Pear Cake with Honey, Walnuts and Blue Cheese

by Irvin on March 17, 2014 · 15 comments

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If you’re looking for a sophisticated dinner party dessert, check out this gorgeous upside-down pear cake made with honey, walnuts and optional blue cheese!

Pear Cake by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

The winter months can be a bit hard for someone who loves fruit as much as I do. With spring just around the corner and early strawberries starting to appear at the market I get excited about what the warmer weather is going to produce. But winter isn’t a complete fruit wasteland, with it’s plentiful bounty of citrus, apples and pears. In fact, lately I feel like I’ve rediscovered the pear, a fruit that I think tends to be overlooked both in pastries and just eating out of hand. It was this in mind that I decided to make a pear cake with honey, walnuts and blue cheese.(Jump directly to the recipe.)

Pear Cake Recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

The pear is a persnickety (pearsnickety? Have I made that joke before? Probably. I’m rather predictable that way.) fruit. Picked off the tree before it is ripe, you have to let it sit on the counter a few days to ripen up and soften before you use it. Let it sit too long and it goes bad. Not long enough, you have a rock hard fruit that’s fairly tasteless. But if you find that sweet spot, which isn’t hard (a simple push with your thumb near the top stem will show if it’s ready – if it gives a little you have a properly ripened pear) to do, you have a wonderful fruit ready for eating or cooking with.

Pear Cake. Recipe and Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

I’m partial to baking and cooking with the Bosc pears, which tend to hold their shape when you bake them. Their long narrow neck look rather elegant, as if they were a fair complexioned upstairs woman in Downton Abbey or some other PBS/BBC show that I don’t really watch (I may be gay but I’m not that much of a cliché*). Because Bosc pears tend to be firm and crisp even when ripe, slicing them is easy and their flavor is a little more sturdy enough to add a little bit of spice like nutmeg and cardamom or a nut like walnuts without overwhelming the fruit. The best part of the cake, it’s every bit as sophisticated as serving a cheese platter with a drizzle of honey, walnuts and slices of pear but it’s all rolled up into a single cake form. Because, you know, cake makes everything better.

Pear cake recipe. Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

(*I lie. I’ve actually watched the first season of Downton Abbey. I quite enjoyed it but AJ thought it was rather dull (he’s more of a secret agent spy genre type of guy) so we haven’t watched the subsequent seasons. Don’t worry though I’m still plenty gay. I’m listening to Kylie Minogue’s latest single in anticipation of her new album as I write this.)

Special thanks to Kerrygold for sending me samples of their Cashel Blue Farmhouse Cheese to enjoy and to Running Press for sending me a review copy of Wintersweet by Donroe Inman. Even though I got complimentary samples of the cheese and the cookbook I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.

Pear cake recipe with honey, walnuts and blue cheese. Recipe and Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love.

If you like this pear cake, check out some of my other pear desserts:
Apple Pear Cobbler
Red Wine Poached Pear, Ginger and Golden Raisin Rustic Tart
Pear Bourbon Clafoutis
Southern Comfort Pear Almond Frangipane Pie
Gingerbread Toaster Pastries with Bourbon Pear Filling

And check out these other pear desserts from around the web:
Gimme Some Oven’s Pear Butter
Simply Recipe’s Pear Tarte Tatin
An Edible Mosaic’s Vanilla Cardamom Pear Hand Pies
The Year in Food’s Pear + Cacao Nib Buckwheat Muffins
Foodie Crush’s Sweet Pear and Rosemary Harvarti Grilled Cheese

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Belinda @zomppa March 17, 2014 at 12:59 pm

It snowed. Again. AGAIN! I wish after I shoveled out my car (AGAIN), this was waiting for me in the kitchen. It wasn’t. Now I’m sad.


Janis March 17, 2014 at 5:54 pm

I’m curious, what flours would you use to make this gluten free? I have some friends coming over and I think this is perfect but I’d actually like to eat some as well!


claudia March 18, 2014 at 12:39 pm

Janis~I would work with a gluten free cake recipe, your favorite, or maybe one with almond flour from, and flavor it with cardamom, nutmeg and vanilla. And I’d stick with Irvin’s recommendation of the Bosc pears. As almond flour cakes can be super moist, a really soft juicy pear could result in a cake that’s too gooey.


Irvin March 18, 2014 at 7:11 pm

I agree with Claudia, I think almond flour would work great with this cake. I might add some brown rice flour, but only if it were ultrafine. The one issues I have with most brown rice flour is it tends to be a little gritty.

Other flours I might play around with would be buckwheat (the minerally bitterness I can see working well with the honey and the pears), gluten free oat flour if you can tolerate oats, or maybe sorghum flour.

Hope this helps! If you do make a gluten free version of it, let me know what flours you use and how it turns out!


claudia March 18, 2014 at 5:01 am

OMG, Irvin…you did it again! Blowing my mind with the flavours…. I love it!


Alice March 18, 2014 at 7:11 am

Pear & blue cheese are heavenly enough. Putting them together in this luscious cake form is even better. Looks amazing.


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Shikha @ Shikha la mode March 19, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Woah, this is a funky cake – sweet or savory? I don’t know! It also reminds of me a pear-blue cheese pizza at California Pizza Kitchen, which is a compliment because I freakin’ LOVED that pizza and it makes me love this cake that much more.


[email protected] is How I Cook March 19, 2014 at 9:03 pm

I am just starting to enjoy blue cheese, as long as it is mild. Now pears are another matter. And pears and walnuts and blue cheese throw me out of control. Plus honey? The next dinner party I have, well this is dessert! Thanks Irvin!


Patricia Shea March 20, 2014 at 8:53 am

What a wondrous recipe – LOVE the idea of the blue cheese actually on top of the cake – and a luscious sounding combination of flavours! I think I’ll use Stilton on mine when I make it soon – thanks!!


Miss Kim @ behgopa March 20, 2014 at 1:07 pm

Looks beautiful! I love pear…I also love strawberries (just a little bit more than pears) and can’t wait to see what strawberry recipes you will be sharing soon.

I have yet to see an episode of Downtown Abbey. Everyone talks about it though. I am curious to watch. I wonder what the show is even about…gona have to look it up!


Jennie @themessybakerblog March 31, 2014 at 5:17 am

Mmmm, I love pears. They’re one of my favorite winter fruits. This cake looks amazing.


Carpet cleaning N1 April 1, 2014 at 3:51 am

Love pear cakes! I’ve searched for recipe like my mother’s but with no luck. So I stumbled upon yours, definitely will try it!
Have a sunny day!


Karin April 8, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Hi Irvin,
your Pear Cake looks so good, i will back at when i have more time,

thank you for sharing your recipe! 🙂


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