A slice of vanilla cake with a pear slice visible and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top
Photography, Suech and Beck

Easy Pear Cake

Christine Flynn's recipe for pear cake is beautiful in its simplicity.

This pear cake is very easy to make and also quite beautiful in its simplicity. You can, of course, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a cloud of just barely sweetened whipped cream, but it’s also wonderful on its own, at ambient temperature or even chilled, as part of a mid-afternoon coffee klatsch with a good friend. –Christine Flynn

A slice of vanilla cake with a pear slice visible and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top

Easy Pear Cake

Christine Flynn's recipe for a cake with baked-in Red Anjou or Bosc pears.
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine British, Canadian, English
Servings 1 9-inch cake


  • ¾ cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar divided
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil or good-quality canola oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 small ripe Red Anjou or Bosc pears halved and cored
  • vanilla ice cream to serve (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter a 9-inch (23 cm) round cake pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together ¾ cup of the sugar and the olive oil. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well with a rubber spatula after each addition. Add the lemon zest, salt and nutmeg. Stir to combine. Sift in the flour and baking powder. Stir until just combined
  • Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Use a spatula to spread it in an even layer. Place the pears, cut side up, in the batter, but don’t press them in more than about ½ inch, as the batter will rise as it bakes. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tbsp of sugar on top. Bake for 30 to 32 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes before serving.
  • Cut the cake into squares and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.


A deep green cookbook cover in a light tan frame

Excerpted from A Generous Meal by Christine Flynn. Copyright © 2023 Christine Flynn. Photographs by Suech and Beck. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
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