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Chocolate Pear Cake recipe

Chocolate Pear Cake recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Cakes with fruit
  • Pear cake

A deliciously moist cake. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

12 people made this

IngredientsServes: 16

  • 3 eggs
  • 325g apple sauce
  • 3 tablespoons dark treacle
  • 115g unsalted butter, melted
  • 525g sponge cake mix
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 small Bosc pear, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 60g pecans, chopped
  • 75g milk chocolate, coarsely chopped

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:1hr ›Extra time:25min chilling › Ready in:1hr45min

  1. Preheat an oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease and flour a 26cm round springform tin.
  2. Use an electric mixer to beat the eggs, apple sauce, black treacle and butter in a large bowl. Beat in the sponge cake mix along with the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and orange zest. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes. Pour batter into prepared tin. Top the batter with pear slices; sprinkle evenly with the pecans and chopped chocolate.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes. Cool for 25 minutes before removing from tin.


If Bosc pears are unavailable, substitute any ripe pear you prefer. You can also use tinned pears, if desired.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(12)

Reviews in English (10)

by Karen Rogers

This is the first time I have ever rated a recipe. This cake is just fantastic. I made it exactly as the recipe indicated except I used milk chocolate chips on the top instead of shaved chocolate. The cake was light yet moist and just delicious. I have a feeling it will be even better tomorrow!-16 May 2009

by KC1126

This cake is great for the holidays. The spices, orange, pear, and chocolate are a great combination and the cake itself is moist and not too heavy. This is one of the best cake recipes I have gotten off of this site.-24 Dec 2009

by TLC

More of a spice cake, than a pear flavor. This is by no means is a bad tasting cake and it is soft and moist, but I was hoping for more pear flavor and should have known better since the pears are just on top. I followed the recipe exactly.-23 Jan 2010

Almond Chocolate Pear Cake

This is the first time I have ever paired pears with chocolate and I must say that I really loved it and I didn&rsquot expect to be such a pleasant combination. If you like pears and chocolate you should definitely try this dessert. It is very flavorful due to the pears and almonds, and also very moist and rich which makes it simply irresistible.

I&rsquove used the recipe I&rsquove made before for the chocolate flourless cake and added some almonds for extra texture and flavor. It is a gluten free, chocolaty dessert perfect for celebrating the arrival of fall.

  • Makes about 10 servings
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 7 oz (200g) semisweet chocolate (55-70%)
  • 2/3 cup (150g) butter
  • 1 tbsp (8g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (100g) ground almonds
  • 1/4 tsp (2g) salt
  • 1 tsp (5ml) almond extract
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 3 or 4 ripe pears, peeled, halved and cored
  1. Grease and line a 10-inch (25 cm) springform pan (with a removable base) with parchment paper. Separate egg yolks from whites. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Melt chocolate and butter over a bain-marie until smooth. Let it cool slightly. Add yolks one at a time and stir well. Stir in cocoa powder, ground almonds, salt and almond extract.
  3. Whip egg whites until foamy using a mixer. Gradually add sugar and whip until soft peaks form. Gently fold the whipped whites into chocolate mixture.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  5. Cut pear halves in thin slices leaving one edge uncut.
  6. Place the sliced pear halves on top of the batter and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  7. Let it cool completely and refrigerate to set for at least 2 hours.

Sure.. will be just perfect.. I kept the leftovers refrigerated for several days

So glad you enjoyed this recipe Marianne:) hope you will try some more of my recipes.. Cheers, Ella

Chocolate Pear Cake

I made this cake a few weeks ago. It is one of those you make and want to eat immediately. I'm not sure where it came from. I found it scribbled in an old notebook, so apologies for the lack of credit. I had to share it though, it was so good!

It was my brother-in-law's birthday and this was just the right cake to bake. It's moist and very fudgey. The pear slices are just gorgeous paired or should I say pear(ed) with the chocolate. What a great combination.

1 large pear, peeled and sliced
125g soft butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
300g caster sugar
2 large eggs
200g self-raising flour
50g cocoa powder
150ml hot water

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Beat the eggs and the brown sugar until obtain a homogeneous mixture. Add the chocolate powder, the yogurt and mix for 3 to 4 minutes until it’s nicely incorporated. Add the flour mixed with the baking powder and beat until a creamy and homogeneous mixture.
Wash, peel the pears and cut in slices. Pour the dough into the prepared pan and the pear slices on top.

Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes.

Turn off the oven and unmold the cake onto a plate. Let cool to room temperature and serve.

Bittersweet chocolate and pear cake

Almost two years ago, Alex and I met friends for dinner at Al Di La, an always-packed, funky mom-and-pop Italian restaurant in Park Slope that not only doesn’t take reservations, it has no room for you to stand around while you wait for one (unless you go to the adjacent wine bar). It helps to know someone who works there.

