Almond Pear Cake – Gluten Free

Almond Pear Cake

Almond Pear Cake

My favorite time of the year is the end of September when summertime evaporates into a fond memory and leaves turn golden and the air turns crisp.  Oh wait, that was my former life growing up on the east coast.  As Jimmy Kimmel said in his monologue last night referring to the autumn in Los Angeles; that it was a “bone-chilling 95 degrees today”. He went on to say, “that we have one season…and it’s the good one!”  I’ll be honest with you, since moving to the west coast I definitely do not miss the other three seasons, but I do have a major hankering for the fall. After residing here for three decades I still bring out the heavy sweaters and boots this time of year, and yeah, I’m sweating profusely in my effort to embrace the season.

It’s time to say good bye to the summertime fruity favorites; strawberries, blueberries, peaches and plums and hello to cranberries, apples, pumpkins and pears. I do love the latter as they harken the start of the holiday season, and all the celebratory family meals ahead of me.

My personal favorite fall fruit is pears. In this gluten-free cake, they are paired with almond meal, sliced almonds and fresh pear puree which results in an overly moist and flavorful cake. I think this Almond Pear Cake will become one of your go-to desserts for the upcoming season.

Almond Pear Cake

Almond Pear Cake

Almond Pear Cake – Gluten Free

From USA Pears

Equipment needed:  10″ spring form pan, large food processor or electric mixer

  • 4 pears, any kind, 3 for batter 1 for topping
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar plus additional 3 teaspoons
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3 1/4 cups ground almond meal
  • 8 large eggs, room temp
  • 1 teaspoon, plus additional 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon neutral tasting oil (like canola or grape seed)
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and place the rack in the center position. Spray a 10″ spring form pan with cooking spray. PAM original cooking spray is gluten free, however PAM Spray for Baking is not.  Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit on the bottom of the spring form pan.
  2. For my cake, I used  Bartlett, Anjou and Bosc pears, but any firm ripe pear will work.  Peel and core the three pears and then roughly chop them. Place the chopped pears into a small saucepan and add the lemon juice and 3 teaspoons of sugar. Cook the pears over medium heat in the covered pan for 10 minutes. Let cool. When cooled, mash the pears with a fork into a coarse puree.
  3. Place the almond meal and 1 3/4 cups sugar in the bowl of a large food processor, and give it 5-6 long pulses. (This makes a large quantity of batter, so you’ll need a large food processor, not the mini kind). Add the eggs one at a time, along with 1 teaspoon of vanilla and the pear puree. Pulse until all ingredients are incorporated. Alternately, if you don’t have a food processor, you can use an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Pour the batter into the spring form pan.
  4. Next, peel and core the fourth pear and slice it into 1/4″ slices. In a medium skillet, heat the oil and the honey stirring until the mixture begins to bubble. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla. Add the pear slices and toss gently to coat.
  5. Sprinkle the almonds over the top of the cake, and add the pear slices in a pinwheel shape. Spoon the remaining sauce in the pan over the top of the cake. Bake for 55-65 minutes until the cake begins to brown and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. As my cake was starting to brown too much, I placed some foil over the top for the last 10 minutes of baking. Keep in mind that all ovens are different so the baking time is an estimate.
  6. Let the cake cool in the pan for 30 minutes and then you can remove the sides. Transfer to a serving platter.
Almond Pear Cake

Almond Pear Cake

Mama’s Tips:

An easy way to cleanly remove the core of the pear is to use a melon baller to scoop out the center.

For this Almond Pear Cake you can use any variety or combination of pears you like. In the past, I have used Anjou, Bartlett, Bosc and Comice pears. Just make sure they are ripe yet firm.

Almond Pear Cake

Almond Pear Cake

Pears, Pears…

Almond Pear Cake

Almond Pear Cake

…and more Pears.


Recipe: Intermediate


84 Comments on “Almond Pear Cake – Gluten Free”

  1. Realmente buenisimo !!!!!!!!! Con tu permiso comparto tu receta en facebook , me encanta !!
    Un saludo, es un placer visitar siempre tu blog 🙂 !!!

  2. Mama, you’ve outdone yourself this time, because this is a cake I can actually eat! And it looks just as amazing as all of your other treats. Can’t wait to have a reason to make it. It’s going in the Evernote “To Make” notebook asap!

  3. leovlad says:

    So yummy. I didn’t know Pam was gluten-free, great to know. thanks!

