Traditional recipes

Sunken pear chocolate cake recipe

Sunken pear chocolate cake recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Cake
  • Cakes with fruit
  • Fruit cake

Cakes with "sunken" fruit are especially moist. Usually they are made only with fruit but I am adding chocolate to my sunken pear cake.

2 people made this

IngredientsServes: 12

  • 1kg pears
  • 150g butter or margarine, softened
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 300g plain flour
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 125g milk
  • 100g plain chocolate, chopped
  • 1 heaped tablespoon baking cocoa
  • 1 heaped tablespoon oats
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 generous pinch nutmeg

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:1hr ›Ready in:1hr30min

  1. Preheat your oven to 190 C / Gas 5. Grease a springform tin.
  2. Peel pears, cut in half and remove core.
  3. Beat butter and sugar till creamy. Add eggs one after the other. Mix flour and baking powder and add to egg mixture, alternating with the milk. Then stir in chocolate, cocoa, oats, rum, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Spread 2/3 of the mixture in the tin.
  5. Distribute pear halves on top, and gently press down. Cover with the rest of the mixture.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven till a tester comes out clean, about 1 hour.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(4)

Pears Sunken in Almond Cake

I found these little pears and made this cake last December. I misplaced the notes I made on the ingredients and totally forgot all about the recipe until now. I don’t know what happened. I am a very well organized person with quite a good memory.

This was an experimental baking, which to my delight, turned out a success. As we all know, not every experimental cooking/baking turns out as expected. When it comes to making a dessert, regardless of time it consumes, I like to make one which has a surprise or two hidden inside. This cake definitely will delight your family and guests. Without the pears, the cake is also a super delicious, decadent almond cake.

Pears in Almond Cake

  • Servings: 10
  • Time: 1½ Hours + cooling time
  • Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

For the stuffed pears:
• 5 firm pears, 7.5cm/3″ tall, with long stems (looks better)
• 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
• ½ tsp lemon juice

For the pear stuffing
• 4 Tbsp pistachios, salted/unsalted, shelled
• 8 dried apricots, about 2.5cm/1″ diameter pieces

For the cake
• 64 g/ ½ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
• ½ tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp cardamom
• 113 g/ ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 132 g/ 2/3 cup granulated sugar
• 2 large eggs, at room temperature
• ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
• 120 g/ 1 cup almonds, blanched, dry roasted, unsalted and finely ground

To poach the pears:
– Peel the pears and using grapefruit spoon, from the bottom of the pear, very carefully hollow the core/seeds out and make a hole about 2cm/¾” diameter.
– In a pot large enough to fit 5 pears, fill with water half way, add sugar, lemon juice, and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low. Submerge the pears and cover. Simmer for less than 5 minutes or until pears soften only a little (need to be kept firm in shape). Drain and set aside to cool.

To make the pear stuffing: In a food processor, grind pistachios and apricots into very small pieces. Roll 5 2cm/¾” balls. Set aside.

◊ Spray a 23cm/9″ oven-safe, deep tart/pie dish with non-stick spray (recommended to serve in the dish) -or- spray a 23cm/9″ non-stick cake pan with a non-stick spray.

◊ Place the rack in the middle shelf of the oven and preheat oven to 175ºC / 350ºF

◊ Thoroughly whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom.

◊ Using a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until well incorporated. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Then, while still beating, sprinkle ground almonds and beat until well incorporated. Stop the mixer.

◊ Sprinkle ¼ of flour at a time and with a silicone spatula fold into the almond mixture, just enough to incorporate the flour, scraping sides of the bowl. For a fluffier cake, don’t over mix.

◊ Pour 1/3 of the batter into the cake pan and spread it evenly. Insert the pistachio balls into pears and place the pears on the batter. Spoon in remainder of the batter all around the pears and smooth it evenly.

28 minutes or until golden brown, or inserted bamboo skewer in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely in the pan/tart dish on a rack.

◊ If a cake pan is used, very carefully loosen the side of the cake (if needed). To keep the cake from falling apart from the pears, neatly cut the cake in five equal slices with a pear in each slices’s center. Lift each slice and reconstruct the cake on a serving dish.

