Pear and Almond Frangipane Cake – Gluten Free

Published on Jun 07, 2023

  by   Kristina Stosek

2 reviews

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes Serves: 8
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This Gluten Free Pear and Almond Frangipane cake combines the flavors of fresh pears and almonds in a delicate and moist frangipane cake. This classic French dessert, also known as “Pear and Almond Tart,” is very popular throughout Europe. 

a slice of Pear and Almond Frangipane Cake on a plate, gluten free

This French dessert consists of a gluten free buttery pastry crust filled with a rich almond layer called frangipane, made from ground almonds, butter, sugar, and eggs and flavored with almond extract. The frangipane filling has a dense and nutty texture adding richness to the cake

overview of baked pear and almond French cake

Gluten free pear and almond frangipane cake recipe details

the gluten free pastry crust

The crust is lightly sweetened, has a buttery texture, and the dough does not need rolling. Once you mix the ingredients for the crust, press the mixture on the bottom of the cake pan, a very simple gluten free pastry crust. If you use a tart pan, you must press the dough up the sides of the pan as well.

assembled unbaked pear and almond frangipane cake in a springform pan

the frangipane

Frangipane is a rich, buttery, almond flavored cake layer; and all you need is 5 ingredients.

the pears

The fresh pears are peeled, cored, sliced, then blanched in water flavored with cinnamon, cloves, and some sugar. Then the tender pear slices are placed on top of the frangipane layer and topped with sliced almonds. The pears sink slightly into the frangipane during baking, creating a beautiful pear pattern on the cake.

sliced fresh pairs on a wooden board

Best pears to use in baking

Look for varieties like Bartlett, Anjou, or Bosc due to their sweet and juicy qualities. Choose ripe but firm pears for the best taste and texture.

Should you blanch the pears first for pear and almond frangipane cake?

Blanching the pears before using them in a pear and almond frangipane cake is a personal choice.

Blanching the pears first gives them more flavor because they are blanched in flavored water. It’s especially important to do this when the pears are very firm.

If you choose to use fresh raw pears in this French dessert, use ripe pears with some firmness. They will soften and cook through as the cake bakes. This allows the pears to retain their natural juices and flavors.

fresh quartered pairs in flavored water with cinnamon stick in a saucepan

How to blanch pears

If you want to add extra flavor to the pears, blanch them in flavored water. To do this, bring a pot of water mixed with cinnamon, cloves, and sugar to a boil. Add the peeled, cored, and quartered pears and cook until they become slightly tender. Anywhere between 5 – 10 minutes, depending on the firmness of the pear. Then drain and cool them before adding to the frangipane layer.

Blanching the pears ensures they are more flavorful and uniformly tender and will cook evenly with the cake. However, it’s not necessary for pear and almond frangipane cake if the pears are sweet and juicy.

If you are looking for a super easy pear dessert recipe, try this Gluten-Free French Pear Cake or the Gluten Free Upside-Down Pear Dutch Baby Recipe.

overview of a slice of pear and almond frangipane cake on a plate with a spoon

serving suggestions for pear and almond frangipane cake

Pear and almond frangipane cake is delicious as is, but you can also enhance its flavors and presentation by serving it with various accompaniments. 

Here are some ideas:

Whipped cream: Serve a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream alongside each slice of cake. The creamy texture of the whipped cream complements the moist cake and adds a touch of indulgence.

Vanilla ice cream: A scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream pairs wonderfully with warm pear and almond frangipane cake. The cold and creamy ice cream melts slightly over the warm cake, creating a delightful contrast in temperatures and textures.

Crème anglaise: Drizzle a luscious crème anglaise sauce over the cake. Crème anglaise is a rich vanilla custard sauce that adds a velvety smoothness and a hint of sweetness.

Almond Butter Caramel sauce: Drizzle some warm almond butter caramel sauce over the cake to add a caramelized sweetness and a touch of decadence. The caramel flavor complements the flavors of the pears and almonds.

A dusting of powdered sugar: Just before serving, dust the cake with a light sprinkle of powdered sugar. This adds a touch of elegance to the cake’s appearance.

French gluten free pear dessert

Should you serve this gluten free dessert warm, at room temperature, or cold?

The great part about gluten free pear and almond frangipane cake is that you can enjoy it at different temperatures, depending on personal preference and the desired texture. 

Warm: Serving the cake warm is a popular choice. The frangipane filling becomes slightly gooey, and the warmth enhances the flavors and aromas. This is especially delightful when paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a drizzle of warm caramel sauce. To serve warm, let the cake cool slightly after baking, but serve it while it is still warm or reheat individual slices in the oven or microwave.

Room temperature: Serving the cake at room temperature is a popular option. Allowing the cake to cool completely after baking lets the flavors settle and the texture firm up. At room temperature, the frangipane sets more firmly, making it easier to slice and handle. The flavors of the pears and almonds also become more pronounced. This is a good choice if you prefer a firmer texture and want to appreciate the distinct flavors of the cake.

Cold: Cooling the cake in the refrigerator makes the frangipane firm. This can make slicing the cake neater and give it a denser texture. Chilled dessert can be a refreshing option during warmer months. If serving chilled, let the cake cool completely at room temperature first and then refrigerate it for a few hours before serving.

Ultimately, the choice of serving temperature depends on personal preference. Warm is often favored for its comforting and indulgent qualities, while room temperature and chilled options highlight the cake’s flavors and showcase a firmer texture. 

a slice of half eaten pear and almond dessert

Gluten Free Pear and Almond Frangipane Cake Highlights

French pear and almond cake is a delightful dessert that showcases the combination of fruity pears and the richness of almonds. It can be served warm, at room temperature, or chilled with or without toppings. And the gluten free dessert is simple to make using less than 10 ingredients. Enjoy!

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