The Sassy Pair

This recipe is adapted from one found on Smitten Kitchen (one of our favorite recipe sources!) but this one is more of a cake than a “bread”. Let’s be honest, treats like banana bread and even pear bread are better classified as a cake anyway due to high sugar content. That, plus the addition of a basic buttercream frosting, turns this recipe into a perfect dessert.

Baking with Pears

While certain varieties of pears are in season during the summer and fall, some of my favorites (bosc and comice) are mostly available between November and February. This means that pears make for a perfect winter baking ingredient! Their subtle flavor is why they are one of my favorite fruits, but make sure you let them ripen before baking with them.

Many recipes working with shredded or chopped pears instruct bakers to peel the fruit first. This makes sense, as it’s common when baking with fruit like apples. But I actually prefer this recipe with unpeeled pears because it seems to add extra flavor. The pears I used had thin skin so it wasn’t noticeable in the texture. However, this really depends on the variety of pear you choose to use. If you have pears with a thicker, rougher skin, you should definitely peel them before you grate.

Just like with your favorite banana bread, the flavors of this cake intensify after the first day. Of course it can be served right away and will still taste great, so don’t worry. But if you have time, you may want to make it night before you plan to serve it.

Do you love pears as much as we do? You may be hooked after this recipe! Check out this delicious recipe we shared a few months ago for mini ginger pear galettes.


  • Cake
  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp butter (softened)
  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2-3 pears (about 1 - 1 1/2 cups grated)
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • Frosting
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1-2 Tbsp milk


  • Preheat oven to 350°F grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. (I add a layer of parchment paper down on the bottom as an extra precaution)
  • Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl
  • Cut and grate pears and set aside. In a large bowl, mix butter, eggs, sugar, grated pears and vanilla until well combined. Gradually add flour mixture into wet ingredients until just combined.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (about 45-55 mins)
  • Cool on a wire rack in pan for 10 minutes and then remove from pan to continue cooling.
  • Stir together all frosting ingredients in a small bowl. Adjust powdered sugar amount depending on desired consistency. Frost cake, slice and serve.


This will taste great on day of baking but even better on the second day because the flavor will be more intense!

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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