How to Prevent a Cake From Falling: Toubleshooting Guide

Each of these problems and solutions is discussed in more detail below.

Incorrect oven temperature

Check your oven with a heat-proof oven thermometer.

Test for doneness: A toothpick or skewer should come out clean.

Make sure your baking powder is still good.

Too much baking powder or baking soda

Measure your ingredients carefully.

Incorrect measurement of other ingredients

Measure all ingredients carefully.

Opening the oven door too early

Resist the urge to check on the cake until it’s at least 80% done.

Closing the oven door too sharply

Be gentle when you close the oven door.

Overbeating the batter in the last stage

When it’s time to combine the wet and dry ingredients, fold the batter until it’s just mixed… and no more.

Mixing the ingredients in the wrong order

Follow the recipe instructions exactly.

Incorrect moisture levels

If you live in a humid climate, take extra precautions.

Make sure to use the correct pan size.

Cooling the cake too quickly

Don’t let the cake cool in a drafty spot.

Batter sitting too long before baking

After mixing the batter and pouring it into the pan, place the pan into the preheated oven right away.

Baking: Chocolate cake recipes to make your mouth water!

Hello and yet another warm welcome to this month’s Baking Round-up. Pull up a chair, pour a hot cup of what you fancy, I have a real peach for you. This month’s theme is Chocolate cake, an absolute classic and out and out favourite in homes all across the land, including and especially mine. For me it comes in two major flavours, dark and fudgy or wonderfully middle of the road, milk chocolate. They are ying and yang but I crave them with equal ardour when the mood takes me, and it regularly does.

Chocolate cake speaks to us all in different ways with it’s many flavours and countless variations. When it comes to sweet stuff our childhoods are responsible for a lot of our adult fancies and the oldies are still the goodies. A damp, dark, retro, swirly Chocolate Fudge Cake is iconic to anyone born in the 80’s, as is a Black Forest Gateaux for a child of the 70’s. My own love affair for chocolate cake really began in my teens. There was a seriously amazing local coffee shop and my best friend worked there on a Saturday. It was the most evocative place I had ever been in. Shadowy and full of little wooden booths it was always engulfed in a sophisticated fug of roasted peppers and just baked dark chocolate cake. They served the chocolate cake in huge damp wedges with a large dollop of sweetened cream and a cake fork. It was always rammed packed with people who looked like they ate like this all the time……it was a stupendous place and when I felt brave enough it was the chocolate cake that I always ordered. It was so good that I have held it in my mind ever since. A childhood hero of a chocolate cake never to be revisited in reality. Perhaps as it should be for nostalgia’s sake but it hasn’t stopped me always keeping a chocolate ear to the ground for the recipe.

Curiously I have, until recently, never found a fool proof recipe for a really good one bowl plain old chocolate cake. I have made many but all that have been simple have lacked depth and all that have depth have been too fiddly. A chance but wonderful encounter with a lovely food editor and expert baker at a recent P.R event gave me the idea of how I just might go about it and, after a couple of experiments, my Easy Chocolate Cake was born. It ticks all the boxes and the icing is a hit with the kids. At last I can throw something of epic chocolate cake proportions together in a stress free minute. I am thrilled to have it as one of my go to bakes. I am nearly complete.

Photo credit: Apply to Face

Cooking with Kids has another one bowl recipe with her Chocolate Fudge Cake. A simple but great recipe that encourages some kid friendly icing.

Me, Annie Bee also has a kid friendly bake that she remembers making with her mum too. This is her go to Chocolate Cake recipe.

Here is another crazily easy chocolate cake, Chocolate Loaf Cake. This is the cake I go to for the school cake sales and when I feel like a slab of chocolate cake. Studded with milk chocolate pieces it is incredibly good and made in the food processor it is a doddle to whizz up. It really is fabulous and another one bowl mix.

Something Sweet Something Savoury has this Chocolate Sour Cream Banana Loaf Cake. It is full of chocolate chips, cocoa and of course bananas. A match made in heaven.

