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Spice Cake with Maple Roasted Pears and Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Assembly 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 people
Calories 637
This moist, flavorful spice cake takes Autumn to a new level with maple roasted pears encased in a maple cream cheese frosting.


  • 3 8-inch round pans



  • 5 pears (peeled, cored, cut to ¼ inch pieces)
  • 150 grams maple syrup (½ cup plus 1½ Tablespoons)
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract


  • 270 grams all-purpose flour (2¼ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • teaspoon cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 330 grams dark brown sugar (1½ cup)
  • 176 grams neutral oil (vegetable, canola, safflower) (¾ cup)
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 123 grams milk, at room temperature (½ cup)
  • 227 grams sour cream, at room temperature (1 cup or 8 ounces)

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 452 grams blocks of cream cheese, at room temperature (16 ounces (2 8-ounce blocks))
  • 227 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature (16 tbsp. or two sticks)
  • 2 teaspoons maple extract
  • teaspoon salt
  • 400 grams confectioner’s sugar (3⅓ cups)


  • Pears. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a jelly roll pan or 9 inch by 13 inch pan with parchment paper or non-stick foil. In a medium bowl, stir together the maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla. Toss pears in maple mixture. Spread pears on the prepared pan so they are in a single layer and not piled on top of each other. Roast pears for 50-60 minutes, tossing them every 15-20 minutes. The pears are done when a fork can easily pierce through them. (For crunchier pears, roast for less time, approximately 30 minutes.) Allow to cool on pan. Once cooled to room temperature, strain pears from the juices, reserving the juices in a separate bowl. Pears can be prepared up to several days in advance. Store the pears and the juices in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator.
  • Cake. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease three 8-inch round pans, line each with circles of parchment on the bottom and grease the top of the parchment. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients through the dark brown sugar. Whisk in the oil, eggs and vanilla until combined. Whisk in milk and sour cream until combined. Pour into prepared pans and bake 23-27 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the sides are just starting to pull away from the pans. Cool completely in pans.
  • Maple Cream Cheese Frosting. Using the paddle attachment of the mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together for a minute or two until fully combined and the mixture is lightly aerated. Add the maple extract and the salt, beating until combined. Stop the mixer and pour in confectioner’s sugar. Start with the mixer on the lowest speed, raising it as the confectioner’s sugar gets incorporated into the mixture. Beat on high for a minute or two.
  • Assembly. Slide a metal spatula or knife around the edges of each cake pan and remove the cakes from the pans. If necessary, carefully cut the tops of the the cakes off to even them out. With a pastry brush, brush on the tops and bottoms of each cake the reserved juices from the roasted pears. Fill a pastry bag with frosting and pipe a continuous ring on top of one of the cakes, completely covering the top. With a metal spatula, spread the frosting evenly over the top. Spoon no more than half of roasted pears onto the frosting. The pears should be spread to create one layer on top of the frosting and not be piled up on each other. Place another cake on top and repeat with the piping and pear layer. Place the last layer on top and frost the top and sides as desired.
  • Store cake in refrigerator, allowing it to come to room temperature approximately 30 minutes before serving.


  • You can absolutely bake the cakes in 3 9-inch round pans. The baking time will be less, so be sure to check on the cakes starting at the 18 minute mark.
  • Which pears to use? You can really use any that you like, but Anjou and Bosc hold their shape well.
  • Do not cut the pears bigger than ¼ inch squares. You want them bite sized to be enjoyed with a forkful of cake.
  • For more evenly baked cake layers, use cake strips. I cannot recommend these enough! You just wet the strips and wrap them around each pan just before putting the pans in the oven. The wet strips prevent the edges of the cakes from baking faster than the center of the cakes, for a more even bake.
  • For the frosting, you should be able to find maple extract in the baking aisle of your grocery store. I get my maple extract from Amazon. If you cannot get your hands on any, you can always just use vanilla. Either way, it’s all delish.
  • There is enough frosting to fully frost the sides of the cake, if that is your preference. You can also chop up some toasted pecans to decorate the cake.
Calories: 637kcal
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: maple, pears, spice cake


Calories: 637kcal | Carbohydrates: 103g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 25g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 574mg | Potassium: 361mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 45g | Vitamin A: 730IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 263mg | Iron: 2mg