Photo of Pear poppy seed cake by WW

Pear poppy seed cake

Total Time
1 hr 5 min
20 min
45 min
Pear purée is a natural sweetener. You can try using other puréed fruits, such as prunes and apples, to cut back on the sugar factor in some of your favorite baked goodies. Here, we soften the pears with a microwave, then strain the juice and mash the flesh. It's an easy method that you can use for added sweetness and texture and is a great way to use up any leftover fruit you may have on hand. You'll also love the incorporation of hearty buttermilk, almond extract, poppy seeds, and ground ginger. The earthy nuttiness contrasts nicely with the sweet pears.



2 large, peeled and cored

1% low-fat buttermilk

¼ cup(s)

Almond extract

¼ tsp

All-purpose flour

1 cup(s)

Baking powder

2 tsp

Poppy seeds

2 Tbsp

Ground ginger

1 tsp

Baking soda

¼ tsp

Table salt

¼ tsp

Salted butter

6 Tbsp, softened

Egg white(s)

3 large


½ cup(s)


  1. Heat oven to 350°F (175°C). Coat an 8-inch (20 cm) square cake pan with cooking spray; dust with flour.
  2. In microwavable bowl, heat pears until tender, about 2 minutes on high.
  3. Strain 1/4 cup pear juice into measuring cup. Add buttermilk and stir in almond extract.
  4. Mash pears with fork until they're about the texture of applesauce.
  5. Whisk together flour, baking powder, poppy seeds, ginger, baking soda and salt.
  6. In a separate bowl, cream butter with a mixer on medium speed until light; add pear purée and mix to combine. Alternately add dry ingredients and pear juice mixture in three additions, starting with dry mixture.
  7. In another bowl, whip egg whites with mixer until almost stiff. Add sugar slowly and whip until stiff. In three additions, fold whites into pear mixture. Pour into pan.
  8. Bake until cake springs back in middle when lightly touched, about 45 minutes. Cool on rack and serve.