This old-fashioned, moist cake, jazzed up with vanilla bean and roasted pears, takes on even more flavor if you start the pears a day ahead so they can steep in their syrup. The recipe comes from Romney Steele, author of Plum Gorgeous.
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- Sherry-Roasted Pears
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons syrup from Sherry-Roasted Pears
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
4 Hours, 15 Minutes
- 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour a 9-in. tube pan* or 10- to 11-cup nonstick Bundt pan, knocking out excess flour.
- 2. Make topping: Combine brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Slice pears lengthwise 1/3 in. thick if using tube pan or chop if using Bundt pan.
- 3. Make cake: Beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping inside of bowl after each addition. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean and add to bowl (save pod for another use). Add syrup and sour cream; beat to combine.
- 4. Combine dry ingredients. Add to batter and beat on low speed until blended; batter will be thick.
- 5. Sprinkle half the nut mixture in pan, then arrange half the pears on top. Spoon half the batter over pears and spread evenly. Repeat layers. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes for a tube pan, 45 minutes for a Bundt pan.
- 6. Let cool in pan on a rack about 45 minutes. Loosen cake from sides of pan with a small, slender spatula and invert onto a plate. If any toppings stick in pan, loosen with spatula and replace on cake.
- *You can order a 9-in. tube pan ($18) from amazon.com.
- Make ahead: Up to 1 day, chilled; set on a baking sheet, wrap in foil, and rewarm in a 350° oven about 15 minutes.
- Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
- Calories: 491
- Calories from fat: 49%
- Protein: 7.7g
- Fat: 27g
- Saturated fat: 13g
- Carbohydrate: 58g
- Fiber: 3.8g
- Sodium: 483mg
- Cholesterol: 105mg