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

Pear Cake with Cardamom Glaze


  • 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, 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.

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.