Gluten Free Pear Almond Cake Recipe

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by Carol Kicinski on September 12, 2010

Imagine for a second the aroma of pears, almonds and vanilla wafting through your home. Pretty good huh? Ok, now imagine yourself biting into a piece of a moist, buttery cake flavored with pears and scented with vanilla. Even better right? Finally imagine that said cake is not only gluten-free but grain-free and, despite the buttery flavor, has not a spec of dairy! That’s not just good, that’s great!

Well, no need to imagine, just bake up this ridiculously simple cake and experience for yourself exactly how happy I was this past weekend eating more than my fair share of Pear Almond Cake.

Pears and almonds have a natural affinity for one another and as I mentioned before, this cake somehow winds up being amazingly buttery even though it is completely dairy-free and does not even use a dairy-free butter substitute.

This cake is insanely delicious as is, but if you want to glam-it up a bit, how about trying some of Amy’s Raw Cashew Cream or serve it warm with a scoop of dairy-free ice cream. If dairy is not an issue, some lightly whipped, unsweetened heavy cream on top is divine!

As a little side note, the method I used to prepare the pears also makes a great, quick side to serve along side some brined pork chops!

Gluten Free Dairy Free Pear Almond Cake

Gluten Free Pear Almond Cake Recipe

Ingredients

4 ripe but firm Pears – use divided
1¾ cups plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar – use divided
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3¼ cups finely ground blanched almond meal
8 large eggs
1¼ teaspoons pure vanilla extract – use divided
1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
1 tablespoon grapeseed (or other neutral tasting) oil
½ cup sliced almonds

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 or 10 inch springform pan with gluten-free non-stick cooking spray. Cut a circle of parchment to fit the bottom of the pan, place in the pan and spray it lightly with more cooking spray.

Peel and core the pears. Chop three of the pears roughly and slice the fourth into about ¼ inch slices. Take the chopped pears and put in a small, microwavable bowl with the lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Cover and microwave on high power for 4 minutes. (Alternatively you can cook on the stove for 10 minutes over medium heat in a covered saucepan.) Mash the pears into a coarse puree with a fork or wooden spoon. Let cool.

Put the almond meal and 1¾ cups of sugar in a food processor and give it 4 or 5 long pulses. Add the eggs, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and the cooked pears and puree the mixture. Pour into the prepared pan.

In a small skillet, heat the agave or honey with the oil, stirring to mix until the mixture starts to bubble. Take off the heat and stir in the remaining ¼ teaspoon of vanilla. Add the pear slices and toss gently to coat.

Sprinkle the sliced almonds over the top of the cake. Add the pear slices in a spoke configuration and spoon the agave or honey/oil mixture over the top of the cake.

Bake for 45 – 55 minutes or until the cake is nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Check the cake after about 35 minutes, if it browning too much, place a piece of foil over the top.

Let the cake cool in the pan for about 30 minutes then remove the sides of the pan and transfer to a serving platter (removing the parchment is optional but recommended). The cake is best served slightly warm.

Servings

Makes 12 gluten free slices.

Need a quick meal?

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Ready for dessert?

Simply...Gluten-Free DessertsSimply…Gluten-Free Desserts is now available, with over 135 recipes not featured in my blog.

Available at bookstores including Barnes & Noble, Borders, Powells, Books-a-Million and Amazon. You can get it also HERE.

“I can now have recipes I know I can count on for every Dessert and Breakfast occasion! I’m thrilled!” – A. M.

“I am amazed! This recipe is BETTER than the ‘regular-with-gluten’ recipe! Thanks so much, Carol” – V. P.

“I love your gluten free recipes - I can now have my desserts.” – F.R.

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Categories:    Dessert
  • Hannah

    Where have you been my whole life?

  • GF Gidget

    This reminds me a little of my Asian Pear Cake! YUM!

  • Donna

    Oh. My. Goodness. Thank you, bless, you, thank you.

  • Jeanine

    Oh wow. You had me with the pear cake, and then you threw in the fresh pressed coffee. Now I have a serious hankering for cake & coffee.

