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Pear Skillet Cake

This delightfully moist cast iron cake gets its flavor from ginger, cinnamon, honey, and grated and sliced pears. Brown sugar and molasses work to give this dessert a beautiful brown color, and whipped egg whites give it a smooth, fluffy texture. Check out our editors’ favorite cast iron skillets here.

Pear Skillet Cake (0120)

The Culinary Institute of America at Copia

 2 cups cake flour
 2 ¼ tsp baking powder
 ½ tsp baking soda
 ½ tsp salt
 1 ½ tsp ground ginger
 1 tsp ground cinnamon
 ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
 ¼ tsp ground mace
 ¼ tsp ground allspice
 2 Bartlett pears, peeled and cored
 2 egg yolks
 ¼ cup molasses
  cup honey
 3 egg whites
 2 tbsp butter
 ½ cup light brown sugar
 2 cups walnut halves, toasted

Preheat a gas grill to medium-high, leave one burner off.


Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, and allspice into a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.


Grate 1 of the pears. In a small bowl, combine the grated pear, egg yolks, molasses, and honey. Stir until blended. Add 1/4 cup hot water and stir until honey and molasses are evenly blended. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients.


In a large bowl, whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter.


Melt butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet on the grill over direct heat. Add brown sugar and cook until it darkens slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Thinly slice the remaining pear. Arrange pear slices in the skillet in a spiral shape.


Pour batter over the pears in the skillet and place the pan on the grill over indirect heat. Close the lid and bake until the cake springs back when lightly touched, about 20 minutes.


Let cake cool for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a cake plate. Garnish with the walnuts and serve.