Pumpkin Pear Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Icing

Ann Dunaway Teh

Nothing says Thanksgiving like this Pumpkin Pear Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Icing!

Pumpkin Pear Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Icing is the epitome of Thanksgiving desserts

It’s Thanksgiving week and the holiday baking season is officially in full gear! I love this time of year – any excuse to spend time in the kitchen baking is good by me. Plus, it helps that this year for the holidays I have a brand new kitchen! Talk about inspired. 

So this month’s Recipe Redux theme is “Trimming the Table” showcasing our favorite “healthy” holiday desserts we are sharing with our families and friends. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say our creation this month is healthy per se, I did use a few tricks to lighten it up a little, though the flavor and moistness of the cake is so good, your family and friends will be none the wiser. But let’s get real, this is still dessert (despite all the pumpkin and pear goodness, a slice doesn’t really count as  your fruit or vegetable servings for the day!). It should be enjoyed and savored, just watch the serving size. 

Pumpkin Pear Bundt Cake

The inspiration for my Pumpkin Pear Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Icing is from 15 years ago (yikes, I just about died when I did the math on that one) from the Thanksgiving issue of Cuisine magazine (now called Cuisine at home – a fabulous, no frills cooking magazine, by the way), which I still have. [Can I take a moment and pat myself on the back for actually finding my original copy among all the boxes I’m currently unpacking from our total house reno that ended about a week ago?!]

Featured in the issue  was a pumpkin cake with pear filling and brown butter icing. It is a fabulous cake, though it took about 5-6 hours for me to make it. Before husband and children, I had the time to devote to making this cake on a fairly regular basis. It became my signature cake that I made for so many holidays and birthdays. It converted the non-cake eaters to cake eaters, any time of year. 

Pumpkin Pear Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Icing is the epitome of Thanksgiving desserts

Fast forward to now, I haven’t made this cake in many years. But I wanted to do it again, in a quicker fashion, though no less tasty. So I cut back on some of the fat and sugar and made it in bundt form, so that the pears are incorporated into the cake rather than being a separate filling. Using plain Greek yogurt (I recommend 2%), I could cut back on some of the butter while adding a depth of flavor and moistness to the cake. I also scaled back a bit on the sugar amount and used light brown sugar because I just think the flavor pairs better with pumpkin overall. And while the spice mix looks like a bunch of ingredients [it is], you must make it as is! I wish I was better at describing the richness and depth of flavor, with a hint of spice on the backend that really  adds to the pumpkin flavor. Prepared pumpkin spice ain’t got nothing on this mix. Trust me. 

The brown butter icing remains because let’s be honest, nothing is as good in this world as brown butter icing. I did cut back a bit on the amount of icing. If you want more icing, then by all means double the recipe and go to town. 

Pumpkin Pear Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Icing is the epitome of Thanksgiving desserts

We also did our first facebook live last week when we made the cake. You can check it out here where I discuss using all-purpose flour and corn starch instead of cake flour (which I don’t keep on hand on a regular basis). And ignore the cranberry part (or quick shots of our faces that were so NOT camera ready). I had dreams of making a cranberry brown butter icing, but that was a miserable fail so let’s just stick to the original. Moving on… 

[bctt tweet=”Make Thanksgiving a little sweeter and more festive with this Pumpkin Pear Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Icing” username=”MyMenuPal”]

I hope you enjoy this Pumpkin Pear Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Icing. Nothing says Thanksgiving to me more than this cake. And in this week of thanks, we are grateful to all of our readers, friends and family. Thank you for your support and hope you enjoy the holiday! Be sure to check out our fellow Reduxers creations below too. 

Pumpkin Pear Bundt Cake

Pumpkin Pear Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Icing

Pumpkin Pear Bundt Cake is a take on one of Ann's favorite fall desserts, but takes considerably less time than the original multi-layered cake. While all of the spices look like a lot, it is well worth the flavor combination, trust me!
4 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 16 slices
Calories 300 kcal


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar packed
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 3 cups diced pear

Brown Butter Icing

  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup powder sugar
  • Pinch table salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp milk


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a bundt pan with nonstick spray or cooking oil. Dust with flour and set aside.
  • In medium size bowl, sift together the flour, corn starch, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, dry mustard and white pepper. Set aside.
  • In a mixer, cream the butter on medium speed for several minutes until light and fluffy. Add the brown sugar and Greek yogurt and continue to cream together until well combined. With the mixer still running, add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and pumpkin and continue to mix until well combined.
  • Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until moist. Fold in the diced pears. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan.
  • Bake in the oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan on a rack for about 30 minutes. Invert pan on a platter and remove the cake from the pan and allow to cool completely before icing.
  • To make the icing, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the butter solids begin to turn brown, about 10 minutes. Swirl the pan often to prevent the butter from burning.
  • Meanwhile, sift the powdered sugar and salt into a small bowl. Stir in the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Strain the browned butter into the bowl. Add the milk and stir well to combine. For a thinner icing, add a little more milk.
  • Drizzle the icing over the cooled cake. Slice and serve.



Calories: 300kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 5gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 280mgPotassium: 54mgFiber: 2gSugar: 30g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Happy Thanksgiving! 

Pumpkin Pear Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Icing is the epitome of Thanksgiving desserts


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