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Torta di pere – pear cake

By June 15, 2014November 13th, 2017Blog, dolci - sweets, recipes

We grew up eating fruit – fresh apples, oranges and pears were always in the fruit bowl. After every meal at home, mamma or papà would peel fruit and hand it out to us, making sure we had at least one serve per day. Now that mamma is alone, she still manages to eat at least two pieces of fruit each day – no wonder she is still going strong at 86. Fruit often made its way into a cake – apple strudel being a favourite. Every now and then she would made a simple vanilla-scented cake and bury pieces of fruit in the batter.


I loved it when she made a cake with ripe pears. Pears are in season in Australia now and I have been buying a large bag full of Beurre Bosc each week. They are so sweet and delicious, I make sure I have one for breakfast, often with some creamy yoghurt on the side. When they are almost overripe, they are perfect to use for baking. This recipe for torta di pere is based on one from this website and it takes just over an hour to make, including baking. It is almost identical to the one mamma used to make. It is super simple and moist, with buried segments of pear. You can be indulgent and have it with some whipped cream on the side but I love it as it is, for breakfast, with a coffee. This way I am still eating fruit each day, even if it is in a cake.

italian pear cake-italyonmymind

Torta di pere (pear cake)

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
3 eggs
150 g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
150 g self raising flour
30 g cornflour
90 g butter, melted
2 large or 3 small ripe pears, peeled and cut into 1/8 (or quarters) segments
icing sugar for dusting

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line a 24cm cake tin with a removable base with baking paper. Beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift the flour and corn flour and add to the egg/sugar mixture, stirring gently. Pour in the melted butter and the vanilla and stir until smooth. Place the batter in the prepared tin and arrange the pear segments in a circle, so the tip of the segment is pointing towards the centre of the cake. Push the slices slightly so that they are at least partially covered by batter.

Bake for 40 minutes – the top should be golden and a skewer should come out clean when inserted. Leave to cool then dust on some icing sugar before serving.




  • Karen says:

    I’ll save this recipe for fall when the pears in our orchard are ready to be harvested. I know I would enjoy a slice with a cup of tea in the morning.

  • Sally says:

    Gorgeous – I was brought up on fruit in cakes. This sort of recipe reminds me so much of a dear aunt and her apple cake. Love it.

  • Jo says:

    Totally delicious! I remember these cakes and am very fond of fruit in cakes myself. I especially remember that there would always be a jam tart in the cupboard. Made with organic jam from Hungary which had a higher fruit content and lower sugar content than Australian jams (according to your father!)

    • Thanks Jo, I had forgotten that my father used to say that about jam – I think it is because mamma made jam after they retired and always used little sugar (and the jam was often a bit runny but at least it tasted of the fruit). And you are right that there was often a jam tart in the cupboard – I made one of those yesterday – it seems that traditions do not change

  • Krati says:

    Great blog Paula!
    Can you recommend something to substitute egg with ? I am a vegetarian so usually I add oil or yoghurt in cakes. Do you have a better substitute. I am going to try this cake soon

    • Thanks Krati! No I am sorry I don’t know what to use in place of eggs in a cake. I imagine that oil and yoghurt would work great in some cakes but not all, and it would be hard to get the aeration & fluffiness of eggs. Let me know how you go with this cake and thanks for dropping by

  • Linda Stanley says:

    Thank you for this recipe. I love the old world Italian recipes. I am not familiar with corn flour and caster sugar. Can you explain how I might find them or is there another name for these items?

  • Sue says:

    Looking forward to making this cake, I love trying new recipes and your cakes always look delicious and easy to make. Look forward to seeing any new cake recipes Sue

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