Spiced Pomegranate-Pear Cake

This special-occasion pomegranate cake is a delicious combination of tender cake, tart fruit and rich buttercream. It is also beautiful and stays moist for days.

Spiced Pomegranate-Pear Cake

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TOTAL TIME: Prep: 1 hour + chilling Bake: 20 min. + cooling
YIELD: 16 servings.


  • 1-1/2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can (29 ounces) pear halves in juice, drained and cut into 1/8-inch slices

  • CAKE:
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 10 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 drops red food coloring, optional
  • 7-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons 2% milk
  • Pomegranate seeds


  • 1. In a small saucepan, combine juice, brown sugar and ginger. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved; remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Place pears in a bowl or shallow dish; pour juice mixture over pears and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
  • 2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°. Line bottoms of 3 greased 8-in. round baking pans with parchment; grease paper. In a small bowl, combine milk and vinegar; let stand 5 minutes until curdled. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk mixture, beating well after each addition.
  • 3. Transfer to prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to wire racks; remove paper. Cool completely.
  • 4. Drain pears, reserving marinade; pat dry. For frosting, in a large bowl, beat butter, 2 tablespoons reserved marinade, vanilla and if desired, food coloring until blended. Beat in confectioners’ sugar alternately with enough milk to reach spreading consistency.
  • 5. To assemble cake, using a long serrated knife, cut each cake horizontally in half. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate; brush with 1/4 cup reserved marinade. Top with 2/3 cup pears. Top with another cake layer; spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Repeat layers, ending with remaining cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake with 2 cups frosting. Pipe remaining frosting around top and bottom edges. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over top of cake. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Nutrition Facts

1 slice: 614 calories, 26g fat (16g saturated fat), 113mg cholesterol, 321mg sodium, 93g carbohydrate (75g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.