red wine poached pear cake

hi friends!  it's that time of year again.  aren't you excited??  i greatly look forward to my house smelling like roasted turkey, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie and now red wine poached pear cakes!!  how festive is that?!

this cake is boozy and pear-y and with all the right qualities for the perfect holiday cake.  once the pears are poached in the wine, the wine is reduced to syrupy goodness and poured over the pears and the cake is poured over all of that and it becomes an upside down wine pear cake!!

i am very excited because i get to announce this as my very first sponsored post!  davinci wines was so kind to send me some bottles of wine to taste and make this cake with!  i used their delicious Chianti wine for the cake and then later at a little dinner party i had we drank their Pinot Grigio and it was a hit.

what is your favorite thing to make around the holidays?  i would have to say mine is pumpkin pie with TONS of whipped cream.

this post was made in partnership with davinci wine!  thank ya!


red wine poached pear cake

serves ~8

printable recipe

Write here...

1) combine wine, water, sugar, cinnamon sticks and vanilla paste in a medium sauce pan and stir together.  place over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved.  use a small enough pan to fit all the liquid with some room for the pears.  you want the pears to be submerged in the liquid so keep this in mind.

2) peel pears with a veggie peeler and place in the saucepan with the wine. lower liquid to a low simmer (you should hardly see any bubbles rise to the surface).

3) allow pears to poach for ~ 1 hour or until a pairing knife poked into a pear is slightly firm but cooked.  use a plate or bowl to push the pears down in the liquid as they cook.  turn them occassionally so all parts of the pear are the same color.

4) chill pears overnight in the liquid (you may need to turn this halfway through too so the wine can soak in evenly).

5) the following day, cream the butter + sugar together for 5 mins or until light and fluffy.  Add in the eggs one at a time and beat each in.  Add the sour cream + vanilla paste +salt until combined.  

6) sift together the flour + baking powder and add into butter mixture.  Mix until JUST combined.

7) slice pear down the center, missing the core, to remove one "cheek".  Slice this into 1/4" slices.  

8) butter a 9" cake pan or spray with Pam.  Fan out pears in the bottom of the pan starting with the outside and laying them around the edges of the pan.  Then do the same working your way to the center.  In the middle, add a few of the smaller pear pieces that you naturally get from slicing the pears.

9) in the meantime, reduce the red wine liquid to about 1 cup then add 1 cup sugar to red wine poaching liquid and reduce  until a finger run through a sauce coated soon holds the line.

10) pour 1/4-1/2 c of the reduced wine sauce the cake batter over the pears (just enough to evenly coat the bottom of the pan.

11) dollop the cake batter over the pears and spread evenly over the pears with an offset spatula.

12) bake in a 350 F oven for 30-40 mins or until pairing knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

13) allow cake to cool for 10-15 mins.  run a knife along the edges of the pan and invert onto a serving plate.  ta da!!!

14) allow cake to cool completely before serving if you want to dust with confectioners' sugar at the end.

2 c. Davinci Chianti wine

2 c. water

1 c. sugar

2 cinnamon sticks

1 t. Nielsen-Massey pure vanilla bean paste

5 bartlett pears, unripe

6 T unsalted butter, room temp

3/4 c white sugar

2 large eggs, room temp

1/3 c. sour cream

1/2 t. Nielsen-Massey pure vanilla bean paste

1 c. + 2 T all-purpose flour

1/2 t. baking powder

1/4 t. kosher salt

1 c white sugar

confectioners' sugar for dusting






it is almost a tradition that dirt bike man's birthday cake fails EVERY YEAR.  like i actually was slightly disappointed this year that that did not happen.  because for all the measures i took for the other cakes, i did for this one also.  i guess the amount of sticky, caramelized brown sugar and buttercream frosting was enough to hold it all together (aaaand the 5 bamboo skewers stuck into the cake).

i also had a plan for dirt bike man's birthday. 

you see, my father-in-law and i with the help of my accomplice sister-in-law, we rigged up that my nephew wanted "dude time" during the husker football game last saturday.  little did dirt bike man know that, there was a surprise birthday party waiting for him back at his parents farm after the game.  and SURPRISE! A CINNAMON ROLL STACKED CAKE and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

then, i coyly told josh he needed to grab something from the barn for his mom, while all my sister-in-laws slowly snuck up to the barn (where the present was hidden) like hyenas to watch in on the action.  we played hot & cold and SURPRISE! A POWER WASHER. dirt bike man was so excited he debated whether to take a day off work just to clean shit.

this recipes makes a GIGUNDUS amount of dough and you'll have some extra cinnamon rolls to eat for yourself or share with neighbors.



serves 24 people 

adapted from allrecipes

printable recipe

1) warm milk in a small sauce pan with the butter.  stir occasionally until butter is melted.  add water and let cool to lukewarm.

2) in a large bowl, combine the milk mixture, yeast, white sugar, salt, eggs and 4 cups of flour.  stir well.  stir in the remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition.  then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes).  you may have to divide dough into two to knead.

3) spread dough out onto a jellyroll pan and chill until firm (about 30-40 minutes)

4) in the meantime, combine room temperature butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla into a stand mixer.  beat for 5 mins or until light and fluffy.

5) divide chilled dough into two again.  roll each piece into a rectangle that is 1/2" thick.

6) using an offset spatula, spread brown sugar mixture in an even, but thick layer.  roll dough up tightly from the long end of the rectangle to make the cinnamon roll log.

7) repeat on other piece of dough.

8) using a bread knife, slice each cinnamon roll into 2 1/2" slices.  spray 3 cake pans of various sizes (I used 8", 9" and 12" diameter WIlton pans) with Pam baking spray.  place rolls somewhat tightly together.

9) let cinnamon rolls proof an hour or until doubled in size.

10) bake at 375 F for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and cooked all the way through.  the smallest pan may be finished before the rest.

11) let cinnamon rolls until warm.  the warmth of the rolls will help the frosting get melty.

12) combine frosting ingredients in a stand mixer and beat for 3-5 mins or until light and fluffy.

13) spread over warm cinnamon rolls.  let cool completely.

14) run a knife along the edge of each cinnamon roll pan to loosen.  turn out.  some may need help...continue to poke around the edges and lift cake underneath to loosen.

15) stack the biggest layer on the bottom, middle sized layer on top.  cut 2-3 dowels to the height of the middle layer and bottom layer combined.  push dowels evenly into the top of the cake.

16) stack the smallest layer on top and cut a dowel that is the height of all three layers and push this into the middle of the top layer all the way through the cake.

17) TA DA!  everyone will think you are the best person alive when you show up with this.





2 c. milk

1 c. butter

2 c. H2O

2 T active dry yeast

2 c. white sugar

2 t. salt

4 eggs

12 c. all-purpose flour


4 t. saigon cinnamon

4 c. brown sugar, room temp

2 c. butter

1 t. vanilla

Pam baking spray


2 c. powdered sugar

1/2 c. butter, room temp

1/4 c. whole milk

1 t.  vanilla

bamboo cake dowels (Wilton)