Recipes Made Easy has a very special Sunken Pear and Chocolate Loaf Cake.This cake brings together a classic pairing and looks sensational when sliced.

Photo credit: Recipes Made Easy

Casa Costello has another classic combination with her Double Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake. This cake is made with melted chocolate and topped with orange icing and Terry’s Chocolate Orange pieces.

The Mum and The Mom offers up this clever Chocolate Marble Loaf Cake. Fantastic to bake with the kids and great for their lunchboxes.

Craft with Cartwright has this delicious Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake recipe for us. Easy to whip up it is again perfect for lunchboxes and feeding a crowd without fuss.

We have some more adventurous chocolate bakes for you too. Choclette from Tin and Thyme has this incredible Scandinavian Chocolate Cake. Made with rye breadcrumbs and layered with blackcurrant jam and cream it sounds out of this world. It really is something else. She also has a Triple Chocolate Cake. White chocolate mascarpone icing sandwiches two chocolate sponge layers together topped with a fabulously slightly bitter chocolate and honey glaze.

Photo credit: Tin and Thyme

Fab Food 4 All brings us her Simple Cherry Chocolate Cake. This cake is indeed simple to make and has the most delicious crunchy almond topping.

Photo credit: Fab Food 4 All

Everyday Healthy Recipes actually offers us a healthy solution with this Healthy Chocolate Banana Cake. Made with oil instead of butter she uses the bananas to bring a natural sweetness and buttermilk to create a tender crumb.

Jo’s Kitchen Larder has a brilliant Chocolate Courgette Cake that is fudgey and packed full of chocolate. The courgettes make little noise at all apart from adding some vegetable goodness. Most obliging.

Photo credit: Jo’s Kitchen Larder

Finally Lathi’s Kitchen has a fabulous Mexican Chocolate Cake . She includes chilli powder and cinnamon for a sophisticated cake with a kick.

We now move into the free from section and what an incredible selection we have. Family Friends Food starts the chocolate ball rolling with her Super Low Carb & Gluten Free ‘Diabetic’ Chocolate Cake. Created for her diabetic Father In Law this chocolate cake is a real triumph considering the brief. It looks delicious.

Veggie Desserts gives us this beautiful Vegan Black Forest Cake. A vegan retro cherry and chocolate delight.

Photo credit: Veggie Desserts

Glutarama has this incredible Gluten Free Chocolate Orange Cake with a Chocolate Orange Glaze. Simple to make and a fabulous family bake.

Gluten Free Alchemist made this Chocolate Birthday Bundt for her daughter’s birthday. Very damp and chocolatey this beautiful bundt is perfect for a special occasion. She also has this stunning Mocha Celebration Cake which is nut free, gluten free, rice free with an optional dairy free sponge and frosting.

Photo credit: Gluten Free Alchemist

Craft With Cartwright has a Gluten Free Chocolate Fudge Cake that is made in a saucepan. Who knew?! Simple but rich.

Beach Hut Cook bakes this decadent Gluten Free Chocolate and Coconut Cake. It actually improves with time and is made without flour using ground almonds and desiccated coconut instead. Great when you are wanting something a chocolate hit with a difference..

We even have an Air Fryer Gluten Free Chocolate Cake for you from Recipes From A Pantry. This one bowl recipe sounds fabulously rich and looks gorgeous.

And now to the Show Stoppers……There has to be show stoppers when we’re talking Chocolate Cakes. This deceptively simple One Bowl Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Mascarpone Icing is super stunning and according to Supergolden Bakes just about “THE” best Chocolate Cake ever.

Photo credit: Supergolden Bakes

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy showcases her Easy Chocolate Birthday Cake. Simply but very effectively decorated with Kit Kats and Maltesers. A fabulous cake for any birthday surprise.

Something Sweet Something Savoury has this amazing Chocolate Cherry Drip Cake. A three layer cake sandwiched together with cherry jam and chocolate buttercream. A shiny chocolate ganache is then piped on top and dripped down the sides to great effect before topping with fresh cherries.

