This pear spice cake recipe comes from Heather Templeton of Heather’s Home Bakery. The warming spices and touch of sweetness from Royal Riviera Pears make this a delicious treat for the family or to serve at a small party!

I don’t know about you, but when the winter hits, I want to cozy up with all things warm and spicy (Chai Latte, anyone?!). Harry & David produces some of the most magnificent pears in the country, and I just knew they would make the most decadent spice cake.

royal riviera pears

Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves accent this recipe to bring out all of the best winter flavors. The pears add sweetness and complexity to the cake to make this more than your grandma’s spice cake. A swirl of mascarpone in the frosting creates a creamier texture without the tang generally associated with a cream cheese finish. This one-bowl cake will be a crowd-pleaser this season! It’s quick and easy, while still being filled to the brim with flavor.

Making the Pear Spice Cake

You’ll want a standing or hang mixer to produce the best batter and buttercream. Make sure to select ripe pears! There’s no need to skin them first since the baking process does this for you; the skins basically disappear and leave the soft, sweet fruit to blend beautifully with your baked treat. Fully cool the cake before frosting, and make sure to blend the ingredients well to produce a smooth and lump-free buttercream.

This cake can also easily be made dairy and/or gluten-free with a couple of substitutes. Simply use a 1:1 gluten-free flour in place of both the all-purpose and whole wheat, and use a plant-based butter as a 1:1 dairy butter replacement in both the cake and the frosting. The steps, baking temperature, and time remain the same.

This pear spice cake is a fun way to bring a spark of color and sweetness to your winter! Serve it for a birthday or as the sweet finish to a big family dinner. And, if you have any leftover pears, you can whip up these refreshing pear smoothies!

Pear Spice Cake with Mascarpone Frosting

5 from 1 vote
The holidays are all about family, and nothing brings all the generations together like food! In Homespun Holidays we explore recipes perfect for new family traditions, shareable plates for your next holiday get-together, and small-batch desserts and sides for more intimate gatherings.


For the Cake

  • ½ cup salted butter (softened, 1 stick)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Whole milk
  • 1 cup Harry & David® Royal Riviera® Pears (chopped)

For the Frosting:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter (softened, 1 stick )
  • cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar


To make the cake

  • start by preheating your oven to 350°. Butter and flour or spray three 6” inch pans (or two 8” or 9” pans), and set aside.In a medium-size bowl, combine the butter and sugars. Mix well. Add eggs, mixing until thoroughly incorporated. Add spices, salt, baking powder, and both flours. Mix until just incorporated. Fold in pears. Divide batter evenly between 3 pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the edges are a golden brown. Cool completely.

To make the frosting

  • blend butter and mascarpone cheese until creamy, about 30 seconds. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and mix until well incorporated, about 30 more seconds.

To assemble the cake

  • spread or pipe the frosting onto the cooled cake before stacking the layers. Top with an additional sprinkling of cinnamon if desired. Enjoy!


Tried this recipe? Snap a pic and share.Mention @harryanddavid or tag #sharemore!

Heather is the creator, baker, and photographer behind Heather’s Home Bakery. She started baking when her oldest child turned one and she wanted to make his 1st birthday cake. After baking up her first-ever layer cake, she was hooked. From cakes and cookies to scones and muffins to brownies and beyond, she loves developing and sharing delicious dessert recipes that others truly love and love to share.

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