The Best Easy Vegan Spiced Pear Cake

  • A luxe, moist, and irresistible vegan Christmas Cake inspired by Nigella Lawson’s vegan pear cake

A super light, deliciously fluffy, and luxuriously moist vegan Spiced Pear Cake. This is my version of Nigella Lawson’s Vegan Pear Cake. I’ve adjusted the recipe a bit, and added a crunchy golden Caramelized brown sugar glaze topping that’s soooo good I think I heard the angels sing the first time I tasted it. 

This easy vegan Christmas Pear Cake is like a mouthful of holiday spirit in every bite. With fragrant hints of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, vanilla, and cardamom it’s a cozy mouthwatering cake with a delicious texture. 

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Nigella Lawson Vegan Holiday Pear Cake

It’s no secret that one of my favorite pastimes is watching TV…especially home improvement shows and cooking shows. When I saw Nigella Lawson’s vegan pear cake I knew I had to try it. It looked easy to make (which it is) and I just so happened to have pears waiting to be used. The cake was so tasty and the way the coconut milk adds fatty acids that completely replace the need for butter is a stroke of baking genius. Of course, I had to make my own version of this cake and combine it with some of my favorite holiday baking hacks…like my crunchy Caramelized Brown Sugar and cinnamon, cake topped. What resulted is this AMAZING vegan pear cake.

It’s fabulously fluffy, delicate, just the right amount of sweet, full of holiday flavors and spices, and it’s so good it should probably come with a warning because it’s proven difficult to only have one slice of cake. Everyone wants seconds and thirds.

Note: I couldn’t find the link to the original Nigella Pear Cake recipe anywhere. Otherwise, I would have included a link so you could look at both recipes and try each of them out.

8 reasons why you need to make this easy pear cake recipe

  • It’s incredibly easy to make and even complete beginner bakers can make this delicious pear cake.
  • It’s fluffy, just the right amount of sweet, moist, and delicious and no one will ever guess it’s vegan.
  • Can be gluten-free – just use gluten-free flour when baking
  • Dairy-free, soy-free, and good for most allergies 
  • Great make-ahead cake – it stays moist for days in the refrigerator 
  • A crowd-pleaser cake that adults and kids all adore
  • Freezer friendly – this easy spiced Christmas pear cake is delicious and freezer friendly. Just give it a minute in the microwave to bring the defrosted cake back to life and it will be as deliciously rich as when it was freshly baked. 

Ingredients you need to make vegan spiced pear cake

  • plain flour, or gluten-free flour 
  • baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
  • salt – to bring out the flavor of the cake. Something magical happens when you add a pinch of salt to cakes. It intensifies the other spices and brings all the flavors of the cake together in the best way. 
  • Full-fat Coconut Milk, or almond milk – it’s important to use full-fat non-dairy milk because we’re using the non-dairy fatty acids to act as our butter and milk in this cake. Using full fat is what gives this easy pear cake its delicious moist texture.
  • vegetable oil – a flavor-neutral oil such as avocado oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil is a must-have ingredient to get the no-one-will-ever-guess-this-cake-is-vegan texture. Making a cake taste like regular cake is all about using the right types of ingredients to substitute butter, eggs, and milk. Olive oil and other very flavorful oil cannot be recommended in cakes as they will clearly taste through and make the cake taste more like bread than cake.
  • lemon, 1 tablespoons juice + zest from the lemon – the lemon makes the cake taste more fresh and gives the cake a wonderful almost middle eastern aroma. 
  • Spices and seasonings – we’re working with vanilla powder, allspice, ground ginger, ground cardamom, ground cinnamon, and ground nutmeg to create a fragrant holiday flavor that puts the spiced in spiced pear cake. 
  • 2 pears – the star of the show is the pears. You want ripe, juicy, and still firm pears for this recipe. One pear is diced and goes into the cake batter to infuse the pear cake with a fluffy, juicy pear flavor. The second pear is finely sliced and placed on top of the cake in a decorative pattern. 

The golden Crunchy Caramelized Brown Sugar Glaze

• brown sugar – when brown sugar melts in coconut oil it gently caramelizes and will create a golden crunchy crust topping that’s decadently sweet and spiced with cinnamon.

• ground cinnamon – the ground cinnamon is like Christmas and holiday all wrapped in a fragrant spice. Here the cinnamon works together with the brown sugar to create a decadent spiced pear cake topping.

• coconut oil – the coconut oil works as our butter stand-in to create a rich rounded taste to our topping.

How to make Vegan Spiced Pear Cake

  • Grease a cake tin and line it with baking parchment.
  • Preheat oven to 350F (180 Celsius).
  • In a mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, spices, and all the dry ingredients until combined. Add the finely chopped pears, then begin slowly mixing in the coconut milk and vegetable oil. Once a batter is formed, add lemon juice and lemon zest and combine. 
  • Pour and scrape the cake batter into the lined cake pan and place the thinly sliced pears decoratively on top. 
  • Bake the pear cake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the cake is golden brown on the outside and you can stick a pin in the cake without dough sticking to it.
  • Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and set it aside to cool.

