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Acadian Syrup Cake with Roasted Pears and Caramel Sauce

Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Hands-on time 20 mins
Total time 3 hrs

Makes 8 to 10 servings

A Cajun classic, this spice cake (aka Gateau au Sirop) gets much of its sweet flavor from a Southern staple, cane syrup. We love Steen's 100% Pure Cane Syrup, made in Louisiana. If you can't find pure cane syrup, don't sub a blended syrup; use honey instead. Roast the pears and make the caramel sauce while the cake cools. To dress up the cake for serving, we used a fleur-de-lis stencil to create a powdered sugar design atop this glorious dark and deeply delicious cake.


  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh finely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups dark cane syrup or honey
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • Shortening
  • Powdered sugar
  • Roasted Pears
  • Caramel Sauce
  • Spiced Whipped Cream

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Whisk together first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Whisk together syrup and next 3 ingredients in a medium bowl; add to dry ingredients. Whisk until blended. Pour batter into a greased (with shortening) and floured 9-inch springform pan.

  2. Bake at 350° for 50 to 60 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Remove cake from pan, and cool 1 hour on wire rack. Sprinkle powdered sugar over cake, and serve warm or at room temperature with Roasted Pears, Caramel Sauce, and Spiced Whipped Cream.