Pear and Vanilla Tea Cake

Pear and Vanilla Tea Cake

The humble butter cake has been given a makeover. Topped with fresh pears that are lightly caramelized this cake is light and buttery and so easy to make.

1 hr 30 mins total time

20 mins active time


Serves 8-10



  • Cooking spray
  • 1½ cups (8 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 oz unsalted butter

    at room temperature, plus 1 tbsp extra, melted for brushing

  • ¾ cup (5 oz) white sugar

    plus 2 tsp extra, for the topping

  • ⅛ tsp kosher salt
  • 3 tsp vanilla bean paste


  • 2 large eggs

    at room temperature

  • ½ cup (4 fl oz) milk

    at room temperature

  • 2 x 5 oz small pears


  • Powdered sugar

    for dusting


  • 1Line the base of a 8-inch round springform pan with parchment paper. Clip the side into position, spray with cooking spray and line the side with parchment paper.
  • 2Sift together the flour and baking powder to remove lumps and aerate the flour.
  • 3Beat the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla on medium speed for 5 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl if necessary.
  • 4With the mixer running, add the eggs one at a time.
  • 5Fold in a third of the flour, followed by half the milk. Continue to alternate ending with the flour until a smooth batter is formed. Place the batter into the prepared pan and level the top.
  • 6Insert the wire rack into position 6. Meanwhile, continue to the next step.
  • 7Cut the pears into quarters and remove the core. Cut into 1/4-inch thick wedges. Arrange around the top.
  • 8Combine the extra melted butter, the extra sugar and the remaining vanilla and brush over the pears, to help caramelize and to avoid them drying out.
  • 9Once preheated, place in the oven and start the timer.
  • 10The cake is ready when a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. If not, give it a bit more.
  • 11Stand in the pan for 20 minutes.
  • 12Transfer to a serving plate. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.