Wednesday 11 May 2016

Cardamom pear sour cream cake

I first discovered cardamon in sweets through Scandinavian baking. Over there, it's a dominant flavour in cinnamon buns, the reason their sort are so different to the American kind. Speckled through dough, or cake batter, it brilliantly balances out the sweetness around it, transforming what would otherwise often be plain and homely into something sophisticated. Here, it works its magic in a cake enriched with sour cream and crowned with petals of pear. It couldn't be less fussy to make or to take... I transported thick slices of this one to Sydney Swans match on Saturday night and down the south coast on Sunday for Mother's Day. I couldn't make it for my mum, but I could feed my friends, and she would have liked that.. and this cake. Very much.

Cardamom pear sour cream cake
Adapted from a recipe by Food52

I've listed the raw sugar below as optional, mainly because I forgot it when I made the cake and I couldn't imagine it any better than it turned out.
8 tablespoons butter (4oz), at room temperature  
1 cup sugar 
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour  
1 teaspoon baking powder  
1/2 teaspoon bicarb (baking) soda 
1/4 teaspoon sea salt or a pinch table salt 
1 teaspoon ground cardamom  
2 eggs 
1 cup sour cream  
1 medium pear
2 tablespoons raw sugar (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line it with baking paper.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, salt, and ground cardamom. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and sour cream until smooth.
With the mixer running (or working by hand), alternate adding the flour mixture and the egg mixture to the butter and sugar. Beat until just combined - don't overmix.
Pour the batter into your prepared pan.
Slice the pears thinly. Arrange the pears in a concentric circle, overlapping just slightly, over the top of the cake. Sprinkle the raw sugar evenly over the fruit.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick or skewer inserted into the centre comes out cleanly.
Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.
Serve warm or at room temperature.


  1. Oh how I love cardamon! I'll have to try making this cake, it sounds like it might become a favourite of mine.

  2. Looks beautiful Alice ...and those flavours are so wonderful've reminded me of the Finnish Sour Cream cake which was a favourite years ago.
    Di X

  3. It looks beautiful Alice...and those flavours are wonderful've reminded me of a Finnish Sour Cream cake which was a favourite years ago.