Apple-Cider Pear Spelt Cake
Ever wish you could help yourself to a slice of cake that doesn’t make you feel like you’ve used up your dessert quota for the week? Same. That’s where this apple-cider pear spelt cake comes in. Made with spelt—an ancient, nutrient-packed type of wheat—it gains natural sweetness from the fruit, plus a tad of brown sugar.
“Apple cider–poached pears are packed tightly into the pan and then surrounded by cake batter,” explains recipe developer Erin McDowell. “The batter is made using spelt flour, which gives it a beautiful color and a lightly nutty flavor.”
The finished loaf looks simple on the outside but reveals luxurious slices of whole pears when cut.
2 cups apple cider
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
4 small (600g) pears, peeled
Brown Sugar Spelt Cake
½ cup (99g) melted coconut oil
¾ cup (160g) light brown sugar
1 large (56g) egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (224g) buttermilk
1 cup (99g) spelt flour
¾ cup (90g) all-purpose flour, plus 3 tablespoons
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
1. Make the Poached Pears: In a medium pot, bring the cider, cinnamon, cardamom and 1 cup water to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Add the pears and cook, stirring to rotate the pears occasionally, until they just begin to soften, 20 to 22 minutes. Remove the fruit from the liquid and let dry on absorbent paper towels. Cool completely.
2. Make the Brown Sugar Spelt Cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut oil and brown sugar. Add the egg, vanilla and buttermilk, and mix until well incorporated.
4. Add the spelt flour, ¾ cup all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cardamom, and mix to combine.
5. Toss the pears with the remaining 3 tablespoons flour to fully coat.
6. Pour about a quarter of the batter into the prepared pan and then tightly pack the pears into the pan on top of the batter. Pour the remaining batter over the pears and give the pan a few heavy taps to remove any air pockets.
7. Bake the cake until a skewer inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely before serving.