pear cardamom cake recipe

Pear Cardamom Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Glaze

Sweet and fragrant with a maple-cream cheese icing, this Pear Cardamom Cake is a beautiful and comforting dessert. Great for holiday entertaining!
Inspired by "Spiced Apple Walnut Cake with Cream Cheese Icing," Giada De Laurentiis, Happy Cooking (Pam Krauss Books, 2015)
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 521kcal
Author Amanda Biddle


To make the cake

  • 2 pears (about 3 cups fruit), peeled, cored, and cut into a 1/4 to 1/2-inch dice
  • 1-1/2 cups pure maple syrup
  • 3 large eggs , room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups all purpose flour , divided
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom *
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans , toasted

To make the icing

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese , room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon cool water , plus extra, as needed


Make the cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in middle position. Grease and flour a 10-cup Bundt pan.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together maple syrup, eggs, oil, and brown sugar until very smooth. (You can also use a hand mixer or stand mixer on medium-low speed for convenience.)
  • In a medium bowl, toss diced pears with 2 tablespoons flour. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in 3 additions until combined. Fold in pears and pecans.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean, 55-60 minutes. Cool cake in pan for 15 minutes and then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the icing and serve

  • In a blender or food processor, process confectioners' sugar, maple syrup, heavy cream, cream cheese, vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon water until smooth, scraping bowl as needed. Add additional cool water 1 teaspoon at a time until the icing is a pourable consistency. Pour icing over the cooled cake and let stand for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.


*The strength of your cardamom will vary by brand and freshness. If you don't like a prominent cardamom flavor, or if the particular brand of cardamom you're using is extremely aromatic, decrease to 1/2 teaspoon. If your cardamom is very mild, consider increasing to your personal spice preference.


Calories: 521kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 199mg | Potassium: 215mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 280IU | Vitamin C: 1.4mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 2.1mg