July 12, 2010

It's a Pear & Carrot Cake...

Love is in the air.

I baked a pear & carrot cake for my friends Mindy & Mark's engagement party this weekend. I guess that we can call it a Pearot Cake, although the real story behind this cake arose from a joke about a "Parrot Cake." You see, Mindy had baked a pear cake with cream cheese frosting for Mark's birthday (along with the chocolate stout cake, for good measure), but everyone became confused when they learned mid-bite that they were not eating carrot cake. Mindy spent the evening explaining that, no, it was in fact a pear cake, and not carrot. It then became dubbed the "parrot cake" and lots of corny jokes about tropical birds ensued.

Fast forward to M & M's engagement party. Guests were asked to bring a dish that reminded them of the celebrated couple. Thus came my attempt to make an actual pear & carrot cake, a true "parrot" cake. There are no recipes for pear & carrot cake, so I adapted the original pear cake recipe, made a few changes, and viola:

This cake is sweet, moist, and completely scrumptious. Hints of cardamom and cinnamon in the batter are completely addictive. Crunchy toasted walnuts add delicious texture and depth to the smooth pear and carrot cake layers. 

Slather on the honey, cinnamon, and lemon cream cheese frosting. It is a balancing act of flavors made in heaven. 

The little heart shaped layer went right on top! 

Then it was decorated with "something blue." 

I think I ate four slices of this cake before the night was through. There really was no other way around it. It is the kind of cake where you can't help but go back for seconds... or fourths. It's both extremely rich and brightly flavorful. In a strange way, the cake is almost juicy. The cream cheese frosting is unique, with undertones of honey and lemon that make it both sweet and citrusy. 

This Pearot Cake is a party on a cake stand. It was fun to make and even more fun to eat. Now that's reason to celebrate!

Pear & Carrot Cake with Honey Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons fresh ground cardamom
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1.5 cups peeled Bosc pears (about two large). Food process 1 cup, chop 1/2 cup
1.5 cups peeled carrots, finely chopped in the food processor
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese (1/3 less fat, optional) room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup plus 3 T powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/8 to 1/4 cup honey (start with 1/8 cup, adjust to desired flavor & consistency)
2 t. cinnamon

For cake:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and flour two 8-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and spices in large bowl. Make well in center of flour mixture. Add oil, eggs, milk and vanilla; whisk just until evenly moistened. Fold in pears, carrots, and nuts; divide between pans.
Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks.
For frosting:
Beat cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon juice and lemon peel in large bowl until fluffy. Add honey and beat until smooth. If frosting is very soft, chill until firm enough to spread.
Cut around cakes; turn out of pans. Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on platter. Spread with 1 cup frosting. Top with second layer, flat side down. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.

For directions on how to home-make the cake base, click here.
adapted from epicurious.com pear cake recipe.


  1. I am guessing you add the carrots at the same time you add the pears? I'd like to make this - it sounds delicious. Your cake was beautiful.

  2. Thanks for catching that! yes, the carrots do go in with the pears. It was delicious. Thanks for reading, and I hope you like it!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...