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October Cake Craze: Pear Ginger Butter Cake

25.October 2010

Many of you know by now that my mom is in business selling baked goods at local farmers’ markets (and doing some catering!).  It’s a pretty drastic second career move for her and our whole family is really proud of her going after what she’s wanted to do for so long.  Since their first week at the market back in June, they’ve steadily increased their sales every week, adding many many new items to their menu and getting increasing visibility.

Shameless plug: If you’re in Southern Indiana or nearby in Southern Illinois or Northern Kentucky, you should go to my mom’s website, see what she has to offer, then email or call to place an order!  She’s taking orders for Thanksgiving and Christmas goodies as well as birthdays, business meetings, family gatherings, etc.

Not too long ago, the local paper got wind of her (maybe because the reporter tried some of my mom’s baked goods at the market one day) and ran an article profiling her and describing her business.  It was a pretty great article, I think, and it included what has become a really popular item for her: pear ginger butter cake.  Since the day the article ran, she’s been getting calls daily from people ordering these cakes for family dinners, business meetings, and even planning ahead for holiday presents!  I think she’s baked upwards of 50 of them since the article ran.

My mom’s version, baked in pretty brown paper cake pans.  Photo Credit: Aimee Blume, Evansville Courier & Press

Anyway, knowing that I had a cake to bake this month, I decided to take her recipe for a spin!  After all, pears are in season and I always love ginger.  I picked up some pears at Atkins Farms while we were out there for Columbus Day and set to work.

The cake is very straightforward and comes together in mere moments.  The most work intensive part is the peeling and slicing of the pears, if that tells you anything.  The article describes this cake as “a beautifully moist and flavorful butter cake,” but that really doesn’t describe the beauty of this cake thoroughly enough – it is moist and flavorful, but the edges of the cake also turn all golden brown and crunchy and the ginger is both spicy and fresh.  Texture comes from the crystallized ginger and toothsome pear slices.  Delicious.  Three of us polished this cake off in one inspired binge of just a few hours.

Anyway, with no further ado, here’s my mom’s

FAMOUS Pear Ginger Butter Cake

  • 1 lb pears, peeled, cored and sliced thinly, brushed with lemon juice
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 c superfine or caster sugar
  • 1 1/4 c all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1 t ground ginger
  • 1 T grated fresh ginger (more or less to taste)
  • 2-3 T crystallized ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 T brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly butter a deep 8- inch cake pan and line the base with parchment paper.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs to the mixture one at a time, beating until each is incorporated before adding the next.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and powdered ginger and whisk together.
  6. Gently mix the dry ingredients with the butter mixture.
  7. Fold in the fresh ginger and the crystallized ginger—just until combined.
  8. Spoon the cake batter into the prepared pan and level out the surface with a spatula.
  9. Arrange the pear slices over the cake batter.
  10. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and dot with butter.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is golden and feels springy to the touch.
  12. The Pear Ginger cake is best served warm with ice cream or whipped cream.
10 Comments leave one →
  1. Jess permalink
    25.October 2010 09:19

    wow… definitely trying this soon… that is a hubba hubba looker of a cake!

    • Darby O'Shea permalink*
      25.October 2010 09:35

      Yeah, Jess, you’ll love it. Seriously delicious. Not a subtle flavor, but really amazing. Hey, would Claudine like some homemade doggie treats? I’m going to make a batch this week.

  2. 27.October 2010 02:04

    Mmm, this sounds great! I definitely have to give this a shot :)

    • Darby O'Shea permalink*
      28.October 2010 09:13

      Hey! Thanks for checking us out! The cake is a stunner – prepare to be pleased!

  3. 1.November 2010 09:45

    What a lovely-looking cake and i adore pear and ginger too! Great combo!

    • Darby O'Shea permalink*
      1.November 2010 09:48

      Thanks! It tastes dynamite. I highly recommend this recipe!

  4. 7.November 2010 13:54

    Wow, looks delicious and a wonderful combo of flavors. Definitely bookmarking this to try soon. Cheers!

    • Darby O'Shea permalink*
      8.November 2010 10:49

      Thanks! It is a gorgeous recipe. Be sure to bake it when you’re comfortable with eating the WHOLE THING. :) Thanks for checking us out.


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