Pear Cake is an easy Italian recipe made with fresh diced pears and olive oil. This classic Italian Pear Cake recipe, also known as "torta di pere," is simple to make and is a great way to use your fresh pears.
Italian Pear Cake is a deliciously moist cake and easy to make recipe that's great to have on hand during pear season. It comes together fast and is perfect with a cup of coffee or cup of tea.
You'll Love Italian Pear Cake
Italian Pear Cake, also known as "torta di pere," is a simple and delicious cake recipe that comes together fast. It comes out perfectly moist and flavorful and is always a fan favorite.
I love to make this Italian Pear Cake whenever I have extra pears on hand. You can use whatever pears you have - I like to use the Bartlett or Bosc pears because they are the most common.
This fresh pear cake recipe has a ton of pear flavor in it. Here, I use two pears that are diced into small chunks, so you get a sweet burst of pear in every bite. Plus, it's a great recipe to up your fresh pears.
You can rest assured that this cake with turn out perfect every time too. I have tested and perfected this pear cake so you can get perfect results the first time.
So, if you are looking for an easy pear cake recipe that's full of flavor, give this Italian Pear Cake recipe a try! It's sure to be your new favorite.
- Fresh Pears: you will need about two large fresh pears, or three medium pears. Try to use a firmer pear, one that's not quite ripe. Any pear will work, I prefer Bartlett pears or Bosc pears. Make sure they are not overripe pears.
- Lemon: adding a bit of lemon juice and lemon zest to the diced pears will both bring out the flavors as well as prevent the pears from browning too quickly.
- Flour: use regular all purpose flour for this recipe. Weigh the flour for accurate measurement.
- Baking Powder: make sure you are using baking powder instead of baking soda here.
- Salt: I like to use kosher salt when baking.
- Sugar: granulated white sugar is used both to sweeten the cake batter as well as top the cake before baking to give a caramelized crust.
- Eggs: use two large eggs for this pear cake recipe.
- Olive Oil: olive oil is a staple for Italian baking. Use a milder flavor extra virgin olive oil here.
- Milk: you will need about a quarter cup of milk for the batter. I like to use 2% or whole milk for baking but you can use whatever you have on hand.
- Vanilla: a teaspoon vanilla extract will help bring out the flavors in the pear cake.
How to Make Italian Pear Cake
This recipe for Pear Cake is a single layer cake with a lot of rise. I recommend baking it in 9-inch springform pan that has been well greased with a parchment paper round at the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking.
Step 1: dice and toss the pears
Use a sharp knife to dice the pear into about ⅛-1/4 inch chunks. This doesn't have to be exact, and you can use larger pieces if you'd like.
In a medium bowl, combined the diced pear with the zest and juice of one lemon. Toss to combine and set aside.
Step 2: mix the dry ingredients
In a separate medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. If you prefer, you could add up to a teaspoon of cinnamon to the batter as well to add a hint of spice.
Step 3: mix the wet ingredients
In a large bowl or stand up mixer, combine the sugar and room temperature eggs. Use an electric mixer on medium speed to combine the sugar and eggs together until light a frothy, about 2-3 minutes.
Add in the olive oil and milk, and mix until just combined. Then, add in the flour mixture and combine. Lastly, fold in the pears using a rubber spatula to combine.
Step 4: Top Pear Cake with Sugar and Bake
Pour the pear cake batter into your greased pan. Sprinkle on an additional tablespoon of sugar on top of the cake. You could also decorate the cake with pear slices on top.
Bake on the center rack in a preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes. You will know the cake is done when a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Let this simple cake cool on a wire rack for at least 10-15 minutes before loosening the sides of the pan and removing the collar from the pan. Then, let cool completely before slicing and serving.
Pear cake is great served as is or with a little bit of powdered sugar sprinkled on top or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Add a dollop of crème fraîche for a fancy finish.
- If you don't have a springform pan, this can be made in a 9x13-inch baking pan. It is too much batter for a single cake pan, but could be divided into two cake pans if needed.
- Make sure you are using firm pears so that the batter isn't too wet.
- Be sure the cake has had time to cool before removing the collar from the pan. Also, the cake should be cooled to room temperature before slicing.
- Store leftover pear cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. You an also freeze for up to a month.
Frequently Asked Questions
For pear cake, it's best to use ripe but firm pears like Anjou, Bosc, or Bartlett varieties, as they hold their shape during baking and offer a sweet and juicy flavor.
Olive oil is a healthier alternative to butter or vegetable oil in baking, as it adds a unique depth of flavor, moisture, and richness to baked goods while also providing heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
More Italian Desserts with Fruit
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- 9 inch springform pan
- 2 pears, diced
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 cups all purpose flour (270 grams)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup milk (whole or 2%)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (for topping)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper; set aside.
- In a bowl, toss the diced pears with the zest and juice of a lemon (about 2 tablespoons juice and 1 teaspoon zest); set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together the sugar and eggs until pale and frothy; about 2 minutes. Add in the olive oil, milk, and vanilla and mix until well combined. Pour in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Add in the pears and use a rubber spatula to combine with the batter. Pour the pear cake batter into the prepared springform pan. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar on the top of the cake.
- Bake on the center rack in a preheated oven for about 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing the collar from the pan. Be sure the cake is completely cooled before slicing and serving.
- Use firm pears for this recipe rather than overripe pears. Bartlett or Anjou pears are both great varieties for this cake.
- Grease your springform pan with nonstick spray or butter before using. If you don't have a springform, you can make this in a 9 x 13 inch baking pan, just adjust the cook time and test for doneness with a toothpick.
- Remove the collar from the pan by running a sharp knife around the edges of the cake. Make sure the cake is very cool before cutting or you risk the cake collapsing.
- Store cooled leftover pear cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze for up to a month.