Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cranberry Pear Cake, aka HEAVEN IN CAKE FORM

Several years ago, on a cold December night, my mom went to a party at her neighbor's house. Little did she know the food she would eat there would change her life and the lives of those she loved.
My mom's neighbor Mary introduced my mom to the cranberry pear cake. The cake batter is simple: flour, sugar, baking soda, eggs, fresh cranberries, and an entire can of pears. The cake naturally forms into rough layers as it bakes, the most cake-like parts at the bottom followed by mashed pears, with the cranberries rising to the top. As the cake goes into the oven, the cranberries glisten on top, like floating little jewels. The heat of the oven causes them to burst, shining like rubies, juicy and vibrant from the heat. The crowning glory comes in the form of a sauce. Let me tell you four reasons the sauce will change your life:
1. Butter
2. Cream
3. Sugar
4. Vanilla

Combine those in a pan with some heat, and you might begin to cry from joy. The sauce is so sweet, it balances the tart cranberries, and the smoothness of the sauce covers the weirdness I usually feel from eating mushy, cooked fruit. Indeed, this cake is the one exception I make for cooked fruit. Plus, covered with a hefty dollop of freshly whipped cream-- this cake is truly perfection. I offer a 100% guarantee that this cake will wow your friends' and your own socks right off your feet. It's a perfect holiday party dessert.

this is my work and my glory

Cranberry Pear Cake
from Mary Brinkerhoff
2 c flour
2 c sugar
2 eggs
2 t baking soda
1 large can pears, with juice, mashed
1 bag cranberries

Combine all ingredients. I like to add everything except the cranberries and then use my hand mixer, which effectively mashes the pears, then stir in the cranberries with a wooden spoon. Pour the batter into a greased 9x13. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. (My mom swears hers bakes in 40 minutes, but mine always takes infinitely longer.) Do a toothpick test to be certain it is done.

3/4 c cream
1 c sugar
3/4 c butter
1 t pure vanilla extract

Combine in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Drizzle (liberally) over individual pieces of cake and top with a hefty dollop of freshly-whipped cream.

You're welcome.


  1. Ohhh, thank you Courtney. I might just try that tonight. No one home but me and the girls, but who cares. That looks awesome.

    I hope I have some pears....

    Now tissues are flying, must go.


  2. I'm already sure that I'm going to love it.