Cakes & CookiesDavid Scott AllenDessertProvencal RecipesTaste

What to do with all those Pears? Make Sunken Pear Cake

It is a funny thing when you start to think about how recipes change and evolve. My grandmother almost never followed a recipe, yet her Christmas cake never failed her…mine is a different story. Kuchen is the German word for cake, and this recipe for Sunken Pear Cake is David’s slight adjustment from the traditional apple version that you find in Germany (Versunkener Apfelkuchen). Please read the original post about experimenting with ingredients and recipe changes.

By mid-August in Provence, you begin to see the early harvest pears, apples and plums. There is still some stone fruit to be found, but indeed, the apricot season is well over by this period so why not make a dessert with pears?

Other Desserts with Pears:

Provence Gourmet: Red Wine Poached Pears

Easy Tart Provencal Pears and Chocolate

Pears and Honey in One Sweet Tart Recipe

Sunken Pear Cake Versunkener Apfelkuchen

Sunken Pear Cake

Pears tend to spoil quite quickly, it seems like one minute they are hard and then way too soft. This is an easy dessert recipe to help you use up those fresh, harvest pears.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 8 people


  • 3 medium Pears
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp Granulated Sugar
  • 9 tbsp softened unsalted butter plus extra for the pan
  • 1 tsp Almond extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Fine Salt
  • 1-2 tbsp Demerara (raw) Sugar
  • optional Vanilla Ice Cream for serving


  • Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F.
  • Butter the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and line with parchment paper; set aside.
  • Peel, core, and quarter the pears.
  • Thinly slice each quarter lengthwise without cutting all the way through to the core side, leaving the quarter hinged together.
  • Finely grate the zest of the lemon into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and set aside; save the lemon half.
  • Cream the butter and sugar with the lemon zest, occasionally scraping down the sides; add the almond extract and 1 of the eggs.
  • Beat until combined before adding the second egg.
  • Beat until combined and then add the third egg, beating until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • With the mixer on low speed, beat in the flour mixture until just combined, then beat in the juice from the reserved lemon half.
  • Scrape down the sides with a spatula and give the batter one last mix by hand.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
  • Gently press the pear quarters into the batter, core-side down, leaving only a bit of space between each quarter.
  • If you have any pear left over, break off slices and insert them into any open space available.
  • Sprinkle the top evenly with the demerara sugar.
  • Bake, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until the cake is golden and a tester inserted into the cake (not pear) comes out clean, 35 to 37 minutes.
  • Place the pan on a rack to cool for 5 minutes before running a knife around the edge and removing the springform ring. Let cool to room temperature.
  • Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Please share this with friends and family.

All rights reserved. Perfectly Provence articles and other content may not be published, broadcast, rewritten (including translations into other languages) or redistributed without written permission. For usage information, please contact us.
Syndication Information
Affiliate Information
As an Amazon Associate, this website earns from qualifying purchases. Some recipes, posts and pages may have affiliate links. If you purchase via these links, we receive a small commission that does not impact your price. Thank you in advance for supporting our work to maintain Perfectly Provence.
Previous post

French Riviera (and Beyond) Family-Friendly Activities

Next post

9 Fun Things To Do In St Rémy de Provence

David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!

No Comment

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.