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Entries in Cakes (9)


Recipe: Spiced Pear Cake

Spiced Pear Cake

Adapted from Bake or Break

Yield: 12-16 servings


For the Cake

3 c all-purpose flour

2 t baking powder

1 t baking soda

1 1/2 t ground cinnamon

1/2 t salt

1/2 t ground cloves

1/4 t ground allspice

1/4 t freshly ground nutmeg

1 c unsalted butter, softened

1 c granulated sugar

1 c packed light brown sugar

4 large eggs

1 t vanilla extract

1 c sour cream

2 large pears, cut into small pieces (about 2 cups)

For the Glaze

4 oz cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 c confectioners sugar

1/2 t vanilla extract

1/2 t ground cinnamon

2-3 Tbsp milk

Pecans for decorating (optional)


To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Generously grease a 10 c Bundt pan

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, allspice and nutmeg. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.

Add flour mixture alternating with sour cream until just combined. Stir in pears with a spatula or wooden spoon.

Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove cake from pan onto wire rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze:

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, confectioners sugar, vanilla and cinnamon until smooth. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing until glaze is pourable.

Poor glaze over cooled cake. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top, if using.  Allow glaze to set for 10-15 minutes before serving.


Recipe: Plum Cake

Plum Cake

Adopted from Martha Stewart Recipes

Yield: 9 inch cake, 8-10 servings


1 1/2 c plus 2 Tbsp all purpose flour (spooned and leveled)

1/2 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

1/2 c packed light brown sugar

3 large eggs

1 t pure vanilla extract

2 t finely grated lemon zest

1/4 c sour cream

3 plums, halved, pitted and cut into eighths

Confectioners sugar, for dusting


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter an 8-by-2 inch or 9-inch cake pan and line bottom with a round parchment.

In a bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 c flour, baking soda and salt.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. With mixer on low, beat in eggs, one at a time until incorporated; beat in vanilla and lemon zest. Beat in 1/2 flour mixture, then sour cream. Add remaining four mixture. Mix just until combined.

Spread batter into pan and smooth top with a knife. In the bowl, toss plums with 2 Tbsp flour and push gently into batter. (You want the fruit to show through the top; the flour should prevent it from sinking into the batter.)

Bake until cake is golden, about 30 minutes; loosely tent with foil and bake until cake pulls away from side of pan and cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 minutes more.

Let cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run knife around cake edge and remove cake from pan. Dust with confectioners sugar before serving.


Recipe: Stone Fruit Tea Cake

Stone Fruit Tea Cake

Adopted from Rustic Fruit Desserts

Yield: 10-12 servings

Tea Cake is not overly sweet and tastes great as an afternoon snack paired with tea or coffee. Neither cake nor tart, this dessert defies description: a fruit filled shortbread perhaps? This dough freezes well and can be pulled out of the freezer on short notice, anytime you have extra fruit on hand. 


1 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, for the pan

2 1/4 c all-purpose flour

1 t baking powder

1 t fine sea salt

1 c granulated sugar

3/4 c (6 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3 eggs

1 T pure vanilla extract

2 1/2 c coursely chopped mixed stone fruit, fresh or frozen

1 T turbino sugar


Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.

Using a handheld mixer with beaters, or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the sugar and butter together on medium-high speed for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition, then add the vanilla.  Add the flour mixture and stir just  until a smooth dough forms. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, flatten into a 1 inch-thick disk and freeze for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a shallow 10 inch round baking pan or tart pan.

Divide the dough into two equal portions and pat one portion evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the fruit over the dough. Break the remainder of the dough into tablespoon-size pieces and distribute atop the fruit, then sprinkle the turbino sugar over the dessert.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes*, or until lightly golden brown and firm. Cool for 30 minutes before serving.


Recipe: Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living 2010

Yield: 10 servings


Crumb Topping

8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1 c all-purpose flour 

1/2 c sugar

1/2 t salt

Rhubarb Layer

1 lb rhubarb, trimmed and cut on a very sharp diagonal about 1/2 inch thick

3/4 c sugar

4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Cake Batter

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour

1 1/2 t baking powder

1 1/2 t salt

8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter

1 c sugar

1/2 t finely grated lemon zest

1 Tbsp lemon juice

2 large eggs

1 c sour cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

Make the topping: Stir together melted butter, flour, sugar and salt until moist and crumbly.

Make the cake: Butter a 9 inch round cake pan (3 inches deep). Dot with 4 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces. Toss rhubarb with 3/4 c sugar; let stand for 2 minutes. Toss again and spread in pan.

Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in zest and juice. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well incorporated. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with sour cream. Spread evenly over rhubarb. Crumble topping evenly over batter.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and top springs back when touched, about one hour. Let cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake, and invert onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.

This cake is lovely served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. 


Recipe: Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

Adapted from Martha

Yield: 8-10 servings


8 T unsalted butter, room temperature

1 c sugar

1/2 t ground cinnamon

1/4 t allspice

1 3/4 c cranberries

1 large egg

1 t vanilla extract

1 1/4 c all-purpose flour

1 1/2 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

1/2 c milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in center. Rub the bottom and sides of an 8 inch round cake pan with 2 T butter.  In a small bowl, combine 1/2 c sugar with the spices*. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over bottom of pan; arrange cranberries in a single layer on top.

With an electric mixer, cream remaining 6 T butter and 1/2 c sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat until well combined.

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

With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, until well combined.

Spoon batter over cranberries in pan, and smooth the top. Place pan on a baking sheet; bake cake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes.

Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake; invert into a rimmed platter.


*Spices can be eliminated; simply sprinkle the sugar onto the bottom of the buttered cake pan