Pear Cupcakes with Caramel & Hazelnuts
Pear Cupcakes with Caramel & Hazelnuts came into being thanks to one of my favourite clients here in Cape Town – Saa-rah Adams 😀
She is so cool! She and her family have ordered pretty much everything on my home bakery menu, TWICE! And sometimes when they order they’ll say the best line a baker wants to hear: “Surprize us!”
I actually baked Pear, Caramel & Hazelnut Cupcakes as a large cake for her, but today I would like to share the cupcake version. I love the cupcake version so much because there is more caramelization during baking which just makes the flavour SENSATIONAL!
My Pear Cupcakes recipe is quite similar to German Apple Cake, in the sense that there’s no additional liquid added to the batter like milk, buttermilk, etc. All the liquid comes from the natural juices inside the fresh fruit.
For this reason the batter is really stiff when you mix it. It is more like something in between a batter and dough. DO NOT ADD ANY EXTRA LIQUID!
I know it is quite difficult to mix, but just take your time and “massage” the fresh pear into the batter with the back of a sturdy metal spoon. I once used a standard stainless steel dessert spoon to mix the pear into the batter and the thing bent over onto itself completely!
Another super important note is to have your cupcake pans ready and lined with cupcake cases BEFORE you mix the pear into the batter. I have a post on making your own cupcake cases as well.
The reason behind this is that the sugar inside the batter starts to draw out the pear’s natural juices very quickly. If these juices are stirred about into the batter, the caramelization of the cupcakes seriously decreases! By about as much as 30% I’d say.
The texture of the crumb is also then just all wrong and the pear pieces inside the batter are less pronounced. Bottom line, DO NOT LET THIS BATTER STAND, but scoop it into the cupcake cases immediately.
Since the batter is stiff, it is a bit more difficult to spoon into cases. Press the pear cupcakes batter in firmly and fill the cases right to the very top! The filled cases should be more or less level with the rims of the cupcake pan.
A Note on Pears
Whichever pears you use, just make sure they are NOT SOFT! In other words, they should be slightly under ripe.
Super ripe pears will just disintegrate entirely in this recipe, and you don’t want that. The pear flavour is more pronounced in the pear cupcakes when you bite into plenty little jewels of pear in every bite.
The pear pieces will spend 40 minutes in the oven, so they will end up being soft in the final taste experience.
What Makes These Pear Cupcakes so Good?
They are SO SCRUMMY! They have a deep and even slightly crispy caramelization on top and a super moist, crazy flavourful interior. Paired with Philosophy of Yum Whipped Cream Cream-Cheese Frosting, salted caramel & Toasted Hazelnuts the YUM factor is taken even further.
In one bite you get: crispy, chewy, fresh, smooth, depth and crunch. These Pear Cupcakes are just the quintessence of autumn to me and I absolutely adore them! And you know I don’t say anything like this very often!
- 75 g Egg
- 125 g Canola Oil
- 270 g White Sugar
- 1 ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ Tbsp Vanilla Extract
- 220 g All Purpose Flour
- ½ tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- 650 g Chopped Fresh Pear, firm and slightly under ripe (1cm dice, more or less)
- 100 g Toasted, Unsalted Hazelnuts (roughly chopped)
- Salted Caramel
- Philosophy of Yum Vanilla Frosting
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
- Line 14 cupcake tin holes with cupcake liners/cases.
- In a mixing bowl; beat oil and eggs with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla and stir well.
- Sift the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and ground cinnamon together in a bowl.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the egg mixture with a sturdy metal spoon until well combined. The batter will be very thick.
- Add chopped pears to the batter. Press and fold the pears into the batter. The batter will be super thick, BUT DO NOT ADD ANY EXTRA LIQUID!
- DO NOT LET THIS BATTER STAND, but scoop it into the cupcake cases immediately. Since the batter is stiff, it is a bit more difficult to spoon into cases. Press the batter in firmly and fill the cases right to the very top! The filled cases should be almost level with the rims of the cupcake pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) for 35 - 45 minutes or until they have a uniform dark golden colour. I really prefer to leave them in longer so that they caramelize a bit more. The flavour is just sensational! There’s heaps of fresh pear inside the cupcakes, so there’s no danger of them drying out.
- Leave cupcakes to cool in the tin.
- Once the cupcakes are cool, frost them with Philosophy of Yum Vanilla Frosting, drizzle with Salted Caramel and finish with a generous sprinkle the toasted chopped hazelnuts.
- Enjoy! Yummm!
If you give this recipe a go, tag me on facebook, twitter or instagram #philosophyofyum because I would LOVE to see!