Gluten Free Pear Almond Cake Recipe
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 speck 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 Pear Almond Cake Recipe
- 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
- 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 2 teaspoons of sugar and the lemon juice. 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 is 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.
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