  4. fishing4joy says:

    Mmmm…looks heavenly! Our pear tree didn’t bear any fruit this year ): – we had 14 dozen pears off the little tree last August! So…nice to know we can use ANY pears for this recipe, and I will give it a go! Thanks too for the ‘peary lovely’ photos (;

  5. Seriously… I think this recipe will be attempted in my house! Thanks for sharing it, and wonderful photos by the way!

  6. thewriterscafe247 says:

    This cake looks delicious!! Thanks for the ideas! Some of my family is allergic to gluten so this will be great for the Holidays!

  7. Tamara says:

    boy does this look good…we love pears, so I’ll be sure to try this recipe. thank you so much for sharing…

  8. Carine says:

    It looks gorgeously good! Oh my! Why am I on a diet right now? :-/
    I’m keeping your recipe 🙂

  9. df says:

    This looks so delicious and satisfying Sheryl. I was so thrilled to find another GF recipe here today, particularly one that does not compromise on flavour and makes the most of gorgeous almond flour. I want to make this immediately! I’ll have to get some pears tomorrow…Love the pear photos.

  10. I love how moist and decadent this looks. Almonds and pears go together so well that I can only imagine this is pretty darn perfect. Excited to try it.

  11. You should come up north in the fall for that true autumn feeling. Seattle and where I am, just across the border in Vancouver, are beautiful cities this time of year! You won’t need to sweat in your thick sweaters in LA. As for this cake, it looks divine and would be the star of any holiday dessert table. I love baking with almond flour and pears are one of my favourite fall fruits. You outdo yourself all the time, Mama!

    • Nancy, thank you for your always kind comments. I have never been to Vancouver, but my husband the world traveler says it’s an amazing city, with great restaurants! I am an east coast girl who desperately misses her sweaters! I hope to make it up there some day soon.

      • If you ever come up north, I’ll take you to all the places I love to eat (and it’s a loooooong list!). Plus it’s sweater weather 80% of the year. You’ll love it here!

    • I’m going to take you up on that! Oddly, Los Angeles isn’t that great of a restaurant town, but I hear that Vancouver is awesome! Restaurants, plus I can wear a sweater, what more could a girl ask for!

      • cloverleaf says:

        Whoa….I am quite surprised to read your comment about LA! There are so many fantastic restaurants, cafés, diners, and mom-and-pop places of all ethnicities all over this HUGE town. 🙂

  12. chrismears says:

    I’m looking forward to trying this recipe out this week. Sounds interesting and looks terrific.


  13. cloverleaf says:

    Pears and almonds: yummy combo! I have some almond flour — will get some pears tomorrow and give this a try.

  14. PriyaBaby says:

    Beautiful! simply beautifull!!

  15. Rosa M Lillo says:

    Adorable! Almonds and pears the perfect couple ❤

  16. Gorgeous! I love the combination of pear and almonds. Delighted to have another dairy free cake to try too.

  17. taplatt says:

    This looks so moist and delicious. Yum!

  18. Alison Ross says:

    You’re psychic, how did you know?! I’m gluten free, about to get some Harry & David pears, and I love almonds. This looks delicious, thank you for the recipe and I can’t wait to try it. 🙂

  19. Liz says:

    two of my favorite flavors!

  20. Jeff Parker says:

    I just had some AMAZING Red Bartlett pears from WF this weekend… so delicious! I’m going to the store now to make this cake!

  21. Marios says:

    Oh my, this sounds sooooo good. I love anything with almond meal, but adding pears to it makes it even better. I’m making it this weekend.

  22. All I can say is “WOW”, not that’s some fabulous looking (and sounding) cake! And even better that’s its gluten-free! It’s on my list to make. Love, love, love the photos!

  23. huntfortheverybest says:

    this sounds delish! I want to try baking with almond meal and this is a great recipe!

  24. Ninaclock145 says:

    I have a fresh batch of almond flour and some ladies coming over to knit next week so I’m going to serve this. One question, no baking powder or soda? Thanks for the recipe. Nina

  25. USA Pears says:

    Gorgeous re-creation! Thanks for the link love—and the lovely pear photos!

    – your friends at USA Pears

  26. Carol Jones says:

    It looks so moist and absolutely delicious!!! You have just made me hungry!!!

  27. Lovely. I bet the almond meal went beautifully with the pears. I need to keep this one in mind. It looks so moist and flavorful, almost decadent.

    • Yes Richard, almond and pear is a fantastic combination, and I would almost describe the cake as decadent, but since there’s no chocolate in it…I won’t go that far!

  28. Luksana says:

    This almond pear cake is excellent mama. Love your photographs too.

  29. This cake looks amazing! Saved it for later use!

  30. The pear photography is gorgeous. Really, it could hang in a museum. Kind of reminds me of some of the Dutch masters.

