Week 38: Cardamom-Pear Almond Cake


There’s nothing I love more than opening up my pantry and having everything I need to make a cake. Of course, this is easily the case when you start from a box mix; however, the mix I used isn’t your ordinary box mix. Simple Mills cake mixes are gluten free, almond flour based and when baked up would make any Betty Crocker mix pale in comparison.


Because this is a challenge, and I have yet to falter to using cake mix till now, I beefed up the recipe and gave it my own personal spin. Adding some of my own spices, a bit more flour for heft and topping with freshly picked fruit made me feel less guilty about taking the easy route this weekend, and it made for a satisfying treat I packed in my lunch all week.


The inspiration behind week 38’s cake comes from the fall weather we are (finally!) experiencing in Chicago. Last year, around this time, I purchased a jar of cardamom spice on a whim. It was definitely a splurge, but offers a more delicate taste than your other fall spices. I love pairing it with fleshy fall fruits, which I happened to have on hand, and sneaking it into my baking during the colder months.



When you live outside of the city, many of the neighborhood streets are lined with fruit and nut trees, making for a very abundant fall. Just the other day I saw two women foraging for fallen hazelnuts right outside my apartment, which is well within the city limits. On a recent stroll with my pup, a neighbor had set out bushels of pears for the taking. Without thinking twice, I snatched up a handful I knew would be topping my cake later in the week.


For poking around my kitchen on a Sunday morning to see what I already had, I think this week’s cake turned out better than I could have anticipated! The pear complimented the subtle cardamom and the cake mix could have fooled the most seasoned of bakers. This is the perfect cake to snack on along side a hot cup of coffee or tuck away into your lunch throughout the week for a work day pick me up. Because I was so happy with how my adjustments turned out, I’m sharing with you the recipe below!

Cardamom-Pear Almond Cake

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 box Simple Mills vanilla cake mix
  • 1/2 c. oil
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. Cardamom
  • 3 small pears, thinly sliced
  • Coconut Sugar

Follow the preheating can cake pan prep directions on the box.

Pour the dry mix into a bowl. Whisk in the cardamom until fully combined. Add all the wet ingredients to the dry and mix till smooth.

Pour into prepared cake pan and top with slice pears. Sprinkle with coconut sugar for extra caramelization. Bake until a knife inserted comes out clean.


Final thoughts on Cardamom-Pear Almond Cake:

  • might be warming up to cake mix.


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