A rich, super moist bundt cake made with brown sugar, diced pears and dried cherries, then dressed up with a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
For Christmas I asked for Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan and I finally found time to bake my first recipe from it. I asked the Tuesdays with Dorie’s bakers what their favorite recipes from Baking were and was told this cake was definitely a must-try. (In fact, I have a list 16 must-try recipes that I’ve saved and can’t wait to try.)
I made a couple of small changes to the recipe. I didn’t have any buttermilk, so I substituted yogurt. I love dried cherries in baked goods and they were a perfect substitute for the raisins. I also baked it in two half size bundt pans so I could serve one and freeze one for later. Its’ so great to have dessert stowed away in the freezer to serve if company drops by.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups light brown sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup yogurt, room temperature
2 medium pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 cup dried cherries
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350º F. *Butter a 9- to 10-inch (12 cup) Bundt pan, dust the inside with flour and tap out the excess. If your pan is not nonstick, dust the interior of the pan with flour, then tap out the excess. (Don't place the pan on a baking sheet - you want the oven's heat to circulate through the Bundt's inner tube.) *I use two half sized bundts sprayed with baking spray with flour.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture and the yogurt alternately - add the flour in 3 additions and the buttermilk in 2 (begin and end with the dry ingredients). Mix only until the ingredients are incorporated and scrape down the bowl as needed. With a rubber spatula, stir in the pears and cherries. Scrape the batter into the pan(s) and smooth the top with the spatula.
Bake for 60 to 65 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. (If the cake looks as if it's browning too fast, cover the top loosely with a foil tent.) I baked the half size bundts for 35 minutes.
Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding, then cool to room temperature on the rack.
When you are ready to serve, dust the top of the cake with confectioners' sugar.
slightly adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
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