We’ve all been there. You show up to a holiday party with your go-to potluck recipe, only to find out that someone has dietary restrictions! Since we love pear desserts here at Harry & David, we’re sharing our favorite vegan dessert recipe with pears that will be a hit with anyone at the party or at home.
This recipe uses a few simple modifiers that are a great way to lighten up most recipes. Instead of eggs, you can make a “flax egg” out of flax seeds and water, which has a very similar consistency. This vegan recipe also uses a combination of almond flour and tapioca flour to make a gluten-free substitute to conventional flour. Try looking for these swaps in other recipes to learn more about baking for special diets.
Vegan Dessert Recipe: The Paleo Pear Cake
Grain-Free Vegan Upside-Down Pear Cake
- • 4 Tbsp ground flax seed
- • ¾ cup water
- • 3 Tbsp vegan butter spread, melted
- • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
- • 2 Harry & David Pears, peeled and sliced
- • ½ cup pure maple syrup
- • ¼ cup avocado oil or olive oil
- • 2 tsp almond extract
- • 2 ½ cups finely ground almond flour
- • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
- • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- • ½ tsp sea salt
- • 1 tsp baking powder
- If you aren’t vegan, you can replace the vegan butter spread with ghee or grass-fed butter. You can also replace the flax seed and water with 3 large eggs.
Stir together the ground flax seed and water in a bowl until well-combined. Allow this mixture to sit while you begin preparing the rest of the recipe (at least 15 minutes), stirring occasionally. The mixture should have roughly the same consistency as beaten eggs after sitting for 15 minutes.
Lightly grease or spray an 8-inch cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper (you can trace the pan on parchment paper then cut a perfectly-sized circle to place in the bottom).
3. Pour the melted vegan spread evenly over the parchment paper in the springform pan and evenly sprinkle the coconut sugar on top. Note: it's okay if some of the melted vegan butter spread begins to seep through the spring form pan. Arrange pear slices on top of the buttery-sugar mixture.
4. In a bowl, stir together the almond flour, tapioca flour, cinnamon, sea salt, and baking powder until well-combined.
5. In a separate bowl, Stir together the flax egg mixture with the pure maple syrup and avocado oil until well-combined.
6. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients and stir until well-combined. Note: This mixture will be very thick.
7. Transfer the cake batter to the springform pan on top of the sliced pears and use a rubber spatula to smooth into an even layer.
8. Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until cake is beginning to turn golden brown and feels firm when gently poked in the center.
9. Turn off the oven and leave the cake in the warm oven for 10 minutes longer.
10. Remove cake from oven and allow it to cool at least 40 minutes. Run a paring knife between the cake and the cake pan, then turn it over onto a cutting board. Peel the parchment paper off the top, slice, and serve.