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pear spice cake with brown butter swiss meringue buttercream | milk & cardamom
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Servings: 9


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Step 1

Add diced pears, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt into a small bowl and mix well. Set aside

Step 2

Preheat oven to 350°F and line and grease two 6-inch cake pans. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom. Set aside In the large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together for 7 minutes on high speed, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Add egg and egg yolk (or apple sauce and sour cream) and mix for 1 minute. Add vanilla and mix for another minute. Scrape down the bowl and add the milk and dry ingredients in three alternating additions, mixing in between each addition. Split the batter evenly amongst the two prepared pans (~13 oz of batter per cake pan) and use a spatial to spread the batter into an even layer. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to get rid of air bubbles and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 1 hour and then turn the cakes out and cool completely on a rack.

Step 3

Add 5 tbsp (71 g) of butter to a small saucepan over medium heat. Melt and stir the butter until you see little specks of brown caramelized milk fat in the pan and then immediately pour the browned butter into a bowl and place it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes or until cooled. Add egg whites (or aquafaba), sugar, cream of tartar, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. If using aquafaba, skip step 2. If using egg white, set up a double boiler and place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Stir for 5 minutes or until the mixture hits 160°F. Then remove from the heat. Attach the bowl to the mixer and whisk for 12 minutes. Add the browned butter and the rest of the butter (125 g) a tablespoon at a time, mixing well in between each addition. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Scrape down the bowl and whisk well. If it's soupy or loose- pop the bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes and then continue whisking. It should be creamy, smooth, and light. Spoon half the buttercream into a piping bag or sandwich bag and set aside.

Step 4

Once the cakes are completely cool, use a serrated knife to level the cakes. Spread a thin layer of buttercream onto one cake using a spatula. Pipe a ring along the edge of the cake and fill the center with the macerated pears, making sure not to get too much of the liquid at the bottom of the bowl into the cake. Gently dollop 1/4 cup or buttercream on top of the pears and slowly spread it out into an even layer. Top with the second cake layer and press down gently. Pipe the buttercream to fill in any gaps between the cakes and spread a thin layer of buttercream all over the cake using a spatula. Refrigerate the cake for 10 minutes and then decorate with the leftover buttercream. Dust with cinnamon, top with sprinkles, whatever your heart desires!

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