Pear Cardamom Bread is a moist quick bread flecked with spicy ground cardamom and ripe Bosc pears. Your entire family will fall in love with its warm fall flavor. You’ll appreciate how easy it is to make and how freezer-friendly it is. This is a great breakfast for busy weekdays or one you must serve for lazy weekend brunches.
What is Pear Cardamom Bread?
Pear cardamom bread is a quick bread flavored with the sweet and spicy flavors of ripe pears and ground cardamom. It’s a simple recipe, especially if you’re already an accomplished banana bread-maker. Pear cardamom bread is extremely freezer-friendly, too. You can prepare it months in advance and store it away for an easy morning meal.
What is Cardamom?
Cardamom is a tropical plant that comes from the ginger family. Because of its relation to ginger, you’ll find that green, or true, cardamom has a warming, citrusy flavor with floral undertones. Cardamom is sold in pods or ground. You need the latter for this recipe. You can grind your own cardamom pods for this recipe, however. Be sure to use green cardamom in your recipes, as this is true cardamom. Black cardamom, also known as bastard or false cardamom, has a smoky, menthol flavor, which doesn’t mesh well in this recipe.
I’m on a mission to get people to cook and bake with more cardamom because I feel like it’s overlooked in the kitchen. Pears and cardamom pair so beautifully together that you’ll agree the combination deserves more airtime.
What Do I Need to Make This Pear Cardamom Bread Recipe?
To make pear cardamom bread, you need all-purpose flour, ground cardamom, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, unsalted butter, kosher salt, eggs, vanilla extract, buttermilk, and Bosc pears.
I use an electric hand mixer to blend the batter together. You can use a stand mixer if that’s all you have, though. A one-pound loaf pan is needed for baking the bread in, as well.
Can I Replace the Cardamom with a Different Spice?
You can replace the cardamom in this recipe with my Pumpkin Spice Blend if you absolutely hate cardamom. It changes to pear pumpkin spice bread, but it’ll still taste amazing.
You can replace cardamom with ground cinnamon, ginger, chai spice blend, or apple pie spice blend. Avoid aggressive spices like allspice, cloves, or nutmeg, as they overwhelm the more delicate flavor of the pear.
Why Do I Have to Beat the Butter and Sugar Together So Long?
Use an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer set on medium-high to cream together the brown sugar, unsalted butter, and kosher salt for 4 minutes.
Creaming together butter and sugar for at least 4 minutes breaks down the gritty sugar crystals and aerates the mixture. That additional air translates to a lighter, more tender product after baking. Rarely can you over-mix the butter and sugar in baking, but 4 minutes is sufficient.
What Other Extracts Go Well with The Pear Cardamom Flavor?
Add the eggs to the butter-sugar mixture, one at a time, and blend them in on low. Stop and scrape down the bowl’s sides, and the beaters after each egg is no longer visible. Add the vanilla extract with the final egg. Increase the mixer’s speed to medium-high and beat for an additional 4 minutes. Once again, the more air incorporated at this stage, the lighter and more tender the final bread will be.
You can replace the vanilla extract with maple extract, almond extract, bourbon, or spiced rum.
How Do I Avoid a Tough Bread?
Over-mixing the bread batter after you add the dry ingredients is the number one cause of tough bread. Flour makes up the bulk of the dry ingredients, and flour contains gluten. After you add the liquid (buttermilk) and start mixing, the gluten develops. As a result, the more you mix the batter after adding the flour, the tougher your bread will be. The creaming method of baking is a great way to avoid tough bread. The first two stages are complete; the final stage of the creaming method is adding the dry ingredients and liquids to the batter.
Sift in one-third of the dry ingredients first, then blend this in at low speed until the flour is no longer visible. Next, add half of the buttermilk to the bowl. Blend this in, once again, at low speed until it is incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl and beaters. Repeat the process with one-third of the dry, followed by the remaining buttermilk. End with the last of the dry ingredients.
Remember to mix in the ingredients at low speed until they are no longer visible.
What Are the Best Pears to Use in This Recipe?
Use a rubber spatula to fold the diced pears into the batter.
Bosc pears are the best variety to use in baking. Pears are winter fruits that have a slightly spicy, sweet flavor. Because Bosc pears have a firm texture, they are best when poached or baked, as we’re doing here. You can substitute Concorde, Seckel, or Tosca pears in this recipe if you can’t find Bosc.
Can I Replace the Pears with a Different Fruit?
You can substitute pears for apples, quinces, or mango. Pink Lady apples are best because they have the same floral flavor and firm flesh as pears.
What Size Pan Do I Need For This Recipe?
Scrape the batter into a greased one-pound loaf pan (9x5x3-inches). You can top your bread with thin slices of pear or leave it plain.
Lining your bread pan with parchment paper gives your baked loaf cleaner sides. It’s not a must, but I like to use paper when I’m trying to impress you.
How Long Do I Bake the Pear Cardamom Bread?
Bake the pear cardamom bread in a 350°F (177°C) oven for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Once the bread comes out of the oven, allow it to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. This gives the bread time to set up and not fall apart when you remove it from the pan. After 5 minutes, remove the bread from the pan and allow it to cool on a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Can I Bake These Into Pear Cardamom Muffins Instead of Bread?
Transform this pear cardamom bread into muffins by scooping the batter into a greased muffin tin. Fill the cavities 2/3rds of the way and bake them in a 350°F (177°C) oven for 18 to 20 minutes.
The muffins are ready when the top center springs back when you press it with your finger. Remove the muffin tin from the oven and allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to further cool.
How Do I Serve the Pear Cardamom Bread?
Slice the pear cardamom bread into 3/4-inch thick slices using a serrated bread knife. The warmer the bread is when you slice it, the more it will tear, so a serrated knife is perfect for avoiding too much damage.
