Roasted Pear Pound Cake with Chocolate Sauce

A nice version of a traditional pound cake that pairs well with the chocolate sauce. This makes a big tube shaped cake that is ideal for gatherings.
Based on a recipe by Molly O'Neill, New York Times Sunday Magazine, 1994.
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 45 minutes
Course: Desserts - Cakes
Servings: 16 servings
Author: Catherine Christiano



  • 4 large firm pears peeled, halved, cored and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder


  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate 1 cup if using chocolate chips, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons brandy



  • Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Grease and flour 10-inch tube pan.
  • Place pear slices in single layer on baking sheet and roast until tender, about 10 minutes. Using a food processor, puree until smooth. You should have close to 2 1/3 cups. Set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
  • In large bowl of stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Mix until very light; batter will appear curdled. Mix in vanilla and pear puree.
  • Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to batter; mix just until combined. Evenly distribute batter into prepared pan. Bake until top springs back when touched in center, about 1 hour. Place on rack to cool. Turn cake out of pan and re-invert onto a cake plate.


  • Melt chocolate in a double boiler over barely simmering water. Whisk in cream and brandy. If preparing in advance, rewarm before serving.
  • To serve, place a slice of cake on a plate and spoon chocolate sauce beside it.


This cake freezes well. Individual slices may also be frozen between sheets of wax paper. Slices can be defrosted by microwaving for about 30 seconds. 
Chocolate sauce can be stored in the refrigerator and reheated.
Whole strawberries or raspberries would make a nice decoration on the side.
Copyright 2023, Catherine Christiano. Website by Catherine Christiano.