Photo by Sumi Chang

Photo by Sumi Chang

Sumi Chang's Pear Cake

“This is a very humble cake,” Sumi notes, “but once you taste it, you will want a second helping. I have used many different fruits and different kind of pears for this recipe, but I have found that D’Anjou pears work the best. The cake is the tastiest when the pears are ripe, so I usually buy the pears a few days before I bake this cake. The cake is delicious with vanilla or caramel ice cream.”

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbs. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup Canola oil
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups walnuts, toasted in a 350◦ oven for 25 minutes, chopped into coarse pieces and set aside.
  • 5 D’Anjou pears, peeled, cored and chopped into ½ inch cubes.



  • Spray non-stick baking spray over the bottom and insides of a 9- x 2.75-inch round cake pan, a 10-inch round spring pan, or a 12- x 10-inch rectangular pan, and set aside.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, and set aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla extract.
  • Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and combine with a spatula. The mixture will be thick, but don’t worry.
  • Add the walnuts and pears, and combine thoroughly.
  • Pour into baking pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. It may take even longer if your oven is slow. 
  • Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the middle of the cake until it comes out clean. Let cake cool before cutting.