This maple pear bundt cake ticks all the boxes with easy to make, not too sweet, moist, a hint of spice, chock full of pears and a maple glaze that goes on when the cake is warm. The only down side is that it doesn't last long, because it gets eaten up fast, its just that good.
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I saw this maple bundt cake recipe when I was flipping trough a King Arthur Baking Company mailer. Its a mini catalog and has many recipes throughout featuring their ingredients and baking equipment. I just so happened to already have the Nordic Ware 75th Anniversary braided bundt pan that they used for this recipe and all the ingredients on hand so I made it. It was good, smaller than what I had expected. I knew I wanted to recreate it and make it my own.
This maple pear bundt cake would make an excellent holiday dessert in lieu of traditional desserts. Same great fall flavors, no fussy pie dough. I love non-traditional recipes for holidays. And this cake is so easy to make it will free you up for recipes that take longer.
The original recipe tasted like a pancake cake. Full of maple flavor ( way better than Trader Joe's Pancake bread) minus the streusel. I just loved it and will make again and again as the original recipe.
I had recently bought a ton of pears for making jam, and I had enough leftover to add into this bundt cake. I love pear with maple and another flavor I knew I wanted to add was cardamom. It is my favorite baking spice.
Ingredients for Maple Pear Bundt Cake:
- Flour - All purpose ( you can use a gluten free all purpose flour if you like)
- Cardamom and cinnamon - these warm, fall spices go so well with the maple and pear
- Sugar - light brown sugar only, no white sugar
- Maple syrup - both in the cake and the glaze
- Butter and oil - I love the richness and tender crumb from the butter and the moistness from oil
- Eggs - large
- full fat Greek style yogurt ( can also use sour cream)
- Vanilla and maple extracts ( I get maple extract from King Arthur baking)
- Pears - I use firm Bosc pears. You want them to be ripe but firm so they hold up when baked. Anything too ripe will just mush.
How to make the cake:
This is really a two bowl recipe plus the bundt pan itself. I have more bowls seen here just to show all the ingredients. I use this an an excuse to use my Mason Cash mixing bowl that I just HAD to have after watching Nadiya Bakes.
I also use a hand mixer - no stand mixer needed and you could even do this with just a whisk but your arm might get a little tired whipping the butter and sugar. I recommend an electric mixer of some kind.
- Grease the bundt pan well. You can use a baking spray with flour, butter and flour or homemade cake release which is what I use. I make up a batch of it and keep in a mason jar. It is a very simple recipe I use ½ cup of each flour, a neutral oil and shortening (I like using Nutiva) and whisk together in a bowl until light and fluffy, almost looks like frosting. Keep in a mason jar with a lid at cool room temp. I keep it in my pantry.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients - flour, leaveners, salt and spices - in a bowl. I like to mix these together before adding to the wet ingredients to make sure the baking soda and powder are well mixed in.
- In a larger bowl you first whisk together the butter, oil and sugar until light and creamy. With using just light brown sugar it won't get as light and fluffy as it would with white sugar.
- Eggs are added in one at a time and mixed before adding the next one. Then the maple syrup and extracts are added in.
- Alternate adding in the yogurt ( or sour cream) with the flour until just mixed.
- The diced pear gets added in last this way it stays mixed throughout the batter and doesn't sink the bottom of the pan while baking ( which will end up as the top once inverted after cooling)
- Spread some of the pears on the top of the batter and just swirl the batter over them.
What size bundt pan to use:
I made this with the Nordic Ware 75th Anniversary braided bundt that holds 12 cups of batter. You can use any shape bundt pan as long as it is at least 12 cups. Any smaller and the batter will overflow. As you can see mine makes it pretty high, during baking it will puff up over the pan but settle a little once cooled.
The recipe I adapted from makes a smaller cake and doesn't come close to the edge of the pan. It would be better in a 10 cup capacity pan.
One thing to mention before baking, make sure the batter is spread evenly around the pan so one side does bake over the edge like you see here. I could have remade the bundt cake for a better photo, but since I have make this cake about 6-7 times in the last month I would rather show it like this.
There is nothing wrong with the batter going a teeny bit over one edge - I know most of you won't be photographing your cakes, the overdone edge is easily trimmed off.
? Pro tip:
Also if you think the top of the cake is browning too much before the middle is baked, get a piece of foul and quickly place over the pan. You don't want to open the oven door for too long as heat will start to escape quickly and the cake could sink. This is usually done quickly enough so the cake won't have any issues. Don't start baking the cake with foil over the top though. Only use this if the cake is browning too fast before being done.
? Oven Temperatures:
I know not everyone has the same ovens, and some ovens can run hot or cold. I suggest having an oven thermometer, the kind that hang down off the rungs of one of the racks is great, and heat the oven for at least 20 minutes before baking. That means, get the oven to the temperature the recipe calls for ( in this cake 350 Deg F/176 C) and then let it heat at the baking temp. Check the temperature in the middle of the oven to make sure its what it is supposed to be.
