When I heard about the Scandinavian concept of Fika, I knew this pear cake would be on the menu and I was going to really dive into the theme by adding lots of cardamom and almond paste, which are flavors I associate most with baking from Scandinavia.
If you have my book, Zoë Bakes Cakes, you will notice differences in the cake batter, but the trick of baking the pears into the batter is the same. It is a technique I came up with after watching one pear after another slump into the cake batter, no matter how thick it was. I am so enamored with the technique and the resulting look that it is worth using it twice, if not more! 😉 Try this recipe from the show and the one from my book and let me know which one is your favorite.
Need another idea for your Fika? This raspberry swirl bread is a great option.
- 1 c (110g) cake flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 8 oz (226g) almond paste cut into small pieces (see note)
- 1 1/4 cups (250g) sugar
- 1 cup (226g) unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract make homemade vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 5 eggs room temperature
- 5 ripe pears (peeled, cored, stems on) room temperature
- 1 cup powdered (confectioners') sugar
- 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- 1 tbsp Poire Williams liqueur
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom.
- Blend the almond paste, sugar, butter, almond extract, and vanilla in a food processor until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl between each and allowing the eggs to incorporate before adding the next. Add the flour and pulse several times until just combined.
- Fill the pan with batter, smooth the top. Add the pears, so they are poking up above the batter, securing with a skewer, so they don’t slump under the batter. Bake for about 50-55 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
- Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, run a knife around the outside edge and remove from pan, set on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Then remove cake from the base of the tube pan.
- Stir together the powdered sugar, cream, Poire Williams liqueur, and cardamom, adding the cream a bit at a time until the mixture is thin enough to pour over the cake, but thick enough to cling.