Photo credit: Something Sweet Something Savoury

Casa Costello also has a great Simple Chocolate Drip Cake. Piled high with chocolate treats it is a regular cake with a high wow factor.

The Baking Explorer brings this fabulous Chocolate Mint Cake to the show stopper party. Another straight forward cake cleverly decorated to impress the crowd. This classic flavour pairing is sure to go down a storm and as Kat most cleverly points out, the coolness of the mint makes it easy to eat a big slice!

Photo credit: The Baking Explorer

I hope I have more than filled your chocolate cake boots. Tune in next time for another full on baking fest. I know I falsely purported to be going in hard with muffins but my head was turned by The Chocolate Cake. Be assured that I will be returning to the original brief next post. Can’t wait. Please feel free to comment below. We love to hear from you big time.

Pin it for later: Chocolate cake recipes to make your mouth water on Pinterest

About Jenny Walters

Jenny is a busy mum of two, passionate home cook and compulsive feeder. Blogging at Apply To Face Blog keeps her obsession with simple but delicious recipes sated. She is never happier than with plenty of sticky buns in the oven. A true champion of comfort food, easy entertaining and good times for all, even the cook. When there are no more mouths left to feed or sponges to slice, you can find her knee deep in cookery books and hormones.

Bittersweet chocolate and pear cake

Almost two years ago, Alex and I met friends for dinner at Al Di La, an always-packed, funky mom-and-pop Italian restaurant in Park Slope that not only doesn’t take reservations, it has no room for you to stand around while you wait for one (unless you go to the adjacent wine bar). It helps to know someone who works there.

Before we went, Alex dug up their menu online (does anyone remember life back when you actually had to arrive at a restaurant to find out what they served? Probably less tripe and rabbits feet on the menu, eh?) and decided at that very moment that we must order the torta di pere, a bittersweet chocolate and pear cake. “Fruit and chocolate together?” I said, “Why is this necessary?” as I had always insisted that they were better apart.

And of course, like all good teaching stories, then we tried it, licked the plate and then I proceeded to spend the next year and a half (until she caved) begging my friend Anna, one of the restaurant’s pastry chefs, for the recipe because, you see, I have no tact at all. Or perhaps the bittersweet chocolate and pear cake was that good. Did I mention it has browned butter in it? Obviously, good manners had to wait.

A nomination! It seems that Smitten Kitchen has been nominated as one of the best-written food blogs (aw, though the people who email me daily with grammatical corrections may beg to differ!) by the Well-Fed Network. Why thank you!

Al Di La’s Torta di Pere [Bittersweet Chocolate and Pear Cake]
Courtesy of Al Di La Restaurant in Park Slope, Brooklyn

Aside from the chocolate chunks, the bits of pear and the browned butter (like I you need to hear anything else before you take off in the direction of the kitchen) one of the coolest things about baking this cake is the eggs, that are beaten far beyond “combined” or “fluffy” but until they have the volume of a shiny, velvety ribbon of a custard, or in other words, if you have an electric mixer of any sort, this is the time to use it. You don’t want to skimp on this set.

The next coolest thing about this is that as I was making it, I was so befuddled by putting the pear and chocolate pieces on top of the cake, as I clearly remembered them to be inside it. Yet the cake rises up in the oven and tucks them into their fold and, lo, it is a glorious, delicious thing.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, at room-temperature
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 pears, peeled, in a small dice (I used anjou, but would recommend a softer variety, like a bosc or any other of your favorites)
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and dust with breadcrumbs (I cheated and used flour), set aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together, set aside.

Using a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs on high speed until pale and very thick. (In a professional Kitchen Aid, it takes at least five minutes on a home machine, it will take nine minutes to get sufficient volume)

While the eggs are whipping, brown the butter. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan (because it will foam a lot) and cook it until the butter browns and smells nutty (about 6 to 8 minutes). It helps to frequently scrape the solids off the bottom of the pan in the last couple minutes to ensure even browning. Remove from the flame but keep in a warm spot.

Add the sugar to the eggs and whip a few minutes more.

