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Chocolate pear cake

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Chocolate pear cake

I made this chocolate pear cake quite a while ago and really liked it, even though never before have I combined chocolate cake batter and pears. As I luckily discovered, pears and chocolate cake work really well together in this easy-to-prepare, everyday cake. Especially if you have a couple of very ripe pears that you don’t know what to do with.

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The original recipe called for caramelizing the pears and placing them on the bottom of the baking pan for an upside-down cake effect, but I didn’t want to caramelize the pears I had because they were too soft and overly ripe already. Instead, I just placed chopped pears on top of the cake batter, expecting the cake batter to rise evenly around the pears. The cake did rise around the pears, but in very select places as you can see for yourself on the photos. Still, the cake looked reasonably pretty, especially when dusted with confectionery sugar, and, what’s more important, tasted really good!

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This recipe is good on many levels: it’s easy-to-make, it’s delicious, the chocolate cake texture is just right, and this dessert has fruit in it which is what I love. It’s one of those recipes I will definitely try again. Maybe next time, I’ll fold the pears directly into the batter (instead of putting them on top) or will use different fruit or berries.

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Chocolate pear cake, pear cake recipe, pear chocolate cake, easy chocolate cake recipe

Chocolate pear cake

Chocolate pear cake

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Chocolate pear cake


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and chopped into large chunks


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt - mix to combine.
  3. Melt the butter and dark chocolate in a small bowl, using a microwave, or on a stove top in a small pan over low heat. Stir well.
  4. Transfer melted chocolate mixture to a large mixing bowl, add granulated sugar, and, using electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed for a couple of minutes until the mixture is light in color. Add eggs and vanilla and continue beating to combine. Add flour mixture and milk, alternating between the two in two additions, into the chocolate mixture.
  5. Grease a 9×9 inch square pan or 9 inch round springform pan. If using a springform pan, line the bottom of the springform pan with a round piece of parchment paper.
  6. Pour the cake batter into the baking pan and place chopped pears on top of the cake batter. Alternatively, you can fold in chopped pears into the cake batter before adding the cake batter into the baking pan.
  7. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out reasonably clean and the cake bounces when touched.
  8. Cool on a wire rack for 15-30 minutes. If using springform pan, release the cake when completely cooled.
  9. Dust with powdered sugar before serving: it will make this tasty cake look really pretty!


Adapted from Epicurious




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{ 23 comments… add one }
  • [email protected] February 6, 2014, 3:50 am

    Yes, yes, yes! My type of a cake. Great idea to put the pears in the batter…and they go so well with chocolate! Just beautiful! 🙂 ela

  • Krista February 6, 2014, 4:54 am

    I just happen to have an entire box of very ripe pears that need using up. 🙂 My Bear will love this cake. 🙂

  • [email protected]'s Recipes February 6, 2014, 4:57 am

    A glorious coffee cake, Julia. So moist and loaded with chocolate…totally right up my alley.

  • Shashi @ RunninSrilankan February 6, 2014, 5:20 am

    Brilliant combination of pears and chocolate, Julia! Love the chunks showing through – am sitting here with my cup of coffee drooling!

  • Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking February 6, 2014, 9:23 am

    Mmmm this cake looks gooey and chocolatey! I want a piece right now! But I have no pears…only 15 bananas (what was I thinking?!). I love the pearing of chocolate and pear (see what I did there? I know, I almost can’t stand it either. so annoying)!

  • Ashley February 6, 2014, 1:56 pm

    I’ve never combined chocolate with pears before but this cake looks delicious! I have a few pears hanging around right now actually – I may need to bake a cake! : )

  • Deb February 6, 2014, 3:38 pm

    The lush pears peeking out between the tempting chocolate cake is so inviting! A perfect cake to share with an afternoon coffee.

  • Ari @ Ari's Menu February 6, 2014, 4:12 pm

    This looks awesome! Love the heavy dusting of powdered sugar on top! 🙂

  • Matt @ Runner Savvy February 6, 2014, 7:56 pm

    Looks delicious!

  • laurasmess February 7, 2014, 12:38 am

    Chocolate and pear is a combination that I’ve only recently discovered… mostly via an amazing chocolate pear that a local bakery sells near my house. Incredibly delicious!! Love the look of this cake Julia. I can imagine myself making this often as I always seem to forget the pears in the fruit bowl until they’re past their best!! Thanks xx

  • Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef February 8, 2014, 11:24 am

    i love pears! this sounds like a fantastic cake, julia! can’t wait to try it.

  • [email protected] Riffs February 9, 2014, 1:01 pm

    This is such an interesting cake! I’ve had pears in cake before, but never a chocolate one. Gotta try this! It looks wonderful — thanks.

  • Chris @ The Café Sucré Farine February 10, 2014, 6:05 pm

    Julia, this looks so pretty. I’ve never had chocolate and pears but I think that’s about to change! Lovely photos!

  • Daniela February 10, 2014, 7:37 pm

    Chocolate and pears are a perfect match.
    The cake looks so moist and tempting , I wouldn’t mind to try a piece right now 🙂

  • Jessica @ Jessiker Bakes February 11, 2014, 3:25 pm

    This combination sounds delicious! I haven’t had pear in ages but I think I’d like this cake!

  • Nami | Just One Cookbook February 12, 2014, 2:17 am

    I really think pears are great in baked goods. Unfortunately my family are not big fan of pears so I rarely buy them (except for those round Asian pears sometimes). So it’s really nice to see a recipe that uses pears in baked goods. Chocolate and pears sound amazing! I’d really love to try this one day.

  • [email protected] February 12, 2014, 8:53 am

    The combination of chocolate and pears sounds really good Julia! The cake looks perfectly moist.

  • Stacy | Wicked Good Kitchen February 19, 2014, 7:08 pm

    Love how moist and gooey this cake is, Julia! I’m such a sucker for chocolate cake and crave it often. Love that you added pears. So creative! Thank you for sharing. Already pinned from you, but will definitely pin some more! 🙂

  • Crystal May 3, 2016, 5:15 pm

    Hi, I wondering if I can omit the 4 oz of dark chopped chocolate and substitute another item? Thank you

  • Maria November 3, 2016, 10:27 pm

    Cake turned out exactly like your photos! The pear flavor is muted but no complaints from everyone as cake is really moist and chocolatey. A must try!

    • Julia December 20, 2016, 5:54 pm

      Maria, so glad you liked the recipe!

  • Krystyna May 9, 2017, 12:56 am

    Fabulous fail proof recipe. Have made this multiple times, and this morning I made it for my brother for a post birthday morning tea. Not overly sweet and the pears look great when you receive your slice. Our neighbours have been sharing their pear crop, so they have been put to many uses. This one was the best!!!!

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