Almond and Pear Cake

“This moist cake is a perfect winter dessert when pears are in season. Change it up for other seasons using raspberries, peaches, or apples instead of the pears. Optional garnish: sift confectioners’ sugar on top and/or serve with a dollop of whipped cream.”


1 firm pear, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
3/4 cup sliced blanched almonds
6 tablespoons white sugar, divided
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter a small tart pan or a 9-inch cake pan.
  2. Mix pear slices and amaretto liqueur together in a bowl.
  3. Process almonds and 2 tablespoons sugar together in a food processor until the mixture is a fine almond meal.
  4. Beat 1/4 cup sugar and butter together in a bowl using an electric mixer until light and fluffy; add eggs and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Mix almond meal mixture, flour, and salt into creamed butter mixture to make a smooth batter.
  5. Drain pears, reserving the amaretto liqueur. Stir drained liqueur into batter just until incorporated.
  6. Pour batter into the prepared pan, smoothing batter if uneven. Arrange pear slices in a decorative pattern atop batter.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until cake is starting to pull away from the edges, about 25 minutes. Allow cake to cool in pan for at least 15 minutes before serving.