Buttermilk Spice Cake is topped with poached pears and a mulled wine glaze… all the flavors of the holiday season! This sweet little bundt cake is an easy to make take along for long overdue visits with family. It’s been awhile since you’ve seen them, right? Make a cake, a pot of coffee and get ready to chat all evening long!
Buttermilk Spice Cake for the Holidays!
My two favorite ingredients in this Buttermilk Spice cake are the buttermilk and the ground black pepper. Spice cake usually includes cinnamon and cloves, which are wonderful of course. However, the buttermilk really amps up the moistness of this cake and the ground black pepper accentuates the warmth of the other added spices. It’s an old-fashioned recipe that reminds us that unusual ingredients bring out the best flavors.
This recipe makes 10 cups of batter, and most Bundt cake recipe make 12 cups (2.8lt) of batter. In the sample cake that I baked, I used a vintage mold that was smaller than modern Bundt cake pans. You can easily find 10 cup (2.3lt) Bundt cake molds online. But you can still use a 12 cup (2.8lt) Bundt cake pan with this recipe, no problem. Just make sure that your pan is well greased and floured so that the cake comes out easily.
Poached pears and brandywine toddys
Also, when poaching the pears, you can definitely poach more than the 2 pears as listed in the recipe. The poaching liquid is enough to poach up to 5 small pears, which will fit in a 1.5 qt (1.5lt) saucepan.
However, once the poaching is complete, you will have left over pear poaching liquid WHICH IS DELICIOUS! Even though you only need a small amount of the poaching liquid to make the glaze, you can use the rest for a flavor base for cocktails or mocktails. For instance, I am planning to make a Brandywine Toddys with mine. Cake baking is hard work and I deserve some holiday cheer!
Buttermilk Spice Cake
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 55 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 16 servings 1x
2 1/2 cups cake flour (312g)
1 tsp. baking powder (4g)
1 tsp. baking soda (6g)
1 tsp. salt (4g)
1 tsp. cinnamon (2g)
½ tsp. ground cloves (1g)
½ tsp ground black pepper (1g)
½ cup soft butter (115g)
½ cup light brown sugar firmly packed (100g)
1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
1 tsp. vanilla extract (5ml)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (300ml)
Wine Poached Pears & Glaze
1 cup wine (240ml)
1 1/2 cups water (360ml)
1 cup sugar (200g)
½ tsp. whole black pepper (1g)
½ tsp. whole cloves (1g)
4” whole cinnamon stick (10cm)
2 pears, peeled but left whole
½ cup powdered sugar (100g)
Preheat your oven to 350°F (176°C). Grease and flour a 10 or 12 cup (2.3lt or 2.8lt) Bundt cake pan. Sift the cake flour together with the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and pepper. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, combine butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla until fluffy, about five minutes. Scrape the inside of bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk and beat until smooth between additions.
Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Cool the cake for 10 minutes in the pan, and then flip over and remove the cake from the pan. Cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
To make the wine poached pears, combine the wine, water, sugar, black pepper, cloves and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and add the whole peeled pears. Poach the pears over medium heat for 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pears from the poaching liquid. Continue to simmer the liquid for another 10 minutes. Strain out the spices.
Place the powdered sugar in a small bowl. Add 2 tbsp. (30ml) of the poaching liquid to the powdered sugar and stir until smooth. (Reserve the remaining poaching liquid for another use.)
Slice the whole pears in half, remove the core and seeds and slice. Decorate the top of the cake with the pear slices. Drizzle the warm glaze over the top.