The Washington Post

Apple and Pear Cake With Citrus and Nuts

Apple and Pear Cake With Citrus and Nuts 12.000

Laura Chase de Formigny for The Washington Post; styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Dec 16, 2020

This loaded cake bursting with fall fruit, citrus and nuts shares a lot of the same moist, tender and homey comfort as your typical banana or zucchini bread. Shredded apple and pear melt into the batter, which boasts a lively jolt of lemon and orange in the form of zest and pureed flesh. The recipe was a favorite of Voraciously staff writer Becky Krystal's grandparents, and the oil-based (dairy-free) Bundt has plenty of nostalgic appeal.

The cake is easily stirred together by hand, but you can use a stand or hand mixer, if you prefer. We tested this recipe in both a large (10- to 15-cup) Bundt pan and a 9-by-13-inch pan. If you choose the latter, see the VARIATION, below.

Make Ahead: If you can, make the cake a day in advance (wait to dust with confectioners' sugar until serving); the flavor will improve as it sits. The baked cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Wrap and freeze individual slices for up to 1 month.

12 - 14

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 12-14 servings; makes one 10-inch bundt cake

  • 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 medium orange
  • 2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (180 milliliters) vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large apples (about 20 ounces/560 grams total), peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater, excess liquid squeezed out
  • 1 ripe pear (about 6 ounces/170 grams), peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater, excess liquid squeezed out
  • 1 cup (100 grams) finely chopped nuts, such as pecans and walnuts
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Coat a large (10- to 15-cup) Bundt pan with baking spray, or grease thoroughly with a thin layer of vegetable oil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Remove the zest from the lemon and orange using a rasp-style grater, such as a Microplane. You should have about 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 1 tablespoon orange zest (don't get hung up on the exact amounts). Peel and discard the remaining skin from the fruit. Coarsely chop the flesh, removing any seeds. Using an immersion blender or traditional blender, puree the flesh of the fruits together until completely broken down. Reserve 1/2 cup of the puree and discard or repurpose the rest, such as stirring it into sparkling water.

Transfer the lemon and orange zests to a large bowl along with the granulated sugar and rub together with your fingers until the sugar is moistened and fragrant. Add the eggs, oil and vanilla extract and beat vigorously with a whisk until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Using about a third of each, whisk in the flour mixture and 1/2 cup pureed fruit in three alternating additions, beating well after each. Once the batter thickens, you can switch to a wooden spoon or flexible spatula for easier stirring. Stir in the grated apple, pear and the chopped nuts. Pour the batter into the pan, smoothing out the top. Bake for 1 hour, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let rest for 10 minutes. Use a small, flexible spatula or a round-edged knife to loosen the sides of the cake from the pan and then turn onto the rack. Let the cake cool completely, then store or cut and serve, dusting with confectioners' sugar before serving.

VARIATION: To make in a 9-by-13-inch pan, grease the pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, letting enough excess hang over the edges to form a sling for removing the cake later. Secure the paper to the pan with a few metal clips and grease it, too, with the nonstick spray. Proceed with the recipe and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool, cut and serve as above.

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Recipe Source

From Voraciously staff writer Becky Krystal.

Tested by Becky Krystal.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 14): 410

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 19g 29%

Saturated Fat: 2g 10%

Cholesterol: 53mg 18%

Sodium: 236mg 10%

Total Carbohydrates: 58g 19%

Dietary Fiber: 3g 12%

Sugar: 34g

Protein: 6g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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