How to make the crunchy sugar crust glaze for the spiced pear cake

When the cake is at room temperature, melt brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and coconut oil in a saucepan. Let the dark sugar glaze melt and just begin to caramelize while you stir. Once the brown sugar is melted and just starting to darken ever so slightly, pour the melted sugar glaze on top of the pear cake spreading it evenly over the cake in a thick layer. Leave to cool until the glaze has hardened to a light crunchy sugar crust.

Bringing it all together 

  • Finally, gently remove the cake from the cake tray and carefully set it on a plate.
  • Serve as is or with a dollop of non-dairy cream or ice cream.
  • Enjoy.

Making pear cake using canned pears 

This easy vegan pear cake recipe works equally well with fresh pears and canned pears. So if you’re looking for a great pear cake recipe with canned pears this is the recipe for you.

Frequently asked questions 

Can I use canned pears in pear cake?

Yes, you can easily use canned pears and make this a vegan canned pear cake recipe.

How long will pear cake keep?

You can store your well-covered pear cake for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. 

Can you freeze pear cake?

Yes. This spiced pear cake recipe is freezer friendly. Just wrap the cake in an airtight container once it’s cold and freeze it for later. It should keep for up to 3 months.

How to defrost cake?

Take the frozen cake out of the freezer and let it defrost in the refrigerator or on the counter. Once the cake is thawed out, remove the wrap or covering, place the cake on a microwave-safe plate and quickly reheat it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.

How do I check my cake is baked?

To check if a cake is baked, insert a wooden skewer in the middle of your cake. If the skewer comes out clean, the cake is baked. If it doesn’t come out clean, bake the cake for 5 more minutes and check again. Keep this up until the skewer comes out clean.

Can I bake this pear cake in a loaf tin?

Absolutely. You can bake this pear cake in any type of tin and even make it into pear cupcakes. The baking time may vary depending on the type of tin you use. If you’re making this cake into cupcakes I recommend baking them for 10-12 minutes and checking if they are baked as described above.

Looking for more easy vegan Holiday recipes? You might like some of these crowd pleaser recipes:

The best vegan Spiced Pear cake recipe

A super light, deliciously fluffy, and luxuriously moist vegan Spiced Pear Cake. This is my version of Nigella Lawson's Vegan Pear Cake. I’ve adjusted the recipe a bit, and added a crunchy golden Caramelized brown sugar glaze to the soooo good cake I think I heard the angels singing the first time I tasted it. 
This easy vegan Christmas Pear Cake is like a mouthful of holiday spirit in every bite. With fragrant hints of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, vanilla, and cardamom it’s a cozy mouthwatering cake with a delicious texture. 
Course Baking, Cake
Cuisine American
Keyword cake, vegan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 1 cake
Author Simone – Munchyesta.com

Equipment

  • 1 10-inch (27cm) Cake Pan (or thereabout) 2 bread loaf baking pans will also work

Ingredients

  • cups (225g) Plain Flour or gluten-free flour
  • ¾ cups (150g) Caster Sugar or coconut sugar for a healthier option
  • tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • cups (275g, 285ml) Full Fat Coconut Milk or full fat almond milk
  • ¾ cups (150g, 163ml) Vegetable Oil flavor neutral, can be avocado oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil 
  • 1 tbsp juice + zest from a lemon 
  • tsp Vanilla Powder
  • ¼ tsp Allspice
  • 1 tsp Ginger Powder
  • ¼ tsp Cardamom Powder
  • 4 tsp Cinnamon Powder
  • ¼ tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 Pears 1 finely diced for cake, 1 finely sliced for topping 

Glaze

  • 1 cup (200g) Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Cinnamon Powder
  • 4 tbsp Vegetable Oil I prefer coconut oil or avocado oil

Instructions

Making the cake

  • Grease a cake tin and line it with baking parchment.
    Preheat oven to 350F (180 Celsius).
  • In a mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, spices, and all the dry ingredients until combined. Add the finely chopped pears, then begin slowly mixing in the coconut milk and vegetable oil. Once a batter is formed, add lemon juice and lemon zest and combine. 
  • Pour and scrape the cake batter into the lined cake pan and place the thinly sliced pears decoratively on top. 
  • Bake the pear cake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until the cake is golden brown on the outside and you can stick a pin in the cake without the dough sticking to it.
    Once the cake is baked, remove it from the oven and set it aside to cool.
  • When the cake is at room temperature, melt brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and coconut oil in a saucepan. Let the dark sugar glaze melt and just begin to caramelize while you stir. Once the brown sugar is melted and just starting to darken ever so slightly, pour the melted sugar glaze on top of the pear cake spreading it evenly over the cake in a thick layer. Leave to cool until the glaze has hardened to a light crunchy sugar crust.
    Finally, gently remove the cake from the cake tray and carefully set it on a plate.
    Serve as is or with a dollop of non-dairy cream or ice cream.
    Enjoy.

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