Recipe: Roasted Pear Cake with Browned Butter Glaze

All cakes made with fruit and vegetables are healthy, right? Ripe pears are roasted and then mashed before adding to a spiced cake mix. A browned butter glaze has a completely different dimension to regular glazes. Rich and nutty, and only minutes to make.

This cake is great to make ahead, it'll last you through the week too if you're good at self-control. Although if that's you then why are you reading this? No self-control here please, just a lot of food.

If you're not a fan of pears, then try apples. Homemade roasted apples preferably, but a jar of apple sauce would also work at a push.

Make a bundt, a round cake or maybe even a traybake. This is one of those cakes that's so easy to slice and serve. It doesn't even need the glaze if its too rich for you.

If you have any smashed pears left, I love saving them for breakfast the next day - so good on porridge!

Roasted pear cake with browned butter glaze
(recipe adapted from Food 52, makes one bundt or a xyz" cake)

The ingredients are converted from cup measurements, I did them as I went along and always found the quantities to look a little odd!

1.1kg conference pears (approx. 9 medium pears)
3tbsp water
3tbsp demerara sugar
juice of 1 lemon
475g plain flour
2tsp bicarbonate of soda
1tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
130g unsalted butter, softened
100ml vegetable/sunflower oil
300g soft light brown sugar
2 eggs
100g creme fraiche

Browned butter glaze

6tbsp unsalted butter
200g icing sugar, sifted
2-4tbsp whole milk
pinch of salt

  • Heat the oven to 190 degrees.
  • Peel, core and chop the pears into large chunks. Put in a large baking tray and toss with the water, sugar and lemon. Cover with foil and bake for  25-30 minutes.
  • Once cooked, the pears should be slightly soft and you'll be able to mash them with a potato masher. Leave some larger chunks. Place in a bowl and leave to cool.
  • Turn the oven down to 180 degrees ready for the cake and grease the cake tin.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and spices to remove any lumps.
  • In a stand mixer, beat the butter, oil and sugar together until smooth. Add the eggs into the mix, beating well after each addition.
  • Add the creme fraiche and 500g of the mashed pears and continue to mix until well incorporated.
  • Gently fold in the flour, being careful not to overwork the mix.
  • Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake for 55-65 minutes. A skewer inserted should come out clean.
  • Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire cooling rack.
  • To make the glaze, melt the butter over a low heat. Once its melted, it'll start to bubble. Leave on the low heat until it starts to brown and smells nutty. Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl.
  • Once the butter has cooled a little, tip in the icing sugar, some milk and salt and whisk until smooth. Add a splash more milk if needed to get a pouring consistency.


  1. Looks super tasty and that browned butter glaze sounds amazing.

  2. Now this I could do with a slice of right now!

  3. If I eat this whole cake I'm getting waaaaay more than my 5 plus a day.. Totally justified.


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