Monday, February 21, 2011

Pear almond yogurt cake

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I am a woman of simple cakes. I spent a month in 2010 focused on cake decorating (in preparation for Kelly Ripa's Cake-Off for a Cause, where I rolled fondant with 14 other food bloggers and Buddy "The Cake Boss" Valastro), but despite private lessons and lots of practice on my own, I never really got the cake decorating bug. Truthfully, I prefer my cakes plain, even a little ugly.

This pear cake with ground almonds is a perfect example of the kind of cake I love. It's based on a traditional French yogurt cake, which I've made with lots of variations (lime yogurt cake, chocolate yogurt cake, almond pomegranate yogurt cake, limoncello cake). Grated pears keep the cake moist, and ground almonds add both flavor and texture. It takes 10 minutes to put together, 45 minutes or so in the oven, half an hour to cool enough to cut. Will it win any beauty contests? No. But when I've got a hot cup of tea and a slice of this pear almond cake for breakfast, I'm not looking.

Pear almond cake with yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (low-fat is fine)
  • 1/3 cup grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 large pear, peeled, cored and grated
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds or almond meal
  • 3 Tbsp coarse raw sugar crystals
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a round 9-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, oil, granulated sugar and almond extract. Add the grated pears and stir to combine.

In a smaller bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the ground almonds, making sure to break up any clumps.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and blend with a large spoon or spatula just until everything is incorporated. Turn the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the raw sugar. Bake 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes, then turn the cake out onto the rack to finish cooling.

18 comments:

Kathy Diaz (found baking) said...

What are you talking about ugly from your tweet? This looks delish... moist and just yummy. Thanks for sharing!

Cookin' Canuck said...

What a pretty cake! The simplicity of this is so appealing and I'll bet the pear and almonds give this cake a wonderful flavor.

marla said...

Loving this healthy cake Erika!

Marly said...

I don't think plain equals ugly!! I think actually there is something quite beautiful in simplicity. You have captured that brilliantly in this cake. Love it!

Susie Bee on Maui said...

It is a beautiful cake!

Louise said...

Pairing almonds and pears sounds like a good combination. I also like 'plain, ugly' cakes. Will try it and some of your other cake recipes soon. Question - did you ever bake it in a 6 cup bundt pan? I'm a big fan of them and I think this cake will work well in it.

Erika said...

Maybe "rustic" would have been a better descriptor than "ugly." :)

@Louise - I've never tried this in a bundt pan but I'm sure it would work fine. Let me know.

Mark Furman said...

mmmmm... sounds yummy and easy enough to make - I'll give it a try tomorrow with my two sons, 4 and 2. We obsess over cakes. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

Erika said...

@Mark - you like to bake with your boys? Me too. Mine are a little older, though (12 and 9). Let me know how you all like it. And, um, don't let them grate the pears. Even I have a hard time doing that without getting my knuckles involved!

Laura said...

what an awesome combination of flavors and textures. i love that you used grapeseed oil instead of the standard veg oil - so much healthier!

Nancy said...

I am really enjoying all the variations to the yogurt cake and this one especially since I love pears and almonds. I am with you too on simple cakes!!

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

Lovely! I love the flavor combo and always am looking for more ways to get a pear in my tummy!

Can't wait to try it!

BonnieBanters said...

Sometimes I crave a slice of simple cake...sounds like this would be perfect, and with a nice cup of coffee or tea, especially in the fall or winter.
I'm guessing the raw sugar goes on right before you bake it? Thanks!

Erika said...

@Bonnie - oops, you're right, I forgot to put that step in! Thanks for noticing. I just added it.

Rhonda said...

This is my kinda cake, I'm not into sweet frosted cakes. I'll have to give it a go!

Monet said...

Smile. I loved reading this. Like you, I prefer my cakes on the homelier side. I adore pear cakes, and I am eager to give yours a try. Thank you for sharing such a tempting treat! I hope you are doing well. Stay warm and enjoy the end of your week!

Amanda said...

Looks wonderful, beautiful photo!

Maris (In Good Taste) said...

Love pears! I will have to make this at some point this fall.

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