Pear-Almond Olive Oil Cake

All you need is a single pear to create the beautiful fanned design on top of this stunning cake, and it’s so easy to do. You’ll love the extra punch of almond flavor from the almond flour and sliced almonds on top. Find more delicious seasonal recipes in our September/October 2020 issue! 

Pear-Almond Olive Oil Cake
Makes 1 (9-inch) cake
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (112 grams) extra-virgin olive oil
  • ⅔ cup (64 grams) blanched almond flour
  • ⅓ cup (80 grams) whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) tightly packed lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 gram) almond extract
  • 1⅓ cups (167 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons (7.5 grams) baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon (2.25 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 large Anjou or Bosc pear (230 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) lemon juice
  • ½ cup (46 grams) sliced almonds
  • Garnish: confectioners’ sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a 9-inch springform pan with baking spray with flour; line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat eggs at high speed until uniform in color and foamy, about 1 minute. With mixer on medium speed, gradually add granulated sugar in a slow, steady stream. Increase mixer speed to high, and beat until thick and pale, about 2 minutes. With mixer on low speed, gradually add oil in a slow, steady stream, beating until combined; scrape sides of bowl. Add almond flour, milk, lemon zest, and extracts, and beat at medium speed until combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold all-purpose flour mixture into egg mixture just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  4. Cut pear in half. Core each half, and cut off top part of pear and stem. Cut pear halves into ⅛-inch-thick slices. Divide slices into groups of 4 to 5. Fan slices, and gently place on top of cake batter. (See Note.) Gently brush lemon juice onto pear slices. Sprinkle almonds around edge of batter and between groups of fanned pears.
  5. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs, 50 to 55 minutes. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Remove sides of pan. Serve warm, or let cool completely on base of pan on a wire rack.
  6. Before serving, cut a 7-inch circle from parchment paper; place in center of cake. Using a fine-mesh sieve, sift confectioners’ sugar onto edges of cake, if desired.
It is very difficult to move the pear slices once they’ve been placed on the batter, so be intentional about the placement.


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