Lately I have been
loving obsessed with rustic, fruit cakes. This obsession is pretty obvious if you have been to my house lately, or at a gathering I attended over the holiday weekend. I don’t know what it is, but I can’t get enough of the stuff. I am going with the fact that these cakes are jam packed with fresh, local fruit. So that instantly makes my cake obsession healthier and more acceptable, right? Right. Oh yea…and I might have added a smidge of bourbon in the deliciously ooey vanilla bean caramel topping…which just makes it…even better! Once you’ve had homemade caramel sauce, you might as well forget ever buying it in a jar at the store again, ever.
This cake is one of the most scrumptious things that has recently baked up in my oven. Cinnamon and cardamom and pears. Practically a dream team, in the cake world at least. The smell of spices and sweet fruit baking in my oven, helped me to become more accepting of the quickly approaching fall. And if these cakes weren’t good enough on their own…the caramel sauce makes them undeniably irresistible. Toasted pecans? Yes, please.
Actually, as I’m sitting here in bed writing this post, I am half tempted to creep down the stairs and devour one of the little cakelets that I have hiding in the back of my refrigerator. Yea…I broke my rule again (one and done). Sheesh…and just the other day, at school, we were coming up with rules for the classroom and discussing the importance of following them. Way to go, teach! I suppose some rules are meant to be broken…BUT only if it is a rule that has to do with eating a delicious cake…
- 1-1/4 cups vegetable oil
- 2 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk (regular milk is fine)
- 3 cups chopped pears
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat until creamy. Add milk.
- In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom. Add to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in pears.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake (see note for baking times)
- In a heavy bottomed pan, combine sugar, water, and corn syrup. Bring mixture to boil over medium heat. Do not stir. Cook until mixture has turned a golden color. Swirl mixture in pan until everything has reached the same golden color.
- Turn off the heat and slowly pour in heavy cream and buttermilk. Mixture will bubble.
- Stir in butter, mix until complete incorporated.
- Add bourbon and vanilla.
- Let cool to room temperature. Store in refrigerator.
- Baking times: Bundt cake 30 minutes, miniature cakes 15-18 minutes
- Top cooled cakes/slices with caramel sauce and chopped pecans.