Spiced Pomegranate-Pear Cake

Total Time

Prep: 1 hour + chilling Bake: 20 min. + cooling


16 servings

Updated: Jun. 30, 2022
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. —Kelly Koutahi, Moore, Oklahoma
Spiced Pomegranate-Pear Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 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
  • 6 to 7 tablespoons 2% milk
  • Optional: Fresh pomegranate seeds and sugared rosemary sprigs


  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, 5-7 minutes. 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, 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 in half horizontally. 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 remaining frosting. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over top of cake and garnish with rosemary. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Nutrition Facts

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