Just as the egg-sugar mixture is starting to lose volume, turn the mixture down to stir, and add the flour mixture and brown butter. Add one third of the flour mixture, then half of the butter, a third of the flour, the remaining butter, and the rest of flour. Whisk until just barely combined — no more than a minute from when the flour is first added — and then use a spatula to gently fold the batter until the ingredients are combined. It is very important not to over-whisk or fold the batter or it will lose volume.

Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle the pear and chocolate chunks over the top, and bake until the cake is golden brown and springs back to the touch, about 40 to 50 minutes [updated, thanks for your responses], or a tester comes out clean.

We served it with barely whipped whipped cream with a drop of almond extract in it, but I believe Anna serves it with buttermilk ice cream at the restaurant, which is, the best thing in the entire world, something I have the recipe for and promise to tell you about soon. (I’m just scared to make it because I ate the entire pint she gave me last time by myself. In three days.)

Update 1/27/09: I’ve added more baking suggestions in the comments: in short, please, don’t take your cake out before it is done. Doneness is much more important than baking times.

Flourless chocolate & pear cake

Cut a circle of baking parchment to fit the base of a 25cm loose-bottomed tin. Melt 1 tbsp butter and brush the inside of the tin, then line the base with the parchment and brush again with more butter. Spoon in 2 tbsp caster sugar, swirl it around to coat the base and sides, then tip out any excess.

Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of hot water, remove from the heat, stir in the brandy and leave to cool. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a large bowl until pale and thick fold into the chocolate with the hazelnuts.

In a separate bowl, with a clean whisk, beat the whites until they reach a soft peak (try not to whisk them too stiffly or you’ll have trouble folding them in). Stir a spoonful of the whites into the chocolate mix, then carefully fold in the rest of them in 2 additions. Spoon into the prepared tin. Level, then arrange the pears over the mixture, cut-side down. Bake for 40 mins until the pears are soft and the cake is cooked all the way through. Leave to cool in the tin slightly before releasing it, then place on a rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar and serve with crème fraîche.

Old Fashioned Coca Cola Cake

Author A Bountiful Kitchen


  • 1 cup Coca-Cola
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup butter room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts I used pecans


  • 3/4 cup butter room temperature
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup coke
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk or cream as needed


Recipe Notes

-This cake is very tender, or falls apart easily because it is so moist. Be careful to not over bake. The first time I experimented with this recipe, it came out dry. I think I baked it for 40-45 minutes. I found that about 35 minutes worked perfect in my oven.-The cake will come out with little indents where the marshmallows have melted and sunken into the batter. No worries. The frosting will fill in the indents.-You may add up to another cup of marshmallows to the cake batter if you wish. Only use fresh marshmallows.-Don't use Diet Coke. Or I'll have to come hurt you.

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This Quinoa Pear Salad by Medha Swaminathan is both light and refreshing, and the pears give it a bit of sweetness! If you’re looking for a recipe that offers a variety of flavors, this recipe is for you.

This Pear Oatmeal Banana Bread by Charlie Rioux is a super easy and delicious baked good to make for any occasion. It’s perfect for when you have extra ripe bananas to use up. It also doesn’t need much sugar since the bananas are a great sweeten and oats bring out the sweetness. Make sure your bananas are really ripe there should be more black than yellow. That’s the secret to a good banana bread! This oatmeal banana bread is vegan, nut-free, soy-free and oil-free! It has pear for extra flavour, but if you want a plain banana bread, or don’t have ripe pears, it is also good without the pear.


I use Bramble apples, but if you haven&apost got any Granny Smiths will work just as well.

Tip for Storing Apples

It&aposs autumn at the moment, so I pick apples and store them in my shed. If you decide to stock up with apples to make your apple cake recipe all winter long, then here&aposs the best way to store them. Make sure you take away any that are bruised or damaged. Then wrap each apple in a newspaper and put them in a box. The reason you wrap them up is to stop them from touching each other. It&aposs true about the one rotten apple in the barrel! Store them in a cool place, and they will last for months.