Olive Magazine
Brown butter pear cake

Brown butter pear cake

Published: October 5, 2020 at 9:59 am
  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Total time
    • + Cooling
  • Easy
  • Serves 8

To get the nutty flavour in this cake you need to cook the butter until the milk solids turn golden, then cool and cream with the sugar as in a standard cake method. It takes a bit longer but is worth it for the flavour


Try our pear cake recipe then check out our poached pears and more pear recipes.


  • 175g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for the tin
  • 3-4 Williams pears, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder


  • STEP 1

    Melt 25g of the butter in a frying pan then cook until browned and nutty. Add the pears and 1 tbsp of the sugar and cook for a few minutes, turning in the butter until caramelised and syrupy. Cool.

  • STEP 2

    Melt the remaining butter in a pan and keep cooking until it turns golden and smells nutty. Pour into a bowl and chill, stirring now and again, until solid but still soft enough to beat.

  • STEP 3

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Butter and base-line a 20cm round, deep springform cake tin. Scoop the pears from the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving behind any syrup. Arrange in a single layer on the base of the tin (any left-over pear can be eaten with the cake or with yogurt for breakfast).

  • STEP 4

    Beat together the cooled brown butter and the remaining sugar until fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, then mix in the flour and baking powder. Fold in gently until combined, then spoon the mixture on top of the pears. Level the surface and bake for 30-35 minutes or until springy to the touch.

  • STEP 5

    Cool in the tin for 5 minutes then turn out onto a serving plate. Gently reheat the reserved juices and brush or spoon over the cake. Serve warm with cream or ice cream.


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