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close up cake slice with whipped cream fork on plate

Pear Cake with Olive Oil

This pear cake, a close cousin to a traditional Rosh Hashanah apple cake, is simple to make but will wow your guests with its unique twists and flavor profile. Sure to become a fall favorite!

Course Dessert
Cuisine Jewish Holiday Baking
Keyword olive oil cake, Pear cake, Rosh Hashanah
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 10
Calories 260 kcal


  • 2 cups flour 1 cup All Purpose, 1 cup White Whole Wheat (2 cups AP ok too)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 eggs
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup olive oil no need to use your best finishing oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1.3 pounds Bartlett pears about 3 medium sized or 2 large, peeled (chop one pear for batter - about 1 cup, the balance sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon candied ginger chopped
  • ½ lemon for squeezing on pears after chopping/slicing


  • 1 tablespoon course sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Prep your 9" round cake pan (springform if possible) with non-stick spray and a dusting of flour. Add a piece of parchment on the bottom if you have any concern that it might stick.

  3. Measure your dry ingredients and combine them in a small bowl.
  4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the eggs and sugars together.
  5. Then whisk in the olive oil and vanilla into the egg/sugar mixture.

  6. Add the diced pears, crystallized ginger and dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine.
  7. Pour the batter into your cake pan. Now decorate the top with the sliced pears and a sprinkling of the coarse sugar and cinnamon if you like.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 – 60 minutes – top should be golden brown and a cake tester should come out clean
  9. Cool and serve with fresh whipped cream. Or wrap well and freeze for later use.