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Pear Almond Cake with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Buttercream

Um... so....
You see this cake?
I totally made it at 11:30pm on Nyquil. 

Imagine laying individual sliced almonds "neatly" in a row when your eyes can barely stay open. 

It was the Saturday night before Easter, and I told my family I'd bring dessert. I had it all planned out, baked the cake layers early, but somehow got distracted throughout the day and ended up frosting/decorating the cake last minute. I was still getting over the cold my son passed on to us, and had already taken some medicine for the night, but it was only after I had taken the Nyquil when I realized that I'd have zero time the next day to get the cake done before we had to head to my Mom's for Easter dinner. So I swirled the top of the cake and started laying down sliced almonds on the sides... I remember laughing at how insane it looked, instead of the perfect picture I had planned out in my head. My experiences with Nyquil are very infrequent, but it's been my experience that everything is hilarious a few hours into taking it.

The next morning I fell in love with the unkempt quality of the sides. It reminded me of dragon scales. I remembered just how delicious the inside of the cake is with the layers of moist almond pear cake, made from fresh pear puree. I soaked the insides with cinnamon simple syrup, and frosted the dang thing with cinnamon brown sugar buttercream. It was HEAVEN, I tell you. And the most perfect cake for our family feast on Easter Sunday. or any given Sunday. or for breakfast. or with a fork for a snack. I won't judge.

Moral of the story, in my case: Nyquil frosts good cakes. 

Pear Almond Cake with Cinnamon Simple Syrup & Cinnamon Brown Sugar Butter Cream

3 C cake flour, siften
2 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 T butter, melted and cooled
2/3 C pear puree
1 3/4 C sugar
2 eggs
1 t almond extract
1/2 t vanilla
3/4 C milk

Cinnamon Simple Syrup:
1 C water
3/4 C sugar
1 T cinnamon 

1/2 C browned butter, cooled to a solid
1/4 C vegetable shortening
1/3 C dark brown sugar, packed
1 pinch of salt
1/8 t vanilla extract
1/2 t cinnamon
3 C powdered sugar
1/4 C heavy whipping cream

To make cake: 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cake rounds with a smear of shortening and a light flour coat.
2. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a separate medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, then add both extracts, beat until thoroughly mixed together, then add in pureed pear.
3. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with wet mixture, beat very well after each addition. Continue until everything has been added and incorporated.
4. Pour mixture into prepared pans, bake about 30-35 minutes. Cool for about 10 minutes, then turn cake out of pans onto a cooling rack.

To make syrup:
1. Heat sugar, cinnamon, and water over medium high heat until bubbling rapidly. Stir, turn heat off, and let cool completely. Brush syrup between cake layers and let soak before frosting.  

To make frosting:
1. In a stand mixer bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, whisk softened brown butter and shortening until fluffy. Add brown sugar, salt, vanilla and cinnamon, and beat until smooth.  
2. Add in one cup of powdered sugar at a time, and beat well after each addition. With your mixer on medium speed, carefully and slowly pour in heavy whipping cream. Don't overmix, only combine until fluffy.

recipe source: country cleaver via


  1. This looks and sounds amazing. Am planning a cake buffet for a wedding open house and may just have to add this one to the menu. Wondering on you did the fun swirl on the top of the cake? What did you use to do it?? Thanks much! Leigh Anne

    1. Thanks Leigh Anne! We did a cake buffet for my little brother's open house (I think you might have already found it :) This cake would be a perfect addition to the dessert cake table!

      The swirl on top of the cake was done using my cake turn-table (rotating plate, basically) and my frosting knife. I basically just gently held my knife down framing the outside of the top, and then slowly guided the knife to the center of the cake while spinning the cake around. It could have been a lot neater, but then again, I was completely out of it while making this cake! You'll have to take some pictures for your adorable blog during the open house! I bet it'll be amazing. Good luck!

  2. ooo, the pear almond sounds delicious! I'll have to try this for my next cake escapade. I'm not sure Nyquil would turn out such a good looking cake had I done it though. You are truly talented!

    1. You will LOVE it, Adelina! When I woke up the next morning I was almost positive I had just been dreaming about frosting this cake - then it was sitting there in my fridge...

  3. WOW! It looks so tasty! I'm totally impressed! : )

  4. Wow, that is seriously one lovely cake. I love the layering and the cinnamon brown sugar buttercream sounds divine!

  5. This frosting is A. MA. ZING! I have never browned butter for any recipe, but it was so easy, and so good! I used to frosting to liven up some plain ol' vanilla cupcakes, and it was perfect. I will definitely use this recipe again, hopefully making this fabulous pear cake next time. Thank you!


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