Cameron's Perfect Pear Cake

In The Kitchen

Cameron's Perfect Pear Cake

This is the perfect simple-yet-showstopping dessert to serve during the holidays. Lambrusco and persimmons come together to enhance the flavor of the pears (and hydrate the batter) for an tender cake that's naturally sweet without being cloying. Serve a slice after dinner with a glass of Cameron's delicious Lambrusco cocktail we've included below, or have it the next morning for dessert with your coffee.




Preheat oven to 350˚ and position rack in the middle of the oven. Butter a 10" cake pan and line bottom with a parchment paper round and flour sides of pan.

For your syrup & poached fruit, begin by heating a large saute pan over medium heat. Gently toast your 4 whole allspice, 2 star anise & 3 cinnamon sticks until fragrant. Turn up the heat to medium high and add your ⅓ cup honey. Stir your honey while the spices infuse and the honey caramelizes for 2 minutes. Next whisk in your ½ cup pomegranate syrup, 6 oz orange juice, 4 oz lambrusco, ½ vanilla bean, 3 orange zest strips, ¼ tsp kosher salt and 2 crystallized ginger pieces. Simmer for 5 minutes and let it slightly reduce. Add your pears face down and your persimmons. If the liquid doesn't cover the fruit that is ok, just ladle the syrup over the fruit. After 3 minutes remove your persimmons and flip your pears and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Let the persimmons cool slightly. Then gently layer the persimmons along the outside of the prepared pan, creating a fanning design. Place your poached pears in the fridge and save for decorating and serving.

Continue cooking the syrup for another 5 minutes or until reduced and slightly thickened. Once that is achieved remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes. Whisk in 1 Tbsp olive oil. Ladle 3 - 4 Tbsp of syrup over the poached persimmons in your prepared pan. Place your pan in the freezer while you prepare the batter. Ideally you do not want the pan to fully freeze, just to cool and set. Put the remaining syrup in the fridge to cool, this will be used for your Lambrusco cocktail.

For your batter, begin by pulsing 1 cup hazelnuts and remaining 1 ½ cups flour in the food processor until hazelnuts are finely ground. Pulse in 1 ½ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp cardamom.

Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat 4 eggs, 1 tsp orange zest, 1 tsp vanilla paste and 1 ½ cups coconut sugar in a medium bowl until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add your ¼ cup chopped crystallized ginger. Fold in the dry ingredients until fully incorporated; be gentle when incorporating dry ingredients and try not to over mix. Then gradually mix in 1 cup olive oil. Pour batter over persimmons and smooth top.

Set the pan over a baking sheet and bake the cake until the top is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 50–60 minutes. If the top of the cake begins to take on too much color, loosely cover with foil. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 15–20 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen and invert onto a rack. Remove parchment and let the cake cool completely.

When ready to serve, slice the poached pears and decorate them around the center of the cake. Drizzle 2 - 3 Tbsp of your reserved syrup over the cake. Slice & serve with a dollop of something creamy, i.e. labneh, whipped cream or anything in between!

For your cocktail, fill a red wine glass with a few ice cubes. Add two orange slices and 2 tsp prepared syrup. Stir in 5 oz Avaline Lambrusco. Serve & Enjoy! Happy Holidays!


Cameron's Pear Cake & Lambrusco Cocktail

Yields 8-12 slices & 4-6 cocktails


  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter 
  • 1 ½ cup AP flour + extra for the pan
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 4 whole allspice
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ½ cup Just Date pomegranate syrup
  • 6 oz orange juice
  • 4 oz Avaline lambrusco (the remaining wine will be for the cocktail)
  • ½ vanilla bean, sliced open & scraped out
  • 3 strips of orange zest, pith removed
  • ¼ cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped + 2 large pieces
  • 3 fuyu persimmons, hard with a dark orange color - peeled, sliced into ¼ inch half moons
  • 2 red pears, ripe but not too soft, peeled, halved & cored
  • ½ tsp + ¼ tsp kosher salt 
  • 1 cup + 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup hazelnuts, toasted & skins removed
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda 
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • 4 large large eggs
  • 1 ½ cup coconut sugar 
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste 
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • Labneh or whipped cream, optional
  • Sliced oranges, ¼ in half moons, optional

"Lambrusco and persimmons help create the perfect pear cake." - Cameron

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