I love baking this on a cold day and enjoying a slice warm from the oven…
Make a batch of this gingerbread cake, add as many halved poached pears as will fit on top, glaze it with caramel sauce, AND YOU WILL EAT THE WHOLE THING. The batter mixes together quickly and makes your home smell divine. It’s perfect for brunch, a rustic dessert, or an afternoon treat. (Omg, and with strong coffee in the morning, be still my heart!) Basically, it’s a 24-hour cake, so you can’t go wrong eating it all day long.
Pear Gingerbread Cake
by Betsy Thorleifson, owner and head baker at Nine Cakes
Makes one 9” cake, serves 6-8
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
3 tbsp fresh ginger root, grated
2 tsp cocoa
8 tbsp butter
¾ cup molasses
¾ cup sugar
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup sour cream
3 poached pears, recipe below
Caramel sauce, recipe below
Heat oven to 350 degrees, and grease a 9” cake pan.
Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, spices and cocoa together in a medium bowl, set aside.
In the mixing bowl of your stand mixer, beat the butter, molasses, sugar, cream, sour cream, and egg on low speed with the paddle attachment.
Add the dry ingredients and beat on medium speed until the batter is smooth and thick, about one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed — be careful not to overmix! Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and lightly level the surface.
Gently place the poached pear halves in a circle on top of the cake batter, with the top end of the pear pointing toward the center.
Bake until the top springs back when lightly touched, and the edges have started pulling away from the sides, about 40-50 minutes.
Once your gingerbread comes out of the oven, let cool for about ten minutes. Turn the cake out of the pan and onto your cake stand or serving dish, and drizzle with warm caramel sauce.
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
3 pears, peeled, cored, and halved
Add the sugar, lemon juice, vanilla bean paste, and pears into a medium saucepan. Add enough water to just cover the pears. Heat until warm and the sugar has dissolved. Make sure the pears stay submerged in the liquid as they cook. Simmer the pears at a low boil for about 20 minutes, until they are cooked through and a knife inserts easily. Remove from heat.
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream, warm
2 tbsp butter, sliced into pieces
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
In a heavy, medium sized saucepan, stir the sugar and water until the sugar is moistened. Heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves and the syrup is bubbling. Stop stirring and allow it to boil until it turns a beautiful deep amber. Remove from heat, and slowly (carefully!) pour the warm cream into the caramel. Use a rubber spatula to stir the mixture until smooth. Stir in the butter, salt, and vanilla.
(Photos courtesy of Betsy/Nine Cakes.)