Before we went, Alex dug up their menu online (does anyone remember life back when you actually had to arrive at a restaurant to find out what they served? Probably less tripe and rabbits feet on the menu, eh?) and decided at that very moment that we must order the torta di pere, a bittersweet chocolate and pear cake. “Fruit and chocolate together?” I said, “Why is this necessary?” as I had always insisted that they were better apart.

And of course, like all good teaching stories, then we tried it, licked the plate and then I proceeded to spend the next year and a half (until she caved) begging my friend Anna, one of the restaurant’s pastry chefs, for the recipe because, you see, I have no tact at all. Or perhaps the bittersweet chocolate and pear cake was that good. Did I mention it has browned butter in it? Obviously, good manners had to wait.

A nomination! It seems that Smitten Kitchen has been nominated as one of the best-written food blogs (aw, though the people who email me daily with grammatical corrections may beg to differ!) by the Well-Fed Network. Why thank you!

Al Di La’s Torta di Pere [Bittersweet Chocolate and Pear Cake]
Courtesy of Al Di La Restaurant in Park Slope, Brooklyn

Aside from the chocolate chunks, the bits of pear and the browned butter (like I you need to hear anything else before you take off in the direction of the kitchen) one of the coolest things about baking this cake is the eggs, that are beaten far beyond “combined” or “fluffy” but until they have the volume of a shiny, velvety ribbon of a custard, or in other words, if you have an electric mixer of any sort, this is the time to use it. You don’t want to skimp on this set.

The next coolest thing about this is that as I was making it, I was so befuddled by putting the pear and chocolate pieces on top of the cake, as I clearly remembered them to be inside it. Yet the cake rises up in the oven and tucks them into their fold and, lo, it is a glorious, delicious thing.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, at room-temperature
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 pears, peeled, in a small dice (I used anjou, but would recommend a softer variety, like a bosc or any other of your favorites)
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and dust with breadcrumbs (I cheated and used flour), set aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together, set aside.

Using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs on high speed until pale and very thick. (In a professional Kitchen Aid, it takes at least five minutes on a home machine, it will take nine minutes to get sufficient volume)

While the eggs are whipping, brown the butter. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan (because it will foam a lot) and cook it until the butter browns and smells nutty (about 6 to 8 minutes). It helps to frequently scrape the solids off the bottom of the pan in the last couple minutes to ensure even browning. Remove from the flame but keep in a warm spot.

Add the sugar to the eggs and whip a few minutes more.

Just as the egg-sugar mixture is starting to lose volume, turn the mixture down to stir, and add the flour mixture and brown butter. Add one third of the flour mixture, then half of the butter, a third of the flour, the remaining butter, and the rest of flour. Whisk until just barely combined — no more than a minute from when the flour is first added — and then use a spatula to gently fold the batter until the ingredients are combined. It is very important not to over-whisk or fold the batter or it will lose volume.

Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle the pear and chocolate chunks over the top, and bake until the cake is golden brown and springs back to the touch, about 40 to 50 minutes [updated, thanks for your responses], or a tester comes out clean.

We served it with barely whipped whipped cream with a drop of almond extract in it, but I believe Anna serves it with buttermilk ice cream at the restaurant, which is, the best thing in the entire world, something I have the recipe for and promise to tell you about soon. (I’m just scared to make it because I ate the entire pint she gave me last time by myself. In three days.)

Update 1/27/09: I’ve added more baking suggestions in the comments: in short, please, don’t take your cake out before it is done. Doneness is much more important than baking times.

Flavourings and sauces

Lawson and Granger add vanilla extract to their batter and River Cottage fries the fruit with orange zest, all ingredients that pair brilliantly with both pears and chocolate, if you feel the need to add something else to the mix. The same goes for the coffee in Lawson’s sauce – every recipe, with the exception of Prince’s, includes a matching sauce: not chocolate custard, as at school, but silky affairs made with cream and melted chocolate in Lawson and River Cottage’s case, and cocoa, dark brown sugar and boiling water for Granger and Waitrose, whose puddings are “self-saucing”, aka gooey in the middle. But I’m aiming for a richer, denser sponge, so think such a sauce would be overkill on the chocolate front plain cream or creme fraiche makes for a more satisfying contrast. That said, each to their own others imply, as they lick the bowls clean, that they would have preferred “brown custard”.


