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Served with poached pears and maple frosting, this moist spice cake is the definition of a holiday treat.

Spice Cake with Poached Pears


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 11/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1 1/4 cups pumpkin purée

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 cup safflower oil

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/4 cup Hoegaarden

  • Poached Pears

  • Maple Frosting


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. Butter and flour a loaf pan

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and freshly grated nutmeg.

  4. In a large bowl, combine pumpkin purée, vanilla, brown sugar, granulated sugar and oil.

  5. Whisk vigorously until the mixture is smooth.

  6. Add the eggs, whisking to combine.

  7. Pour in the Hoegaarden and combine

  8. Add your dry ingredients to the wet and combine

  9. Pour batter into prepared pan.

  10. Bake for 1 hour.

  11. Test with a toothpick in the center, when it comes out clean it's done.

  12. Remove the cake from the tin

  13. Slice evenly

  14. Serve frosting in a separate bowl or gravy boat

  15. Serve pear wedges and liquid in a separate bowl

  16. Assemble at table on individual plates

Spice Cake with Poached Pears

Poached Pears


  • 2 medium pears

  • 2 cups water

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1 whole star anise

  • Pinch of salt


  1. Cut the pears into 1-inch-thick wedges, removing and discarding the fibrous stems and seeds.

  2. In a Dutch oven combine water, granulated sugar, honey, star anise, and a pinch of salt.

  3. Once the sugar dissolves, add the pear wedges.

  4. Poach the pears for about 15 minutes, or until tender.

  5. Turn off the heat and let them cool in their poaching liquid.

Poached Pears

Lemon-Maple Frosting


  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 4 ounces cream cheese

  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup


  1. Whisk or beat together butter, cream cheese, lemon zest and lemon juice until light and fluffy.

  2. Add powdered sugar, and whisk to combine. (add more powdered sugar for desired thickness).

  3. Stir in maple syrup.

  4. Place frosting in fridge to chill until you're ready to use.

Lemon-Maple Frosting




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