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Chai Spiced Pear Bundt Cake is filled with fresh ripe pears and gently spiced with cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. A spiced icing is accented with chai tea.

Chai Spiced Pear Bundt Cake


Servings 12 servings

Ingredients

For the pan:

  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour

For the cake:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 cups ripe peeled chopped pears

For the icing:

  • 1 bag vanilla chai tea (I used Bigelow)
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 2 ounces block cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 pinch salt

For the topping:

  • chopped toasted almonds

Instructions

Prepare the pan:

  1. Adjust oven rack down to the bottom third of the oven. For me, this is just one level down from the center. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, stir together the melted 1 Tablespoon of butter with the 1 Tablespoon of flour. Using a pastry brush, a piece of waxed paper or perhaps an empty butter wrapper, coat the entire  inside surface of your bundt pan. (The brush makes this job a breeze.) Set aside.

Make the cake:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the 3 cups of flour, salt, baking soda and spices. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment for this.
  3. Add eggs to the butter/sugar mixture, one at a time, mixing between each addition until fully combined. Add the vanilla extract, almond extracts and sour cream. Continue beating until combined.

  4. On low speed, gradually add flour mixture and beat until fully combined. The batter will be thick. Add the chopped pears and gently fold them into the batter until evenly distributed.

  5. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan, spreading to distribute it evenly. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes. Then, flip out of pan onto a paper towel lined rack to finish cooling.

  6. While the cake is cooling, place the vanilla chai teabag in 1/3 cup of hot water and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Remove the bag and allow the tea to completely cool. Once the cake is completely cool, make the icing.

Make the icing:

  1. In a medium bowl beat butter and cream cheese until fully combined and creamy. Add almond and vanilla extracts and continue beating until combined.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioner's sugar, spices and salt. Add this to the butter/cream cheese mixture and beat until fully combined. Add the tea, a spoonful at a time until you get desired drizzling consistency. Spread the icing on top of cooled cake, allowing to cascade down the side. Sprinkle with chopped, toasted pecans. 

Recipe Notes

*If you don't want to use the short cut of the mixed butter/flour paste, grease and flour the pan as you normally would. I just find that trying to coat a bundt pan with flour can be a little tedious. However, once you try this short cut, I think you're going to be forever converted.

*Measure your flour correctly. I use the spoon and sweep method. Stir the flour to lighten up an packed areas, then spoon it into your measuring cup. Drag a flat edge across the surface to level.

*Room temperature butter should be softened, not mushy. Don't leave it out for hours. It should feel firm, but pliable. You should be able to press on the butter and make an indent with your finger that still holds it's shape. This will make a difference in how your cake turns out.

*You can heat your sour cream in the microwave for just a few seconds to help bring it to room temperature. Be careful not to allow it to get warm. You don't want to melt the butter when you add the sour cream to the batter.

*Pears should be ripe, but not mushy.

*Adding the tea gives an additional boost of flavor and helps loosen the icing so that it can cascade down the sides of the cake. You can leave it as thick or make it as thin as you desire. For a thicker icing, omit the tea and just spread the icing on top of the cake.

*Because of the icing, I store this cake in the refrigerator. I like to heat up individual slices for a few seconds in the microwave to take the chill off. I find when spice cakes are too cold, you can't get the full flavor.

*In order to allow the delicate pear flavor to really shine through, I was conservative with the spices. If you are looking for a more intensely spiced cake, feel free to increase the spices by double or to your taste.

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