This Salted Caramel Pear Layer Cake features 3 thick layers of a warmly spiced pear cake that are sandwiched together with a deeply sweet homemade salted caramel sauce. The whole Salted Caramel Pear Layer Cake is then frosted with a simple but delicious vanilla buttercream and doused in some more salted caramel sauce!
Although making your own salted caramel may seem a bit daunting at first, it’s actually quite easy! Making it takes about 10 to 15 minutes of active cooking.
FOR THE PEAR CARAMEL
- 50g unsalted butter , plus extra for the tins
- 50ml reserved pear juice
- 150ml perry
- 100g light brown muscovado sugar
- 1 tbsp double cream
- generous pinch sea salt
FOR THE ICING
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 250g butter , at room temperature
- 250g golden caster sugar
- 4 egg whites
FOR THE CAKE
- toasted buckwheat , dehydrated pear and rosemary, to serve (optional)
- 120g natural yogurt
- 150ml rapeseed or vegetable oil
- 150g light brown muscovado sugar , sieved
- 200g golden caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 15g rye flour
- 360g self-raising flour
- 4 Williams pears , 3 grated over a sieve, reserving the pear juice for the caramel, 1 peeled, cored and chopped (do this when about to decorate)
- 2cm piece ginger , grated
STEP 1: PREPARE THE OVEN
- Heat oven to 195C/175C fan/gas 5 ½.
- Butter and line the base of three 20cm round cake tins.
- Add the grated ginger to the grated pear
- Push down with a wooden spoon to squeeze out as much juice as possible.
STEP 2: MAKE THE CAKE
- Mix the flours, spices, baking powder and 1 tsp salt in a bowl.
- In a stand mixer, vigorously whisk the eggs and sugars for 3 mins until thick and frothy.
- Slowly pour in the oil in a steady stream.
- Turn the speed down, then add the flour mixture, 2 tbsp at a time, alternating with the yogurt, until incorporated.
- Mix in the grated pear (for no longer than 20 secs).
- Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 25-30 mins or until a skewer inserted comes out dry.
STEP 3: MAKE THE CARAMEL
- Heat the pear juice and perry in a pan until reduced to about 50ml.
- Add the sugar and butter and whisk to a smooth caramel, then add the cream and whisk again until smooth.
- Add sea salt to your taste.
- Then allow to cool slightly to just warmer than room temperature.
STEP 4: MAKE THE BUTTERCREAM ICING
- Put the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Place the bowl over a pan of boiling water, then whisk until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is no longer gritty.
- Put the bowl in the mixer.
- Whisk until soft peaks form and the bowl returns to room temperature.
- Switch to the paddle attachment.
- Add the butter, one spoonful at a time.
- Add the tahini, vanilla and a pinch of salt, and beat to a light, fluffy icing.
STEP 5: ASSEMBLE THE CAKE
- Place the bottom layer of sponge on a platter or cake stand.
- Top with a layer of the buttercream and scatter over a third of the chopped pear.
- Repeat with the next two layers.
- To ice the cake, do an intial layer all over, chill in the fridge for 20 mins.
- Use the remaining icing to cover everything.
- Use a stepped spatula to spread it out evenly.
- Pour the caramel over the top of the cake, and allow it to drip down the sides.
- Scatter with toasted buckwheat, dehydrated pear and rosemary, if you like.
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