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Pear, Almond and Olive Oil Cake

Pear, Almond and Olive Oil Cake


2 large eggs, at room temperature
200g castor sugar
1/2 cup light olive oil
65g ground almonds
1/3 cup whole milk
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp good almond extract
165g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 large pears, ripe but still firm
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Icing sugar for garnish


Preheat oven to 170C. Grease and line a 23cm springform pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat eggs at high speed until light and foamy, about 1 minute. With mixer on medium speed, gradually add castor sugar in a slow, steady stream then increase mixer speed to high, and beat until thick and pale, about 2 minutes. With mixer on low speed, gradually add oil in a slow, steady stream, beating until combined; scrape sides of bowl and mix again. Add the ground almonds, milk, lemon zest, and extracts, and beat at medium speed until just combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold flour mixture into egg mixture just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Cut each pear in half. Core each half, and cut off top part of pear and stem. Cut pear halves into ⅛-inch-thick slices. Divide slices into groups of 4 to 5. Fan slices, and gently place on top of cake batter pushing into the batter slightly. Gently brush lemon juice onto pear slices. Sprinkle almonds around edge of batter and between groups of fanned pears.

Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs, 35 to 40 mins. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Release the springform sides and remove the cake from the pan. Serve warm (or at room temp) with cream or yoghurt. 

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