Spiced Pear Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
The beauty of this cake is that it is so flexible, You can add as much or as little spice as you want. I almost never use the oil a cake mix calls for, instead I will use either sour cream or yogurt. Sometimes if I am in a particular rush I will just use "Pumpkin Pie spice" in lieu of using all the spices individually. making the cake a little healthier without the oil always makes me feel a little bit better about piling on the cream cheese frosting, but you could omit the frosting all together as the sliced pears at the bottom of the cake do make their own yummy glaze. Any which way you do it just do it, and enjoy this amazing treat!
For the cake:
1 box spice cake mix
1-2 fresh pears sliced (or) 1 can good quality canned pears
1 1/4 c. apple juice (or) water
1/3 c sour cream (or) greek yogurt
2 tbsp. marmalade
1/3 c. ground flax
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. Vanilla extract
For the cream cheese frosting:
1 package 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1/4 c. or half a cube of butter
powdered sugar (I don't measure but somewhere in the 1 1/2-2 c. range)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Begin by prepping your pans and turning your oven to 350 degrees. I lined two 9" round cake pans with parchment paper and said to heck with greasing anything! Next I sprinkled some brown sugar and cinnamon in the parchment lined pans and arranged my sliced pears on top of the cinnamon sugar mix.
In the bowl of a stand mixer go the cake mix, spices and ground flax. I like to mix a little to get all the flax incorporated. Add the water, sour cream, vanilla and marmalade and mix it up. You may not be a marmalade fan but I happen to have 8 jars or marmalade that need to be eaten so in it went. The orange does provide a really delicate flavor but feel free to leave it out. I like to add my eggs 1 at a time after all the other wet ingredients and then mix up the whole heavenly scented batter for a minute or two. carefully pour the batter into the 2 pans and bake about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted to the middle comes out clean. I chose to make cream cheese frosting which only involves dumping all the frosting ingredients into the mixer and whipping it up, easy peasy! Allow cakes to cool completely before flipping them and peeling off the parchment because those amazing gooey pears are hot! Frost your cakes and enjoy!