January 20, 2022

Pear-Cardamom Cake ~#TheCakeSliceBakers

This amazing pear-studded cake is flavored with the warmth of candied ginger and cardamom
and just makes you want to sit down by the fireside with a slice of cake and a hot cup of tea or coffee.

The Cake Slice Bakers are excited to announce the new cake-centric cookbook they will bake through in 2022 - Zoë Bakes Cakes by Zoē François. Zoë describes cake as "the ultimate symbol of celebration, used to mark birthdays, weddings, or even just a Tuesday night".  In her book she decodes the craft of baking cakes through simple and straightforward recipes, step-by-step photo guides to everything from Bundt cakes and loaves to a beautifully layered wedding cakes, and her expert knowledge guiding you. And for those who have not heard of Zoē François she is an expert baker and bestselling author, blogger, and has a series called Zoë Bakes on the Magnolia Network, which just started its second season.

The Cake Slice Bakers are a group of dedicated bakers who all love cake. Each year we choose a new cake-centric cookbook and bake our way through it. Every month we are given 3 choices and on the 20th day of each month we reveal what we have chosen on our blogs. This month's choices were Pear-Cardamom Cake, Coconut-Candy Bar Cake, and Joconde (Almond Sponge Cake). I love cakes with warm spices in them so I chose the Pear-Cardamom Cake.

Hawaii is a beautiful place to live, but finding ingredients can sometimes be a pain, and I struggled to find pears that were small enough for the cake.  The author suggests that to get the perfect ratio of cake to fruit, you’ll want to choose thin, tall pears like Bosc, Concorde, or Bartlett for their shapes and flavors in this cake. I ended up settling for red Bartlett pears that were a little larger than I wanted and did not peel them as I wanted a contrasting color to the cake. I'm also a big ginger and cardamom fan, so I definitely upped the amount I added.  The flavors in this cake are so delicious and it is easy to put together.  My pears did start leaning to one side, but as the author mentions, just check the cake around the 20 minute mark and reposition them and for the most part they will be upright at the end of the bake.

Pear-Cardamom Cake
Printer Friendly Recipe

Cake ~
  • 165g (¾ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 200g (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 10g (1 tablespoon) finely chopped candied ginger
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 210g (1¾ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 120ml (½ cup) buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 6 small ripe pears peeled and cored (leave stems on for presentation)

Cardamom Confectioners’ Sugar Icing ~
  • 120g (1 cup) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 45ml (3 tablespoons) heavy whipping cream, plus more as needed
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

Cake ~
  1. Preheat the oven to 175℃ (350℉). 
  2. Generously grease and flour a 25cm tube pan (10-inch).
  3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium-high speed until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute.
  4. Turn the mixer speed to low; add the sugar, molasses, and vanilla to the butter; and mix until incorporated. Then turn the speed to medium-high and mix until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the ginger and mix until incorporated.
  6. Turn the speed to medium-low and add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined. Scrape the bowl after each addition.
  7. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt.
  8. Add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing on low speed, just until combined.
  9. Add half of the buttermilk and mix to incorporate.
  10. Repeat with another one-third flour, the remaining liquid, and then finish with the final one-third flour, scraping the bowl and paddle after each addition.
  11. Set the tube pan on a baking sheet.
  12. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
  13. Gently tap the pan on the counter several times to release excess air bubbles.
  14. Press the pears, upright, halfway into the batter, spacing them evenly around the pan.
  15. Bake until the cake is golden and a tester comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes (check the cake at about 20 minutes to make sure the pears aren’t slumping over, and if they are, use the stem to right them in the batter and continue baking.
  16. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let cool completely in the pan.
  17. Run a knife around the edge of the cake, the center tube, and the bottom of the pan and then carefully transfer, using a large spatula to lift it off the base, to a serving plate.
  18. Drizzle with the icing before serving.

Cardamom Confectioners’ Sugar Icing ~

  1. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, cream, and ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom, then stir with a spoon to mix into a thick paste.
  2. Add additional cream, 1 tablespoon at a time, to achieve a consistency that can be drizzled over your cake. You should be able to draw a line through the icing with the back of a spoon. Use immediately.

Each month The Cake Slice Bakers are offered a selection of cakes from the current book we are baking through. This year it is Zoë Bakes Cakes by Zoē François. We each choose one cake to bake, and then on the 20th - never before - we all post about our cake on our blogs. There are a few rules that we follow, but the most important ones are to have fun and enjoy baking & eating cakes!

Follow our Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest pages where you can find all of our cakes, as well as inspiration for many other cakes. You can also click on the links below to take you to each of our cakes. If you have a blog and are interested in joining The Cake Slice Bakers and baking along with us, please send an email to thecakeslicebakers at gmail dot com for more details.

The Cake Slice Bakers also have a new Facebook group called The Cake Slice Bakers and Friends. This group is perfect for those who do not have a blog but want to join in the fun and bake through this book.

It is a new year and a new book - Zoë Bakes Cakes - and our choices for January 2022 were ~

Pear-Cardamom Cake


  1. Looks delicious, Felice! I’m a big ginger and cardamom fan too! SO excited to make more cakes out of this beautiful book!

  2. How cool that you can reposition the pears during baking! It looks stunning.

  3. This cake caught my eye too. Love your adaptations.

  4. Yum! I love the look of the cake, and it sounds like it tastes as good as it looks.


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