Chocolate Pear Spice Cake

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1⁄2 tsp. cardamom
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 3 tbsp. fancy molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1⁄2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tbsp. orange zest
  • 1 medium pear, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1⁄2 cup hazelnuts, roasted & coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour a 9” square or round pan. In a medium bowl, stir together first 7 ingredients. In another large bowl, combine the sugar and butter and beat until smooth and fluffy. Beat in molasses. Add eggs, one at time, beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and applesauce to butter mixture, breaking it up into 3 additions and beating just until combined. Stir in orange zest.

Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Arrange pear slices on top of batter. Sprinkle with nuts and
chocolate. Bake for 35 – 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

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