Pear Walnut Honey Cake
A pear walnut cake with honey and cinnamon buttercream frosting is a tasty dessert that looks beautiful on any table.

The problem with writing this column every week is that sometimes I get a little too overzealous.

I assume I can conquer any recipe the first time, and there are definitely moments where I crash and burn.

That was the case recently when I tried to make poached pears to go along with the cake I’m sharing with you this week. The original recipe called for poaching fresh pears and using them to decorate the top of the cake. Although I gave it the ol’ college try, that step didn’t make it into my final recipe. I just couldn’t get my poaching liquid to behave the way it was supposed to.

The good news is that the cake I made still ended up being delicious, and there was never a need for poached pears in addition to the honey cinnamon buttercream I slathered on it. I’ll have to save pear poaching for another day, I guess.

This cake recipe came from the blog “Liv for Cake.” You can find the original at I added extra cinnamon and vanilla in my version. And then I opted to use Amy Johnson’s honey buttercream recipe from her site, “She Wears Many Hats.” You can find her post at I added extra cinnamon in mine.

Pear Walnut Honey Cake

A pear walnut cake with honey and cinnamon buttercream frosting is a tasty dessert that looks beautiful on any table.
Course: Dessert
Keyword: buttercream, cake, cinnamon, honey, layered cake, pears, vanilla, walnuts


Cake Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup buttermilk or milk with a touch of vinegar
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped
  • 2 cups fresh pears cored and shredded

Frosting Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups butter softened
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare two eight-inch round cake pans by greasing and flouring them and lining the bottoms with parchment paper.
  • In a stand mixer or mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar for several minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  • Add in the flour, baking powder, salt cinnamon and buttermilk, beating until the mixture is well combined.
  • Fold in the walnuts and pears and distribute the batter evenly between your prepared pans.
  • Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of your cakes comes out clean.
  • Let the cakes cool until you can handle the pans, and then turn them out onto a cooling rack and let them cool completely before frosting them.
  • For the frosting, beat the butter in a stand mixer or mixing bowl until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the salt and cinnamon.
  • Beat in the powdered sugar a bit at a time, until the mixture is smooth. Finish out by beating in the honey, and then beat on high for another couple of minutes until the mixture is fluffy.
  • To assemble the cake, spread a healthy amount of frosting on the top of one of the cooled cakes, and stack the next one on top. Use the rest of the frosting to coat the entire outside. Decorate with more walnuts, if desired.

This cake was really tasty, with all the flavors melding nicely. I especially liked the honey addition.

The buttercream was also delicious, and if you’re looking for a good substitute for the cinnamon butter a lot of steakhouses serve, this actually reminded me of that quite a bit.

And no one even questioned whether my cake needed more decorations—especially after we quickly demolished every last slice. After all, the best compliment a baker can get isn’t oohs and ahs at the presentation—it’s the empty plates afterwards.

This piece first appeared in print on Feb. 3, 2022.

Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas. If you are interested in sponsoring this column, please contact us through the “Contact Lindsey” link at the top of the page.