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Pear and Vanilla Cakes

These picture perfect cakes are the perfect addition to any morning or afternoon tea.


  • 2 litres water

  • 2 2/3 cups (370g) caster sugar

  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

  • 12x 125g Beurre Bosc pears, peeled and cored

  • Vanilla cake

  • 125 g butter, softened

  • 2⁄3 cup (150g) caster sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 ¼ cups (190g) self-raising flour, sifted

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ cup (125 ml) milk


  • 1.

    Place the water, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

  • 2.

    Add the pears, cover with a round of non-stick baking paper and a lid, and cook for 25–30 minutes or until tender.

  • 3.

    Drain on absorbent paper, set aside and allow to cool.

  • 4.

    Preheat oven to 160°C.

  • 5.

    Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for 8–10 minutes or until pale and creamy.

  • 6.

    Gradually add the eggs and vanilla, beating well after each addition.

  • 7.

    Fold in the flour and milk.

  • 8.

    Line 12x 1 cup (250ml) capacity muffin tins with paper cases and spoon ¼ cup (60ml) of the mixture into each case.

  • 9.

    Carefully push in the pears and bake for 30–35 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

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