When I told Keith that I was going to make a Pear & Chocolate Walnut Cake, his reaction was of utter disgust.  I’ve always wanted to try combining pears and chocolate in a dish;  what a perfect time to do so because I had a lot of perfectly ripened pears from Tippy Top Orchard that needed to be eaten up.  After a quick search, I was enamored by Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for Bittersweet Chocolate and Pear Cake so I decided to make it with just a little twist.  I added some toasted and coarsely chopped walnuts.  The recipe calls for browned butter so I thought the addition of walnuts would further enhance the nutty aroma as well as add a different layer of sweetness to the cake.

With a Dusting of Cocoa and Powdered Sugar



  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room-temperature
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3 pears, peeled, in a small dice (I used Anjou Pears from Tippy Top Orchard)
  • 3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 c. walnuts
  • 1 t. powdered sugar
  • 1 t. cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Take out 3 large eggs from the refrigerator (I used 4 because mine were small) and set aside so it can get to room temperature.  Butter and dust a 9 inch springform pan with flour.  Toast the walnuts in a pan until warm and slightly more aromatic, coarsely chop and set aside.  Brown the butter in a small saucepan.  Watch and stir it ever so often to prevent it from burning.  It should turn a nice golden brown and smell nutty.  Set aside.  Measure out the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Peel and dice the pears.  Now, whip the eggs with a mixer until it triples in size, it should have the consistency of whipped cream with a pale yellow color.  Gradually add the sugar while mixing then the flour mixture, 1/3 the amount at a time, then some of the butter.  Alternate until everything is almost mixed in.  Finish mixing with a spatula and gently fold the batter.

*Note:  As you can see, my cake didn’t rise as much as it should have because I was impatient and dumped the entire amount of browned butter at once while mixing the batter.  Don’t do that. 🙂

Pour the batter into the cake pan then gently sprinkle the pears, walnuts, and chocolate chips on top of it.  Bake for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when you test it.  Let it cool for a bit then dust with the cocoa and powdered sugar.  (I made a little pear shaped cutout with a piece of construction paper and placed it on top of the cake before dusting with the powders for decoration.)

 The verdict.  We took the cake to a pot firing party at Windy Ridge Pottery and it was a hit.  Keith even enjoyed a piece.  Trust me, this is a cake you will want to make over and over.  I’ve already got an idea for my next cake using the same base.  Cheers!





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