Joy the Baker

Pear Spice Cake with Walnut Praline Topping

December 29, 2008

Pear Spice Cake

Kid Table.  Can we talk about the Kid Table?  The Kid Table was something that I had to endure every holiday from the age of three to um…. present.  You know what the Kid Table is, right?

The integral family socialization tool.  The foundation of society.   The folding table and chairs circa 1943 that your Grandma busts out every every every Christmas.  Who sits at this pint sized table?  Certainly not Grandpa, Grandma, or any other high ranking family members.

It’s called the Kid Table for a reason.  It’s where you dump all the kids.  In the adult mind, I think it’s the “sit down, eat your Christmas dinner, and if you’re going to throw your Jello salad at each other, I prefer to ignore it” table.

The Kid Table still exists in my family.  One small catch:  there are no more kids in my family.

Let me just say that Christmas dinner at the Kid Table is now…. more awesome than ever!  Kid Table got cool.  Kid Table is now the place to be.  Boom… youth success!

There’s nothing like wine, family smack talk with your cool uncles, and stealing all of the thunder from the main table.  They would sooooo like to think they’re the main event.  False.  Kid Table… cooler than ever!

And now… Pear Spice Cake.

Pears

Pear Spice Cake

SpicySweet.

This recipe is adapted from an old school Gourmet Magazine recipe.  By ‘old school’, I’m talking early 1990′s.  Way back in the day, right?

The pears add a delicate flavor and lots of moisture, but the cake doesn’t exactly scream pear right in your face.  It’s more of an awesomely spice cake with an out of the world praline topping.  If you wanted to experiment with fruits like apricots, apples, raisins, I don’t think you could go wrong.

Pear Spice Cake

Pear Spice Cake with Walnut Praline Topping

adapted from Gourmet, December 1992

Print this Recipe!

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1  cups buttermilk
  • 3 pears, peeled, cored and diced into roughly 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 to 1 1/4 cups of fruit)
  • 1 cup walnuts (3 ounces), toasted , cooled, and finely chopped

Make cake:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour bundt pan.

Sift together flour,  baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. Beat together butter, sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg in another bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes in a standing mixer or 4 with a handheld. Add yolks 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low, then add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately in batches, mixing well after each addition.  Fold in pear pieces and chopped walnuts.

Beat egg whites in another bowl with cleaned beaters until they just hold stiff peaks, then fold whites into batter gently but thoroughly.

Spoon batter into pan, smoothing top, and bake until a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then invert onto rack and cool completely.

Walnut Praline Topping

  • 3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 cups walnuts, roughly chopped, toasted
Stir golden brown sugar, whipping cream and  1/2 cup butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat until smooth. Boil 3 minutes, stirring often. Stir in walnut pieces. Spoon warm topping over warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

85 Comments Add A Comment

  • Congrats! At 36, I was sent to the Kid Table on Mothers Day. I protested because on that side of my family, I am old enough to be the other kids’ mother (but I am not). LOL Eventually, it was decided that it was the dads’ turn to take care of their children and I was upgraded to the Adult Table (very thankfully I might add).

    That being said, the Kid Table on the other side of the family ROCKS. Yes, the some of the kids are actually kids…but their parents who are also there…are in my age group. We were the original kids. ;)

    Thanks for giving me a recipe to try out in my brand new bundt pan. :)

  • The kids table is where all the fun is!

  • Mmmmm! Looks fantastic!

  • I was told just last year by one of my younger cousins that I was ‘too old’ to sit at the kid table anymore. Why is it that I’m not quite old enough for the adult table though either?

  • I still sit at the kid table too at 25! A few of my cousins and I keep saying “I think it’s time we upgraded to an adult table,” but the kid table is just so fun I don’t want to leave. Plus, that’s where you hear all the family dirt.

  • This looks delicious! I love pears but it’s rare to see good pear desserts. And the kid table is always the best, no matter how old you are :)

  • Oooh…. I got the Nordic Ware Anniversary Bundt pan, and some Harry & David pears for Christmas… I just need a few more ingredients, and this cake will be made!!! Hope you had a great Christmas, Joy!! :)

  • AMEN SISTER! The kid table is where its at these days!

  • My stars! That praline topping looks divine!

  • When I complained about the kids’ table, my seven-years-older cousin told me that you can’t escape the kids table until you produce your own replacement.

    Now we’ve each gotten married, and he has 2 children… and we’re still at the kids’ table!

    Thanks for this lovely recipe.

  • That looks really good…I like carrot cake made this way…and yes I remember the ‘kid’ table…

  • Ahhhh!! The kids table!! Its so totally true!!! I used to dread the kids table every year, and year after year I would dream about finally being able to sit with the grown-ups.. I even picked out the exact chair.. Now that I do sit with the grown ups, I miss the kids table!! Love the recipe too, will deff. try!

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