The original recipe of this bundt cake has a maple glaze brushed over the cake after it has cooled for a bit but is still very warm. I did a glaze in two steps:
- As soon as the cake is out of the oven I poke holes all over the top ( which will be the bottom once inverted out of the pan) and I brush about a third of the glaze over it.
- Let the cake cool ten minutes.
- Invert the cake onto a serving plate or cake stand then brush the remaining glaze over the cake.
- The glaze is maple syrup, butter and either water, rum, brandy etc. You can use just water to keep it non-alcoholic.
All glazed up. This maple pear bundt cake is perfect with the maple glaze soaked in, it doesn't need a powered sugar icing or even powdered sugar dusted over the top. The glaze is perfect.
What kind of pears are used in this cake:
How long does it take to make this bundt cake?
What if I don't like pears - what can I substitute?
Weighing ingredients Vs using cups:
I use my food scale and weigh out ingredients in grams because this is the most accurate way to get the best quality baked goods. Cups aren't accurate because not only are all cups not the same the sizes vary from brand to brand as well as from different countries. I have done tests with different brands of measuring cups and they all came out with different weights after I did the spoon and level as well as scoop method and then weighed in grams.
Baking is a science and science needs accuracy. Weighing is accurate and precise. Not to mention a lot easier. Another issue with cups is that I have no control over how people use measuring cups to measure dry ingredients especially flour. You could pack in way too much which would result in a sub-par baked good. Too much flour could throw everything off. Same with not enough. Not to mention also some ingredients are difficult to measure in cups such as nuts, dried fruit, chocolate etc. This is why weighing in grams is the most accurate.
I also use grams for most liquid measure since 100 grams equals 100 ml of water. Smaller amounts of items measured in teaspoons I usually leave as teaspoons, tablespoons are sometimes listed in grams as well but for the most part the different tablespoons I have used have all resulted in the same amount. Aside from cute, decorative ceramic tablespoons and teaspoons are never accurate. Those are better as decoration than for being used for baking.
The maple pear bundt cake recipe:
Maple Pear Bundt Cake with Maple Glaze
- 1 bundt pan 12 cup
- 1 stand mixer or 2 mixing bowls and hand mixer
- 390 g All Purpose Flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cardamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 224 g unsalted butter 16 Tablespoons, room temperature ( softened but not melted)
- 208 g light brown sugar
- 50 g oil use a light oil such as sunflower or avocado, do not use olive oil
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 234 g maple syrup
- 340 g full fat Greek style yogurt or sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon maple extract
- 400 g Bosc or D’Anjou pears - peeled stems and cores removed, diced into half inch ( a little over 1 cm) pieces.
For the Glaze:
- 42 g butter
- 100 g maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup water can do half water and half rum or brandy
- Heat oven to 350 Deg F ( 176 Deg C). Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt pan ( you can use a baking spray with flour, a homemade cake release brushed on (linked in post) or butter really well then flour and tap out excess flour,
- You will need two bowls for this recipe - one medium for the flour, one larger to mix it all together. And a few smaller bowls for measuring out some of the other ingredients such as maple syrup, yogurt etc. I love using deli containers for this.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom and cinnamon.
- In a larger bowl, combine the butter, sugar and oil and mix until light and creamy - 5-6 minutes. You can use an electric hand mixer for this. No need to use a stand mixer ( unless you only have a stand mixer then use that).
- Add in the eggs to the butter mixture, mixing well between each one then add in the maple syrup and extracts. Mix again really well.
- Next, alternate adding in the flour mix with the yogurt, using the hand mixer on low or even just a spatula until almost all the flour is mixed in. Add in 300 grams of the pears and mix again but don’t over mix.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared bundt pan, smoothing out the top os it is evenly filling the pan. Top with the remaining pear then swirl the batter around them a little so they stay baked in the batter.
- Bake for 45-60 minutes until golden brown and a skewer stuck into the cake to the middle comes out clean or with a few small crumbs but no wet dough.
- While the cake is baking make the maple glaze. Heat the ingredients together either in a small pan on the stover or in a microwave safe bowl. Stir well once the butter is completely melted.
- When the cake is out of the oven, poke all over with a skewer or toothpick, then brush with about one third of the glaze.
- Let the cake cool for ten minutes then invert the cake onto a cake plate or cake stand. I will place the plate over the bundt pan and use a towel to help invert it since the bundt pan is still hot. Then I will carefully life the bundt pan off the cake.
- While the cake is still hot, brush the remaining glaze over the cake. Let cool until ready to serve. Can be served warm or room temperature. I like it warm with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- This is a very moist cake - keep in an airtight container for 3 days or keep in refrigerator or freezer. Thaw to room temperature before eating.