  • GFree_Miel

    Yum! That cake looks incedible. I'm so in the mood for pears now.

  • Kim-Cook it Allergy Free

    This sounds amazing! Even better since my bulk order of Almond flour just arrived!! I will so have to make this. I can only imagine how delicious this is with all of those eggs.

    Oh, and too bad you are not eligible for your own photo contest. Those pictures are absolutely beautiful!

  • Alayssa

    your Gluten Free Dairy Free Pear Almond Cake definitely hits the spotlight.. It looks so yummy.. I can't wait to try and taste it for my own.. got a printed copy of it already.. c: thanks for the lovely recipe.. your really a master of your trade..

  • Linda

    That looks delicious, and I love that it's dairy free. I haven't used almond meal much, but I've been seeing it more in recipes. I guess I need to give it a try.

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    This looks amazing! And the fact that it is gluten free is even more brilliant! :D

  • Deanna

    Beautiful, as usual, Carol. Your photos and description make it so that I can smell it baking right now!

  • Diane-The WHOLE Gang

    I must get pears and make this. I wonder if it would work with plums? I have some to make a plum sauce but the cake looks more appealing. I have to make this one really soon!

  • The InTolerant Chef

    Sounds so nice, I'm very tired of dfree,gfree orange almond cake that all the cafes stock over here. This is a great change of pace.

  • Valerie @ City|Life|Eats

    This looks amazing :) Thanks so much for stopping by my blog – I have been a longtime reader of yours so it was quite a thrill to see your name pop up in the comments :)

  • patissierement-votre

    I love pear in cakes it's one of my favourite recipe :)

  • Alea

    I am getting ready to harvest pears from our tree. This cake will be delicious way to kick off pear season at our house!

  • Tasty Eats At Home

    Wow, this looks amazing! Wonder if I could pull it off with coconut sugar or sucanat? I'm sure it would have hints of molasses, but that might not be a bad thing. I'm in love with this already.

  • Simply…Gluten-free

    Just FYI I have made this same cake with agave before and it came out great in case sugar is not your thing. I am very interested in how it comes out with coconut sugar.

  • Heather @CeliacFamily

    My first thought when looking at the picture was "Amazing." I see from the other comments, I'm not alone. Another fabulous recipe to put on my "must try soon" list.

  • Aubree Cherie

    Too beautiful to eat!

    (…okay, maybe just a little… hehe)

  • Cheryl Harris

    wow. That looks perfect for this time of year.

  • Brittany

    Carol,

    I made this cake with Comice pears for a brunch this weekend, and it was a hit!
    It came out a little darker on the sides than I would have liked, but I'll blame my new springform pan for that.
    Thanks for the delicious idea!
    Brittany

  • Lauren

    I made this cake today , and it was DIVINE! I did tweak a few things though…I added almond extract, and used orange juice instead of lemon. I also added a 1/2 tsp salt which truly enhanced the yummy flavors going on in this cake. If you have not made it yet make it TODAY! Pronto!

  • Benita

    I just made this cake and I think something went wrong. It took well over an hour to bake and the inside is still like a dense pudding. I follow the recipe to a T, but I did make my own blanched almond flour. It was really freaking fine though. Has anyone had this experience? It’s not bad as is, but I don’t think it’s quite right either.

    • Carol Kicinski

      Hi Benita – are you sure your oven temp is correct? That is always the first thing I check. You can get an inexpensive oven thermometer at the hardware store.

  • Joy

    Carol!!! I wish I could post the pic of the one I made tonight! I wonder if you could add that functionality. I bet a whole bunch of people will want to share their masterpiece renditions of your recipes!

    • Carol Kicinski

      Thanks Joy and thanks for sending me the text pictures of your cake, glad you enjoyed it!!!

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  • Hi

    I wish I could make it but I react to eggs… Is there a substitute for eggs that would works well with this cake?

  • CarolKicinski

    I am sorry but I have not personally had success in baking when I had to replace more than 2 eggs. Maybe someone else knows?

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