Pear, Chocolate & Cardamom Cake

Pear Chocolate and Cardamom Cake recipe | #glutenfree

Pears and chocolate. It’s a classic combination that I didn’t think could get any better, but add a touch of cardamom and it’s transported to a whole new level in this beautiful gluten free Pear, Chocolate and Cardamom Cake.

I love the unexpected surprise that the cardamom gives this cake. On the surface it looks like a simple chocolate and pear cake, however it’s the cardamom that really makes this cake, and makes it a really special cake with it’s beautiful, yet subtle flavour and heady scent.

This recipe comes from the beautiful The Ethicurean Cookbook: Recipes, Foods and Spirituous Liquors, from our Bounteous Walled Garden in the Several Seasons of the year and was the first of many recipes I earmarked to try. Not least because I had all the ingredients on hand, because admittedly, although this book is beautiful and inspiring, quite a number of the recipes use hard to find ingredients. I’m not deterred though, and am still trying to find somewhere that stocks dried elderflowers that ships to Australia – if you know of anywhere I can get them I’d love to hear from you!

I did make quite a few changes to this recipe though. Firstly I replaced the caster sugar with brown sugar as I wanted a richer, more caramel-like flavour, which goes so well with pears. Next, the original recipe only called for one pear, but I doubled this because I honestly didn’t think it was enough pear for the size of the cake. I’m glad I did because I do think it needed it. I also increased the amount of chocolate in the original recipe, because honestly, there’s no such thing as too much chocolate. Finally, in the middle of the cake I added a layer of pear slices and chocolate, as the original recipe called for the pear and chocolate to be added on top.

This is a truly beautiful cake that you need to make. At least once!

Pear Chocolate and Cardamom Cake recipe | #glutenfree

Pear Chocolate and Cardamom Cake recipe | #glutenfree

5.0 from 5 reviews
Pear, Chocolate & Cardamom Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12
  • 315g (11 oz) salted butter, at room temperature
  • 315g (1½ cups) brown sugar
  • 5 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 315g (11 oz) ground almonds
  • 50g (1/2 cup) gluten free flour or plain flour
  • 1 tbsp ground cardamom
  • 2 ripe pears, peeled and sliced (or chopped if you prefer)
  • 100g (3½ oz) dark chocolate (70% cocoa), roughly chopped
  • caster sugar for dusting
  1. Preheat the oven to 160 celsius (320 Fahrenheit) and line the base and sides of a 23cm springform cake tin with baking paper.
  2. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until pale and creamy. Switch the mixer to low and gradually add the beaten eggs followed by the ground almonds, flour and cardamom. Mix until combined.
  3. Place half the cake mixture into the prepared tin and cover with half the pear and chopped chocolate. Cover with the remaining cake mixture and place in the oven for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the cake and push the remaining pieces of chocolate into the top of the cake and top with the remaining pear in whatever pattern you prefer. Sprinkle the pear with caster sugar and return to the oven to bake for a further 40 minutes, or until the cake is cooked and the centre of the cake springs back when lightly touched. Remove the cake from the tin and cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. Serve at room temperature or slightly warm with a dollop of cream.


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24 Comments on "Pear, Chocolate & Cardamom Cake"

January 6, 2015

I just served this recipe at a dinner party tonight and it was a delicious.. I ground roasted almonds that were lightly salted, so I used unsalted butter and was very pleased with the seasoning. I cubed the pear for the first layer and then for the top, I did a fan of pears around the edges, then created a rosebud out of smaller very thin pear slices for the middle. To add to its decadence I drizzled some hot caramel sauce over it when served. I did have to cook it 10 minutes longer to have it the correct firmness. It cut perfectly. The cardamon flavoring was a big hit. I toasted the cardamon seeds once I opened the pods to release their flavor and to make pulverized them in a mortar and pestle easier. I then sieved them to remove any unwanted chunks. I used regular King Arthur unbleached flour. Thanks so much.

August 20, 2014

I’ve just made this cake. I sub’ed 1:1 butter for coconut oil, don’t! the oil dripped out of the bottom of the cake tin! I also changed the sugar to half coconut sugar and half molasses sugar – has a rich caramel taste. Tastes delish, but I would halve the amount of oil I use next time. The cardamom & pear combo is great.

October 30, 2013

I discovered cardamom a few years ago and I have to say, it is such a beautiful spice. And juicy pears in a cake? Sounds like a winner to me!

October 23, 2013

Delicious ! I’m definitely making this
but I have a small question, is it necessary to use salted butter ? can I use unsalted ? Thank you !

September 7, 2013

I made this cake the other night, went to put it in my oven to find my element had blown. We cooked it in the BBQ, OMG it was superb.
I had to make a few changes as I didnt have enough ground almond, I had some hazelnuts & pecans, mixed them all together and ground them. I was still 100gms short which I ended up replacing with flour. The cake was so moist, forget the calories – it was worth every one

September 7, 2013

Beautiful cake! I love all the spices and ground almonds in baked goods :)

September 3, 2013

Such an interesting combination of flavors! It sounds delicious and looks awesome too!

September 2, 2013

You’re right, this sounds like a wonderful flavour combination! Looks delicious

I’ve never been a big cake fan but add fruit and I can’t get enough of it. I’d love to make this cake!

August 30, 2013

What a gorgeous cake! I love pear and chocolate and am intrigued about the cardamom. I’m definitely going to have to make this.

August 30, 2013

I was just baking with pears this morning! Love caradmom with pears and the chocolate sounds divine too!

August 30, 2013

Looks delecious . Perferct combination of flavours my favourite. This is as sort of cake I really want to try!

August 30, 2013

I love the flavours in this cake – pear and chocolate is a total winner but the unexpected delight of the cardamom sounds like a real treat!

August 29, 2013

This is the sort of cake that I crave the most. It looks fantastic and sounds like your baking skills are tried and tested . Always better with more fruit I think too

Your right. What a divine combination. :)

What a beautiful cake and a nice update on a classic combination of pears and chocolate.

August 29, 2013

Wow could this cake get any better?! Ive been obsessed with cardamon after I discovered how well it went with stewed apple. Gorgeous flavours and a classic combination of chocolate and pear which would leave any palette happy :)

August 29, 2013

A wonderful cake! What heavenly flavors.



August 29, 2013

Love the look and sound of this cake Jennifer! Beautiful photos too xx