Pear-Walnut Sticky Cake

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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 to 10

For this decadent dessert, a sticky caramel-nut mixture is poured over the top of a pear-flecked butter cake. The brown sugar in the cake batter amplifies the caramel flavor, while pear nectar heightens the taste of the fruit.


For the cake:

  • Unsalted butter for greasing
  • 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup (5 1/2 oz. /170 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 5 Tbs. (2 1/2 oz./75 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) pear nectar
  • 1 ripe pear, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) cubes

For the topping:

  • 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 4 Tbs. (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. whole milk


To make the cake, preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour a 9-inch (23-cm) springform pan and tap out the excess flour.

Over a sheet of parchment paper, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat together the brown sugar, melted butter, eggs and pear nectar on medium speed until blended, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the flour mixture just until combined and then the pear. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.

Bake until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack.

To make the topping, in a saucepan, combine the walnuts, brown sugar, butter and milk. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently, and then continue to boil, stirring frequently, until the mixture is reduced to a thick, saucelike consistency, about 3 minutes. Pour the hot mixture over the hot cake in the pan. Let stand for 3 minutes.

Release the pan sides and place the cake on a plate. Cut into wedges and serve warm. Serves 8 to 10.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Luscious Fruit Desserts (Weldon Owen, 2015)

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