Pear Cake with orange and nutmeg

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Happy fall everyone! This is a perfect fall cake to whip up for a dinner party or even just as a casual ‘snack cake’ (it’s a thing in my house haha). It’s simple and takes no more than 20 minutes to come together with about 45 min - 1 hr to bake…making it perfect for lazy fall days.

While I used Bosc pears for this one, it really works well with so many different fruits. To name a few: stone fruits (when in season) are lovely here, apples would be amazing, or even berries!

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

A note about my recipes: All of my recipes are in grams (weight) versus cups etc. (volume). With the exception of teaspoon measurements, I do this because it allows me to share with you a recipe that I know will work and be consistent each time. Weight measurements are always the same, but the volume in a measuring cup etc. can vary person to person. I promise, having a kitchen scale is so worth it! There are plenty of cheap ones at Amazon for less than $15 :)

INGREDIENTS

Cake 

  • 150g granulated sugar

  • 1 tsp finely grated orange zest

  • 85g unsalted butter, softened

    • Note: If you want to get fancy and pull out a thermometer, I have found that the perfect temperature for soft but pliable butter is around 65°F . If not, just make sure it is softened enough where medium pressure with your finger makes an indent

  • 30g virgin coconut oil, unrefined

    • Note: The coconut oil should be in a solid state, about 70°F

    • Also, if you can’t find virgin coconut oil you can certainly use all butter, but I love the velvety richness that the oil adds, and softens up the crumb

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • ¼ tsp of kosher salt

  • 120g unbleached all purpose flour, sifted

  • 100g whole eggs (~2 large eggs)

  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract

  • 2 pitted pears, skin on and sliced however you desire (I used bosc, bartlett works too!)

Topping (sprinkled on top before baking)

  • ¼ tsp fresh grated nutmeg (or ground)

  • 4 tsp granulated sugar (you can add a bit more here if your fruit isn’t as sweet)

  • roughly .5 tsp of finely grated orange zest


METHOD

First, Let’s get organized!

  1. Heat oven to 350° F.

  2. Measure out ingredients. You can also prep the pears now. (As a tip: measure sugar and orange zest straight into the mixing bowl to save on dishes).

  3. Grease 8in or 9in springform/loose bottom pan with baking spray. After greasing the pan, cut out a round out of parchment that fits the bottom of the pan, and place into the pan (this will make releasing the cake from the pan very easy!) The cake can also be made easily in a regular round cake pan, just be sure to grease it well for easy release.

Now, let’s make some fragrant orange sugar...

  1. Add the orange zest to the sugar and rub it together with your fingers to release the oils and orange essence

On to the rest of the cake batter...

  1. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, or with hand mixer, add the butter and coconut oil to the bowl with the orange sugar and mix until lighter in color and fluffy.

  2. Add the baking powder and salt to the butter mixture and continue mixing until combined. 

  3. In a separate small bowl, lightly mix eggs with vanilla extract and add to the butter mixture. Continue mixing until well incorporated, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula halfway through to make sure there are no unmixed bits stuck to the bowl.

  4. Now, add the sifted flour and mix until just combined. 

  5. Spoon the batter into your pan and smooth out the top.

  6. Slice the pears (i left the skins on) and fan the pear slices on top of the batter or arrange in any pattern you wish!

  7. Sprinkle the top with the sugar, nutmeg, and orange zest topping. Feel free to add more if you want an extra crunch on the top.

Bake!

  1. Bake at 350° F for 40min to 1 hour, approximately, until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove and cool. The bake time will vary depending on what pan size you use, so I recommend starting the timer at 40 minutes and checking with a toothpick at that point.

Enjoy!

  1. Allow cake to cool in pan for approx. 10 minutes. Once pan is cool enough to handle, pop off the sides of the springform and allow to cool for at least another 30 min on a cooling rack.

    ( if not using springform, flip the cake over onto your hand and place on a cooling rack, right side up).

  2. Eat right away or cool completely and wrap in plastic wrap / airtight container. This cake tastes great the day after!

Serving Suggestion:

  • Serve slightly warm, topped with a little powdered sugar.

  • Serve with some sweetened whipped cream

Make Ahead / Freezing:

  • This cake also freezes really well! Just allow it to cool completely and then wrap well with plastic wrap or foil and place in a freezer bag. Will last in freezer up to a week or two

Enjoy! Let me know how it goes and if you make it feel free to share on social media with tag #biancabakesblog




Inspiration Series

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This weekend I got to create a smash cake for one of my best friends adorable 1 yr old, Ndiahna. She had chosen the theme of Black Panther ("African Royalty") for the party and gave me free reign to create a mini cake that worked within the theme. I saw Black Panther back in February on it's release date (I want to see it again!) and was so in love with all of the patterns, textures, and vibrant colors in the costumes. So naturally, the first thing to cross my mind as a point of inspiration was one of the outfits worn by the characters Nakia and Shuri. It seemed like a natural starting point.

After doing some research I was reminded of one of my favorite outfits from the whole movie, Nakia's green dress from the casino fight scene. As you can probably tell, I decided to use this dress as a source on inspiration. See below for a side by side.

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I really wanted this cake to feel regal with deep jewel tones and radiant golds, so I had to figure out what medium would allow me to get those colors..especially since I refuse to use fondant. 

I decided to cover the cake in a white chocolate ganache to get the same kind of smooth surface and painted the green with edible paints. I then used edible fabric sheets to create the stripes, edible gold leaf, and wafer paper painted with gold lustre dust for the topper. Really love how it turned out! 

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I think Ndi enjoyed it too :)

A lesson learned for next time, buttercream or whipped ganache might be easier for a baby to actually smash. We had to help her out a little bit haha.