Spiced Brown Sugar-Pear Cake with Sour Cream Frosting

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Spiced Brown Sugar-Pear Cake

This Spiced Brown Sugar-Pear Cake with Sour Cream Frosting is a single-layer stunner that combines classic fall flavors with delicately sweet d’Anjou pears and a slightly tart Sour Cream Frosting, with every component receiving a touch of sweetness from C&H Sugar. For the cake, C&H Granulated Sugar and C&H Golden Brown Sugar combine to create a cake with notes of rich caramel flavor that marry perfectly with the warmth of the pumpkin pie spice. Pieces of pear and toasted pecans also dot the inside of the cake, giving it both wonderful flavor and texture. Using C&H Confectioners’ Sugar, the Sour Cream Frosting whips up lusciously smooth and fluffy, ideal for spreading and swooping over the top of your cake. Garnished with a halo of toasted pecans and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, this cake is equal parts simple and delicious.  

Spiced Brown Sugar-Pear Cake with Sour Cream Frosting
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
  • 1 cup (200 grams) C&H Granulated Sugar
  • ⅔ cup (149 grams) vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup (73 grams) firmly packed C&H Golden Brown Sugar
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1⅓ cups (167 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons (3 grams) pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ teaspoon (3.75 grams) baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
  • 2⅔ cups (452 grams) ¼-inch-chopped peeled D’Anjou pears
  • ⅔ cup (75 grams) finely chopped toasted pecans
  • Sour Cream Frosting (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: chopped toasted pecans, pumpkin pie spice
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with baking spray with flour. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together granulated sugar, oil, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well combined, stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pie spice, baking soda, and salt. Gradually stir flour mixture into sugar mixture just until some flour streaks remain. Fold in pears and pecans until combined. Spoon batter into prepared pan; spread into an even layer with a small offset spatula. Tap pan on a kitchen towel-lined counter a few times to settle batter and release any air bubbles.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes. Rotate pan, and bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes more, loosely covering with foil during final 10 minutes of baking to prevent excess browning. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes; using a small offset spatula, loosen edges of cake. Gently remove cake from pan, and let cool completely, parchment side down, on a wire rack.
  5. Discard parchment; place cake on a serving plate. Spread and swoop Sour Cream Frosting onto cake as desired. Garnish with pecans and pie spice, if desired. Serve immediately.

Sour Cream Frosting
Makes about 2¼ cups
  • ⅓ cup (76 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 3⅔ cups (440 grams) C&H Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (90 grams) sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) vanilla extract
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and salt at medium-low speed until smooth, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add confectioners’ sugar, about 1 cup at a time, alternately with sour cream, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until combined after each addition. Add vanilla, and increase mixer speed to medium; beat until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Cover and refrigerate until slightly stiffened, about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes (See Note). Use immediately.
Depending on the temperature of your kitchen and ingredients, chilling the frosting before using may not be necessary.



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  1. Does this cake REALLY require a total of 46 to 48 minutes to bake? That seems like an awfully long time for a single layer of cake. I just want to make sure before I ruin a perfectly good cake layer. Also, other version of this cake are shown as 3 layers. Was this originally a layer cake and Bake from Scratch converted it to a one layer snack cake?

    • Hi Pamela,

      Thank you so much for your question! It does sound like a lot of time, but the cake itself is rather rich. When you rotate your pan after 30 minutes of baking, you can definitely check the cake with a wooden pick and take that doneness test into account when determining how much longer to bake the cake. However, when tested by our Test Kitchen, the cake did require a total of 45 to 48 minutes to reach full doneness.

      We hope this helps, and happy baking!

    • Hi Lauren,

      Thank you for your question! This cake can absolutely be made a day ahead of time. You’ll want to wait to ice it until the day you’re serving it, store the Sour Cream Frosting in an airtight container in the refrigerator, and store the cake in an airtight container either refrigerated or at room temperature. You might have to let the frosting soften a little at room temperature before spreading it onto your cake as well.

      We hope this helps, and happy baking!


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