This dairy-free cardamom pear cake recipe comes from Andrew Schloss, the author of Almost from Scratch: 600 Recipes for the New Convenience Cuisine. His cookbook isn’t exclusively dairy-free, but it offers many recipes and ideas for those who are interested in cooking with convenient ingredients. That said, this pear cake is from scratch, in my opinion. It doesn’t rely on any pantry conveniences – but it is still relatively easy to throw together
Cardamom Pear Cake made with Naturally Dairy-Free Ingredients
We originally posted this recipe way back in 2006, but have since updated it! Like many of Andrew’s recipes, this recipe is naturally dairy-free. It uses oil, instead of butter, and orange juice, instead of milk or buttermilk. The result is a tender, moist, and flavorful cake that anyone can make. But I still have answers to some common FAQs on the ingredients.
Will Gluten-Free Flour Work?
We haven’t tested this cake gluten-free. A friend of mine swears by King Arthur Measure for Measure Gluten-Free Flour. She says it swaps seamlessly in all baked goods.
What Can I Substitute for the Almond Extract?
You can omit it or increase the vanilla extract. The choice is yours.
Can I Use Dairy-Free Milk instead of Orange Juice?
It won’t add the flavor that orange juice does, but dairy-free milk alternative will function just as well in this recipe.
What Oil Do You Recommend?
I often use extra light (not extra virgin) olive oil for baking. But grapeseed, canola, and other common baking oils will work great, too. If you like to bake with coconut oil, make sure your eggs and juice are at room temperature before adding the oil. If they are cool, the oil will bead up.
Special Diet Notes: Cardamom Pear Cake
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian.
- 6 under-ripe pears, optionally peeled, cored and cut in eighths
- ⅓ cup + 1⅔ cups sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
- 4 eggs, large or extra-large
- 1 cup oil (your favorite type for baking)
- ½ cup orange juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan, preferably with a removable bottom, or a bundt pan.
- Toss the pear wedges in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the ⅓ cup sugar and cardamom, and stir until the pears are thickly coated with the sugar and spice.
- To make the cake batter, beat the remaining 1⅔ cups sugar and eggs in a mixing bowl until thick and creamy. Beat in the oil, ¼ cup at a time, followed by the orange juice, and the vanilla and almond extracts. Don't worry if the batter splits; it will become smooth once the dry ingredients are added.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together, and beat into the batter just until the batter is smooth and thick.
- Spread one-third of the batter across the bottom of the prepared pan. Layer with one-third of the pears, and repeat the layers two more times.
- Bake for 1 hour and 50 minutes, or until a tester comes out barely moist.
- Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack.