It is a mere 48-ish hours since Halloween and I am already itching to bust out the Christmas decor (note the plaid in these photos as evidence). I can hear your collective groans. I get it! I’m cooling my jets, don’t worry. I’m still holding onto fall and gently patting all my decorative gourds and relishing the crispy, crunch of leaves beneath my shoes. I’m still going to sneak in some plaid and scope out the wrapping paper options though, because I need to plan my wrapping scheme in advance guys. I’m only human, okay?
Since it’s autumn and pears are pretty available right now, I made this buckle-inspired cake that I’ve been thinking of for days. Appearently chocolate and pear are a classic pearing (har, har) and even though a buckle is technically a yellow cake, I couldn’t shake the idea of sliced pear halves snuggled up with deep chocolate cake batter and sprinkled with sliced almonds. The cake comes together easily and bakes up to be just-sweet which is nice considering the pears bake up very sweet and makes this cake perfect for dusting with a blanket of confectioners sugar. It’s pretty yet rustic, rich but not heavy, while feeling both casual enough to go with an afternoon cup of coffee or tea and special enough to serve as a dinner party dessert.
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup flour
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 pears, peeled and cored
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- 1 tablespoon raw sugar
- confectioners sugar to serve
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and line an 9x9 inch square baking pan with parchment.
- In a bowl whisk together the butter, sugar, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla until combined well.
- In another bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and kosher salt. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and fold until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan. Slice the pear halves and using a spatula, arrange each sliced pear half onto the batter, fanning each half out a bit. Sprinkle the tops of the pears and cake batter with the almonds. Sprinkle the almonds with the raw sugar. Bake for 45 minutes in the center rack of the oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake batter comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack before serving.
I use dutched cocoa powder for this recipe. Valrhona is my absolute favorite.
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