Pear Cake with Cardamom Glaze from Zoë Bakes Show

Host Zoe Francois with her pear cardamom cake, as seen on Zoe Bakes, season 1.

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.

Host Zoe Francois prepares her tube pan to make her pear cardamom cake, as seen on Zoe Bakes, season 1.

If you like this cake, be sure to check out my other Pear-Cardamom Cake with Cardamom Glaze and my Poached Pear Ginger Cake! You can find all my dessert recipes that call for pears here!

Need another idea for your Fika? This raspberry swirl bread is a great option.

Host Zoe Francois with her pear cardamom cake, as seen on Zoe Bakes, season 1.

Pear Cake with Cardamom Glaze

5 from 1 vote


  • 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

Cardamom Glaze

  • 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, 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.

Cardamom Glaze

  • 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.


The almond paste needs to be soft or it won’t incorporate smoothly. If it is old and dried out, it will just stay in clumps.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

2 thoughts to “Pear Cake with Cardamom Glaze from Zoë Bakes Show”

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Zoe! I hope you get this message-
    I have watched this episode twice and love your presentation
    and clever mechanics for keeping the pears upright. What an amazing cake!
    I have to make this now and can’t leave to go get sticks.
    If I’m making this right now and have no skewers…
    I am wondering if there is a plan B…
    A straw would hold up in the oven (?) but holes would
    ruin the beautiful pear-Any ideas? *-)

    1. Hi Coco,

      Before I came up with this trick, I would reach into the oven and pick them up by the stem if they slouched down. It is messy and you have to be careful, but it does work.

      Good luck! Zoë

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