Pears- sliced and cut into cubes

Why use room temperature ingredients?

With cakes and other baking, it’s always better to use room temperature ingredients. So, take any cold ingredients out of the refrigerator an hour ahead of time or sooner if it’s cool in your kitchen. Room temperature ingredients blend easier, creating a silky batter, which will help to create a light tender baked good.

Can you substitute vegetable oil with butter?

Yes you can substitute with melted cooled butter. It is probably best to use unsalted butter in this recipe.

  A slice of cake on a plate.

What are the best pears for baking

The best pears for baking are the Anjou pears which are firm and mild tasting, Bartlett pears (Williams) a nice juicy pear or the Bosc which is crisp and sweet. Make sure to use pears that are firm but ripe.

In Italy I always use a Williams Pear which is very easily found here, and I find it perfect whenever I make a cake, although I do usually purchase them when they are ripe but on the firmer side.

How to make an Italian Pear Cake

Clean and peel the pears, one pear chop into medium-sized cubes and the other pear thin slices, set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, corn starch, baking powder and baking soda.

Dry ingredients whisked in a glass bowl.

In a medium bowl, at medium speed beat eggs and sugar until creamy, add mascarpone and continue beating until smooth.

Batter mixed in a glass bowl.

Stir in with a wooden spoon the flour mixture into the creamed mixture, stir gently to combine, then add the oil and stir to combine.

Flour added to the wet ingredients.

Fold in the medium-sized cubed pear, spoon into prepared cake pan.

Pear added to the batter.

Top with sliced pears and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.

Pear on batter in the cake pan.

Bake approximately 45 – 60 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached. Let cool completely before serving!

Pear cake baked in the cake pan.

Substitutions for Mascarpone

You could use creme fraiche or cream cheese, although the taste won’t be exactly the same because they both have a bit of an acidic taste. Some readers have substituted with ricotta cheese, although it might be a good idea to drain it in sieve for 15-20 minutes before using.

Is it necessary to peal pears for baking?

You don’t have to peal the pears if you prefer not too. Leaving the peal on will give you more fiber which plays a key role in your digestive health.

Cake on a glass cake stand.

How to store the Pear Cake

The completely cooled cake should be wrapped well or stored in an airtight container, store the cake in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 4-5 days in the fridge.

How to freeze it

To freeze the cake, wrap the completely cooled cake in plastic wrap then place in a freezer safe bag, it will keep for up to 1-2 months in the freezer. 

Thaw the cake overnight in the refrigerator or on the kitchen counter for a couple of hours.

This Pear cake is one of those cakes that makes the perfect breakfast cake, snack or even dessert cake. And don’t we all love a delicious cake for breakfast?! Besides who can refuse the tasty combination of mascarpone and pears? Enjoy!

Cake with a slice on a spatula.

More delicious Italian Cakes

Cake on a glass cake stand.

Easy Italian Pear Cake

Rosemary Molloy
The perfect Breakfast, Snack or Dessert Cake.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 387 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (43 grams in total)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup mascarpone (room temperature)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use corn or sunflower oil)
  • 2 medium pears (room temperature)* (ripe but firm)

Room temperature – remove from fridge 30-45 minutes before using.

    *The best pears for baking are Anjou, Bosch and Bartlett. Make sure they are ripe but firm and free of bruises.

      Instructions
       

      • Pre-heat oven to 340° (170° celsius). Lightly grease and flour an 8 or 9" (20-23 cm) cake pan ( I used a spring-form pan).
      • Clean and peel the pears, one pear chop into medium-sized cubes and the other pear slice into thin slices, set aside.
      • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, corn starch, baking powder and baking soda.
      • In a medium bowl, at medium speed beat eggs and sugar until creamy approximately 2 minutes, add the mascarpone and continue beating until smooth.
      • Stir in with a wooden spoon the flour mixture into the creamed mixture, stir gently to combine, then add the oil and stir to combine.
      • Fold in the medium-sized cubed pear, spoon into prepared cake pan.
      • Top with sliced pears and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons (40 grams) granulated sugar.
      • Bake approximately 45 – 60 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached. Let cool completely then serve. Enjoy!

      Notes

      The best pears for baking are the Anjou pears which are firm and mild tasting, Bartlett pears (Williams) a nice juicy pear or the Bosc which is crisp and sweet. Make sure to use pears that are firm but ripe.
      The best pears for baking are the Anjou pears which are firm and mild tasting, Bartlett pears (Williams) a nice juicy pear or the Bosc which is crisp and sweet. Make sure to use pears that are firm but ripe.
      The completely cooled cake should be wrapped well or stored in an airtight container, store the cake in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 4-5 days in the fridge.
      To freeze the cake, wrap the completely cooled cake in plastic wrap then place in a freezer safe bag, it will keep for up to 1-2 months in the freezer. Thaw the cake overnight in the refrigerator or on the kitchen counter for a couple of hours.
       

      Nutrition

      Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 114mg | Potassium: 250mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 495IU | Vitamin C: 1.9mg | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 1.6mg
      Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a comment below or pin it to your Pinterest account!

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      **Today (November 20,2016) I am adding an update to this recipe. I have remade this cake today and I am posting a video because I am convinced even more after making it again that it is one of the best cakes on this food blog. I am sorry if anyone is having a problem with it not baking but I urge you to double check to make sure that you are baking it at the proper temperature, whether Fahrenheit or Celsius. Thanks and Happy Sunday.

      Updated from February 22, 2015.

      261 Comments

      1. I made the cake for the first time today. It was absolutely delicious and easy to do.
        Thank you for the recipe!

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