Becky Luigart-Stayner
18 servings (serving size: 1 slice)

This is similar to pan d'Espanya (Spanish bread), which is what Sephardic Jews call sponge cake. Brushing the honey-orange syrup over the warm cake infuses it with moisture and delicate aromas. For a second-day treat, try toasting a leftover slice. Garnish with orange rind curls and star anise.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 375°.

Step 2

To prepare cake, coat a 10-inch tube pan with cooking spray; dust with 2 tablespoons flour. Set aside.

Step 3

Place sugar and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until thick and pale (about 3 minutes).

Step 4

Lightly spoon 3 cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, aniseed, salt, and cinnamon, stirring well with a whisk.

Step 5

Combine rind, 1/2 cup juice, oil, and vanilla. Add flour mixture to egg mixture alternately with juice mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; blend after each addition just until combined. Stir in pear and walnuts. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 375° for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; loosen cake from sides of pan using a narrow metal spatula or knife. Place a plate upside down on top of cake pan; carefully invert cake onto plate.

Step 6

To prepare syrup, combine honey and 2 tablespoons juice in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Brush warm syrup over top and sides of cake. Cool completely.

Ratings & Reviews

booboolini's Review

December 05, 2010
This cake really had to sit a few days to allow the flavors to emerge. I was very disappointed with the lack of flavor the day I baked it, but it was extraordinary the longer it sat.

lovemysouschef's Review

June 04, 2009
I think this cake is delicious! I took it to my tapas-themed supper club this week and to a friend's house last night, and it was well-liked by everyone. It was especially good straight out of the oven! I did have to cook it about 8 minutes longer than the recipe called for because it was a bit gooey in the middle at 55 minutes. Otherwise, I followed the directions exactly and loved it! This would be a wonderful Christmas cake, as the flavors and smells are very warm and holiday-ish!

fpalm15's Review

December 29, 2012