Gourmet Economist

The Intersection of Culinary Craft and Economics Insight


Pear, Pistachio, Chocolate Chunk Cake

Studded with pistachios, chunks of pears and chocolate, and flecks of orange zest, everything about this cake is plain perfect. This is my go to Christmas cake recipe. The flavor combinations are unique and absolutely delightful. I first came across this combination here and then modified the recipe to make it lower fat by subbing out half of the butter and some of the egg yolks.

The recipe makes one 9×4” cake or 3 mini cake loaves. I use these disposable mini pans.

Pear, Pistachio, Chocolate Chunk Cake

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 3


  • 150 gms All purpose flour
  • 150 gms Granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup Butter (1/2 stick)
  • 1 Egg
  • 4 Egg whites
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 200 gms Dark or semi-sweet chocolate chunks
  • 1 Pear
  • 3/4 cup Raw pistachio kernels
  • 1 Orange for zesting


  • Peel, core and dice the pear. Chop the pistachios. Zest the orange.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Generously grease and flour the baking pans.
  • Put flour, baking powder, sugar, butter, applesauce, eggs, egg whites, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and process until just combined – about one minute: do not over-process. This could easily be done by hand, too.
  • Stir in the chopped dark chocolate, pear, pistachio nuts, and the zest of 1 orange.
  • Transfer the mixture into the prepared pans and bake in the oven for about one hour (start checking after 40 minutes) or until a skewer inserted in the center withdraws clean.
  • Leave in the pan a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
  • Slice thickly and enjoy as is or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or light whipped cream.


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