Americans cookbook writers certainly love their sugar and this recipe from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook is no different. It's got 400g of sugar. Maybe if you say it fast it won't sound so bad. In it's defence, the cake has 3 pears in it so a slice could be classed as one of your 5 a day - again, say it fast.
There's something about the marriage of pears and pecans that work so well here so I wouldn't recommend substituting either. The original recipe calls for 200g of icing sugar to fully coat the cake with a water icing but in an effort to be even semi healthy and to allow me to have a second slice with minimum guilt, I just mixed about 40g of icing sugar with a teaspoon or two of water and drizzled it on to the cake. To be honest, this cake doesn't really need any icing.
Pear Pecan Cake, adapted from Magnolia Bakery cookbook.
400g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
250ml vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large pears or 3 medium pears, cut into 1 inch pieces
200g icing sugar (I only used about 40g in the pictures)
4 tablespoons water
Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease and line a 24 cm (9inch) springform tin with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, sugar baking soda and salt. Make a well in the centre and stir in the oil, eggs and vanilla extract.
Stir in the pears and the pecans. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin.
Bake for 60-70 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Let the cake cool for the few minutes in the tin before removing it and allowing it to cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the glaze, stir together the icing sugar and water until you have a smooth paste. Drizzle over the cake to fully coat.