    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature, for pan
  1. Fruit Topping
    • 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 3 firm but ripe pears, peeled, cored, and each cut into 12 slices (1 pound prepped)
  2. Cake
    • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) unsalted butter
    • 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
    • 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
    • 1/3 cup (1 ounce) unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
    • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup whole milk
    • Chantilly cream or Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, for serving (optional)

Ingredients German Pear Cake

(for a 10 inch or 26cm spring form)

90 g sugar
3 eggs, separated
30 g flour
250 g Quark or Greek yoghurt or half cream cheese and half yoghurt/sour cream

1/2 organic lemon, juice and zest
2-3 ripe pears or pear halves from the jar
1 dash salt

Chocolate & pears: an unexpectedly wonderful pairing

Chocolate and fruit is a hit-or-miss combination for me. I love chocolate and raspberries together. But I’ve never loved the equally popular chocolate and orange.

Most of the time, I like for chocolate cake to be simple and relatively unadorned. Maybe a swirl of good frosting or a little glaze, as in this beloved bundt cake.

Much to my surprise, I learned that chocolate and pear is a pretty popular pairing. And when I tried it in this chocolate pear cake, I could see why. The slight bitterness of dark chocolate works beautifully with the rich sweetness of ripe, seasonal pears.

In addition, the pears give the cake moisture. I fold half of the chopped pear into the cake batter itself. (If you fold all of the pair pieces in, they tend to sink collectively to the bottom.) Then, I top the cake with the rest of the pear and a big handful of dark chocolate chunks.

It all gets finished with a dusting of sparkling or cane sugar. That’s it: no frosting, no trimming or leveling, no fancy holiday decorations. These ingredients speak for themselves.

The cake is refined-sugar-free without that dusting, so it’s optional if you’d prefer to skip it. But I have to admit that I love the crispy, slightly caramelized topping it creates, which you can probably spot in the photos.

I based the cake itself off of a Peter Berley recipe from The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen, one that has served me very well in the past. It makes for a runny batter, and it’s important to let the cake bake until the top is truly set before taking it out of the oven. If you take it out too early, it’ll collapse, especially with the weight of chocolate and fruit. I usually give it a full 45 minutes, though I’d recommend you start checking at the 40 minute mark. When the top feels set (gently tap it with your finger to see) and is rounded, the cake is ready. If you need to give it up to 50-55 minutes, that’s OK. Here’s the recipe.

1. Make the cocoa crumble by mixing all the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over the olive oil and stir with a fork until it's the consistency of wet sand. Squeeze to form irregular-sized clumps, then place in the fridge while you make the cake.

2. Preheat the oven to 190C (170C fan-forced). Grease and line a loaf tin, roughly 20cm x 10cm, with baking paper, making sure you have a good overhang at each end to help you lift the cake out later. Set aside.

3. For the cake, start by placing the chopped chocolate in a small bowl and pouring 125ml of recently boiled water over it. Allow to stand for 30 seconds, then whisk gently until the chocolate has melted. Set aside to cool.

4. Place the eggs, brown sugar and olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat using the paddle attachment until thick and pale, about 4 minutes.

5. In the meantime, sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a medium bowl.

6. Reduce the speed of the mixer to low and beat in one-third of the flour mixture, followed by half of the chocolate mixture. Repeat with another third of the flour mixture, then the rest of the chocolate. Finally, add the rest of the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.

7. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing it over so that it's even on top. Lay the sliced pears, overlapping, on top of the batter and scatter over the cocoa crumble.

8. Bake in the preheated oven for one hour (cover loosely with foil if it looks like the crumble is burning) or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely in the tin before transferring onto a serving plate with the help of the overhanging baking paper. Slice and serve with whipped cream.

Pear piccalilli

An old-fashioned condiment that’s making a comeback, this masterful version includes pears for a sweetness of extra depth and roundness.

Makes 5 x 340g jars
1 cauliflower
1 red onion
100g fine green beans
225g courgettes
3 tbsp sea salt
450ml white wine vinegar
125g unrefined granulated sugar
45g cornflour
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
¼ tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp honey
2 conference pears
A thumb of root ginger

1 The day before, cut all the vegetables (but not the pears) neatly into small pieces. Wash, drain, place in a colander and cover with the salt. Cover and leave overnight in a cool spot in the kitchen.

2 Next day, clean the jam jars, then sterilise them. Whisk the vinegar, sugar, cornflour, spices and honey in a saucepan. Place on the heat and slowly bring to the boil, whisking as the sauce thickens. Continue to cook until you have a thickened sauce.

2 Rinse the salt from the vegetables and drain them well. Peel and chop the pears. Peel and grate the ginger.

3 Put the vegetables, pears and ginger in the sauce and return to the boil. Remove from the heat and put into the clean jars while still hot. Put the lids on tightly and keep in a cool spot for a month before consuming.

Melrose and Morgan, Good Food For Your Table (Salt Yard)