    • I really do appreciate your comments! I enjoy the photography aspect of blogging, and you always hope that your readers are enjoying it too. So thank you…and I was going for that Rembrandt look!

  31. This cake is beautiful. And your stills of the pears reminds me of alfred stieglitz’s peppers… nice shots!

  32. Karen says:

    The pears in our orchard are just turning ripe and what a terrific recipe to use some of them. Thanks for sharing.

  33. anna maria says:

    Wow! That looks AMAZING!

  34. ohlidia says:

    Holy Toledo! That looks utterly delicious!

  35. thefolia says:

    I just bought my first pears of the season so I will attempt this. I will however, have to run out again for eggs–I can’t believe this needs eight eggs!

  36. Greg Vassalotti says:

    Hey Mama,

    Interesting that you don’t miss the seasons. I believe this Fall you would love it back east. It has been amazing. The skies are bright blue with billowy clouds, the days are warm and the nights are cool and crisp. Best sleeping weather there is. And yes, you can wear your sweaters and it would feel just right. Plus Phila is a great restaurant town. Just saying….

    Great stuff,


  37. Ninaclock145 says:

    I tried it. It’s good! Easy to make as well. Very moist texture which everyone liked. It has a very subtle flavor and the almonds give it a great crunch. I think it would be amazing with a just a drizzle of a sharp tangy fruit sauce, like raspberry or blackberry or dare I say it, just a little chocolate. Thanks for the recipe. It’s a keeper.

    • Mama's Gotta Bake says:

      Yes, a drizzle of chocolate would be awesome with this cake. Glad you liked it!

  38. This looks delicious! I love almond desserts! Definitely going to have to try this!

  39. misscat562 says:

    this looks super yum. two things i love a lot–pears and almonds!

  40. Carolyn Chan says:

    I am embarrassed to say this, but my jaw literally dropped when I scrolled down to the picture of the single slice of this delicious looking cake !

  41. whatuful says:

    Your blog is so sweet 🙂 I’ll visit often!!

  42. […] she does continue to inspire me. Most of her baked goodies are off my Paleo eating plan, but this almond cake she posted was right on target. Lots of eggs and no flour besides almond flour. For some reason, I […]

  43. Janet Rörschåch says:

    Dear Sharyl. Please talk to Santa. I’d like this cake for Christmas. I’ve been a good girl. Honest.

  44. Char says:

    This looks sinful! just baked your Cranberry lemon pound cake- I have this recipe saved in my ‘to bake’ folder!!

  45. Lorraine says:

    A picture is worth a thousand words! Can’t wait to try your recipe and to look at the rest of your blog. I always try to reduce the sugar in the cakes I make but since I don’t bake very often with almond flour, I don’t know if I can in this recipe. What do you think?

    • Well Lorraine, that’s a tough one. I don’t eat a lot of cake, but when I do I want it to be sweet. You can certainly give it a try, I just don’t know how good it will taste. Let me know how it turns out.

  46. Gorgeous! I can see this gracing the Thanksgiving table. Glyn

  47. Nicole says:

    This looks absolutely amazing! I cannot wait to try it. Thank you for sharing.

  48. flippenblog says:

    Perfect! This will do for cake and tea soon.

  49. Too many comments saying this looks good and not enough that actually say — HOLY SMOKES, THIS WAS ONE OF THE BEST CAKES I’VE EVER MADE, EVER.

    I had to come back just to leave this solid form of proof that this recipe is worth making over and over and over again.

    Thanks so much for sharing!!

    On a sidenote — is there a chance you used an 8″ or 9″ springform pan for your photos? Your cake looks slightly smaller and higher than mine did in a 10″ pan (mine looks flatter compared to yours). If by chance you used an 8″, do you know if I need to adjust the time/temperature?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Well thank you for your endorsement and for taking the time to come back and comment! Since you used a 10″ pan, then yes, your cake will be larger and flatter. I would invest in a 9″ pan, and then your cake will end up being higher. But, yes, you do have to adjust the baking time, because the larger the pan the less dense the cake is, and would need less baking time. I hope that helps.

  50. I have sooo much to learn from you!

  51. Pam Mercer says:

    Delicious cake. I made it today for the first time and took it to a dinner party. It is definitely my new favorite recipe. Plus it’s gluten free which people in Nor Cal just love. Thanks!

  52. Oh, my, goodness! I cannot wait to try this!

  53. Shamim says:

    This cakes looks incredible! and I love the fact that it has so many eggs in it! Yum!

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