spiced maple pear cake

this spiced maple pear cake is the perfect little snack cake for fall. it's made from a lightly spiced cake filled with fresh shredded pears. enjoy alone or topped with a decadent maple buttercream and maple drizzle.

welcome to November. the holiday season is (un)officially here and that can only mean one thing, baking! ease into baking season with this wonderfully delicious spiced maple pear cake topped with an equally delicious maple buttercream and maple syrup drizzle. this snack sized cake is moist, perfectly spiced, sweet and flavored with the faint floral scent of fresh pears.

spiced maple pear cake

in a few words, this maple pear cake is:

  • moist
  • fresh
  • fluffy
  • spiced
  • full of maple flavor
  • lightly scented from fresh pears, vanilla, maple and spices
  • topped with a decadent maple buttercream
  • the perfect snack or dessert cake

what ingredients do are needed to make this spiced pear cake?

  • cake flour
  • all purpose flour
  • ground cinnamon
  • ground ginger
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • canola or other neutral baking oil
  • pure maple syrup
  • light brown sugar
  • granulated sugar
  • eggs
  • sour cream
  • vanilla extract
  • maple extract
  • unsalted butter
  • milk
  • salt
  • powdered sugar

from these ingredients you will make the spiced maple pear cake, maple buttercream and maple syrup drizzle topping.

spiced maple pear cake

what baking tools are needed to make this pear snack cake?

what you’ll need:

  • 8X8 or 9X9 aluminum pan 
    • for baking the cake in 
    • other pans may work for this, but baking times will vary 
    • this recipe also fits:
      • 12 ct. muffin pan 
      • 8″-9″ round cake pan 
  • several bowls for mixing 
    • large for mixing all the batter 
    • medium for dry ingredients 
    • small for the glaze
  • whisk, large spoon and/or silicone spatula
    • for mixing the cake batter 
  • parchment paper 
    • to line the baking pan 
    • easy removal once the cake is baked 
  • cheese or box grater
    • to shred the pears
  • stand mixer with paddle attachment or electric hand mixer with beaters
    • to make the maple buttercream
  • food scale
    • easiest and best way to measure out ingredients 
    • how all my recipes are developed

tips and tricks for the most delicious spiced maple pear cake

best substitutions for this recipe:

  • all purpose flour: for a gluten free option, I recommend
  • pears : I love the pairing of pears with maple, cinnamon and ginger  
    • apples would work equally well in this recipe
  • sugar: you can use an alternative sugar if its one you baked with already 
  • maple syrup: this recipe is built around maple syrup
    • the best substitute for maple syrup would be honey
  • sour cream for the buttercream
    • use (4 tbsp) cream cheese in place of the sour cream if needed

baking tips and tricks:

  • read through the recipe before starting 
  • use a “light hand” when folding the dry ingredients into the wet
  • look for the signs the cake is done rather than stick strictly to the baking times 
    • the sides will pull gently from the edges of the pan
    • the top will be golden brown, but not burned 
    • gently press the middle of the cake, it should bounce back easily 
      • if not, give it 5-10 more minutes baking time
    • toothpick inserted into the center will come out with a few moist crumbs 
  • cool in the pan on a cooling rack for no more than 30 minutes 
  • cool to room temperature on a cooling rack 
  • the maple buttercream and maple drizzle are optional (but HIGHLY recommend!)
    • if omitting the buttercream, top with:
      • a light dusting of powdered sugar after baking
      • or sprinkle a little spiced sugar on top right before baking
        • mix 1/2 c (100g) sugar with 1 tsp ground cinnamon
spiced maple pear cake
spiced maple pear cake
spiced maple pear cake
spiced maple pear cake
spiced maple pear cake

more spiced snack cakes to try:

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spiced maple pear cake

maple pear cake with maple buttercream

this spiced maple pear cake is the perfect little snack cake for fall. it's made from a lightly spiced cake filled with fresh shredded pears. enjoy alone or topped with a decadent maple buttercream and maple drizzle.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Cooling Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Celebrations, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 1 9X9 (23cm)


  • 9×9 (23cm) pan
  • parchment paper
  • mixing bowls
  • whisk, wooden spoon and/or spatula


spiced maple pear cake

  • 1 1/4 c (150g) cake flour
  • 3/4 c (90g) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 c (118ml) canola oil
  • 1/2 c (118ml) pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 c (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 c (50g) light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp maple extract
  • 1 1/4 – 1 1/3 c (160-165g) firm but ripe pears, shredded

maple buttercream

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 c sour cream
  • 1-2 tbsp (30ml) maple syrup
  • 1-2 tbsp (15-30ml) milk, as needed
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 – 2 c (180-250g) powdered sugar, sifted


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F (177 C).
    Line 9×9 cake pan with parchment paper along the bottom and two sides. The sides should have a little overhang of parchment paper. This helps to remove the cake from the pan.
  • Whisk the flours, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and baking powder together until well combined. Set aside.
  • Whisk the oil, sugars, maple syrup, sour cream, eggs, vanilla and maple extracts together until smooth and well combined.
  • Stir in the dry ingredients into the wet until just combined.
  • Fold in the shredded pears.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake in a 350 F (177C) oven on the lower third rack for 30-40 minutes. 
    The cake is done when the edges start to slightly pull away from the edges of the pan, the cake is golden across the top, the top of the cake springs back when gently pressed and a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  • Cool the cake in the cake pan placed on top of a cooling rack for 20 minutes. 
    Gently remove the cake from the pan using the parchment paper overhang. If needed, run a butter knife along the unline sides of the cake pan to loosen any cake still stuck to the pan.

maple buttercream

  • Cream together the softened butter, room temperature sour cream, maple syrup and salt until creamy and well combined, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Stop and scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add sifted powdered sugar 1/2 c at a time, beating each addition of powdered sugar until all the sugar is incorporated. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl as needed. Beat on high until the buttercream is fully incorpated and desired consistency.
  • If the buttercream is too thick, add 1-2 tbsp (15-30ml) milk or heavy cream, beating until well incorporated. Using an offset spatula or frosting knife to spread on top of completely cooled maple pear cake. Top with drizzle of maple syrup.
Keyword maple buttercream, maple pear cake, pear cake
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