Serve pear cardamom bread with yogurt and your favorite breakfast beverage. For me, that’s coffee. You don’t need much else to make this a meal.
What’s the Best Way to Store Leftovers?
Store leftover pear cardamom bread in an air-tight container for up to 2 days at room temperature. We usually hit the slices with a little heat in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds to give them that freshly baked flavor.
You can also wrap leftover slices of pear cardamom bread in a layer of plastic film and pack them in a freezer-storage bag. This way, you or the family can grab them from the freezer and eat them on the go when they thaw.
Give pears and cardamom a chance this season. They’re the unsung heroes of the baking world, and this pear cardamom bread will show you why. Be sure to let me know what you think of the recipe below, and don’t forget to pin it, then share this recipe with your world.
Pear Cardamom Breadat Sense & Edibility
- electric mixer
- 9x5-inch loaf pan
- 3 cups (390 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 3/4 teaspoons (7 grams) baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (2 grams) ground cardamom
- 3/4 teaspoon (4 grams) baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon (1 gram) ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks or 170 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup, firmly packed (215 grams) brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon (5 grams) kosher salt
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) vanilla extract
- 1 cup (250 milliliters) buttermilk at room temperature (see Notes for how to make buttermilk at home)
- 2 Bosc pears de-stemmed, cored, and diced (2 cups or 330 grams)
- Preheat an oven to 350°F (177°C).Grease a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with baking spray or brush with butter and lightly dust with all-purpose flour. Set the pan aside.
Sift Together the Dry Ingredients
- Into a 2-quart bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, ground cardamom, baking soda, and ground cinnamon.Set this dry mixture aside while you cream the butter and sugar together.
Mix the Pear Cardamom Bread Batter
- Use an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer set on medium-high to cream together the brown sugar, unsalted butter, and kosher salt in a 4-quart mixing bowl for 4 minutes.
- Add the vanilla extract to the bowl containing your eggs. Add the eggs to the butter-sugar mixture, one at a time, and blend them in on low, stopping and scraping down the bowl's sides, and the beaters after each egg is no longer visible.
- Increase the mixer's speed to medium-high and beat for an additional 4 minutes.
- Sift in one-third of the dry ingredients, then blend this in at low speed until the flour is no longer visible. Next, add half of the buttermilk to the bowl. Blend this in, once again, at low speed until it is incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl and beaters. Repeat the process with one-third of the dry, followed by the remaining buttermilk. End with the last of the dry ingredients.
- Use a rubber spatula to fold the diced pears into the batter.
Bake, then Cool the Pear Cardamom Bread
- Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake the pear cardamom bread for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
- Once the bread comes out of the oven, allow it to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the bread from the pan and allow it to cool on a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Slice the pear cardamom bread into 1-inch thick slices using a serrated bread knife once cool.
- Serve pear cardamom bread with yogurt and your favorite breakfast beverage.
Swaps and Substitutions:
- You can replace cardamom with Pumpkin Spice Blend, ground cinnamon, ginger, Chai Spice Blend, or apple pie spice blend.
- Replace the vanilla extract with maple extract, almond extract, bourbon, or spiced rum.
- You can substitute Concorde, Seckel, or Tosca pears in this recipe if you can't find Bosc.
- Substitute the pears for equal measurements of Pink Lady apples, quinces, or mango.
Tips and Techniques:
- Be sure to use green cardamom in your recipes, as this is true cardamom. Most ground cardamom sold in stores is green.
- Cooling the bread in the pan for 5 minutes gives the bread time to set up, which keeps it from falling apart when you take it out of the pan.
- You can slice your bread loaf however thick you want to.
To Make Buttermilk at Home:
- Measure out 1 cup of 2% or skim milk.
- Stir in 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) of lemon juice or white distilled vinegar.
- Allow the mixture to sit for 15 minutes before stirring again and using.
Pear Cardamom Muffins:
- Scoop the prepared batter into a greased muffin tin, filling the cavities 2/3rds of the way.
- Bake the muffins in a 350°F (177°C) oven for 18 to 20 minutes. The muffins are ready when the top center springs back when you press it with your finger.
- Remove the muffin tin from the oven and allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool further.
- Store leftover pear cardamom bread in an air-tight container for up to 2 days at room temperature.
- For a freshly baked flavor, warm slices of pear cardamom bread in the microwave for 15 to 20 seconds on high heat.
Freezer Storage Instructions:
- Wrap leftover slices of pear cardamom bread individually in a layer of plastic film and pack them in a freezer-storage bag for up to 2 months.
- Thaw at room temperature before eating.
Thanks so much, Marta! I enjoyed making this recipe, and it turned out delicious – I’d gave it a 5 for flavor and presentation. How much vanilla, especially? It would also be fun to learn how you did the decoration on the top – I figured out something with pear slices cored with a melon baller, but I don’t know if that’s what you did, and mine wasn’t quite as tidy as yours, so maybe you have some tricks to share? I’m definitely going to make this again.
Yes, it is one teaspoon of vanilla. The pears are cut in half, the core is removed with a teaspoon (or a small melon baller) and the pears are sliced in slabs about 1/4 inch thick. Glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe.
This pear cardamom bread recipe came through with all the flavors and feels of the season.
It freezes well and is flavorful enough it can be eaten by itself.
I’m glad to hear it delivers, Nimae.
Pears are one of my favorite fruits and the way they’re used in this recipe looks super tasty. I also like that this bread can be frozen and kept for later.
It is a life saver for busy mornings, Moop.
I love trying new bread recipes! This one looks so pretty with the pears! Excited to give it a try!
Thank you for trying it out, Ann!