Chai-Spiced Pecan Torte with Roasted Pears – a subtly sweet, chai-spiced flourless cake using pecans as the base.  A beautiful fall dessert, perfect for holiday gatherings, brunch or afternoon tea.

Chai-Spiced Pecan Torte with Roasted Pears - a subtly sweet spiced flourless cake using pecans as the base.  A beautiful fall dessert, perfect for holiday gatherings, brunch or afternoon tea. #torte #pecantorte

Let yourself float in the beauty of your own heart into the ocean of love that fills all space, that always is….that only is. ~Krishna Das

Pecan Torte with Roasted Pears completely radiates fall.  So homey and comforting yet totally elegant.  It could be a lovely addition to your holiday table.  And really, it is easy enough for an everyday cake.

That sounds good to me… let’s have cake every day 😉   The ingredient list here is not too exotic and it’s grain-free so can satisfy many diets.

Start with separating the eggs so that they come up to room temp while you gather the other ingredients and supplies.

Cold eggs separate more easily and room temp whites whip better.

Prepare the spring-form pan with parchment and oil.

Preheat the oven.

Measure out chai spices and mix together in a bowl, reserving one teaspoon for roasting the pears later on.

Make the flour-less Pecan Torte Batter.

Pulse raw pecans in food processor into a coarse meal.

You can substitute hazelnuts here or almonds. But stick to nut meal, not nut flour.  Nut flour is too dense.

Set aside.

Whisk together eggs, sugar and molasses.

Beat vigorously until it becomes smooth and emulsified.

Whip the egg whites.

I don’t know about you, but I can be a bit intimidated by the separating of yolks and whites and folding in the whites, without deflating the batter.

It can be a moment of stress in the kitchen which is not what we are going for here!  So I encourage you to a.) breathe deeply throughout the process. b.) know that this cake is so yummy it is worth it.  And c.) it’s actually not very difficult after all.

With a few tips, you’ll have it down pat in no time.  The torte goes together very easily once you have all your processes done.

Tips for whipping egg whites:

  1. Make sure there are zero yolks in the whites
  2. Start with an impeccably clean bowl.  (Wipe the bowl out with a bit of vinegar on a cloth, to ensure clean up of any oil residue.)
  3. Start whipping whites on medium-low speed.  This helps form smaller air bubbles giving them structure and stability and they will be less likely to deflate while incorporating into the batter
  4. When they start to get frothy turn the mixer to high.
  5. Be careful not to over whip.  You may need to turn the mixer off to check for consistency a few times.

Incorporate the whites into the batter a little at a time.

Gently pour into the springform pan and bake.

Let the pecan torte cool before releasing it from the pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if you like!

While the Pecan Torte is baking, prep the pears.

Slice and core pears, I don’t bother peeling.  They tend to hold their shape better unpeeled.

Sprinkle with sugar, spices and butter.

Roast the pears in a hot oven for 15 minutes.

Chai-Spiced Pecan Torte with Roasted Pears - a subtly sweet spiced flourless cake using pecans as the base.  A beautiful fall dessert, perfect for holiday gatherings, brunch or afternoon tea. #torte #pecantorte

Top the torte with the warm roasted pears. Add toasted pecans if you like.

Chai-Spiced Pecan Torte with Roasted Pears - a subtly sweet spiced flourless cake using pecans as the base.  A beautiful fall dessert, perfect for holiday gatherings, brunch or afternoon tea. #torte #pecantorte

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We hope you enjoy making this Chai-Spiced Pecan Torte this weekend and let us what you think in the comments below.


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Chai-Spiced Pecan Cake with caramelized pears

Pecan Torte with Roasted Pears

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.8 from 8 reviews
  • Author: Tonia Schemmel | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Category: Dessert, Fall Dessert, cake
  • Method: baked
  • Cuisine: American


Chai-Spiced Pecan Torte with roasted pears – a subtly sweet, chai spiced flourless cake using pecans as the base.  Perfect for holiday gatherings, brunch or afternoon tea.


Units Scale

Chai Spice:


  • 3 cups raw pecans (340 grams) or sub almond meal (see notes), or ground hazelnuts.
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon molasses (or sub brown sugar for the white sugar and leave this out)
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt

Roasted Pears:

  • 2 pears
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chai spice


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper on the bottom.  Oil the paper and sides of the pan.
  3. Make the chai spice mix.  Mix cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, allspice, clove and black pepper in a bowl.  Set aside 1 teaspoon of mix to use on pears later.
  4. Pulse raw pecans, chai spice mix and salt in a food processor until nuts are fine, being cautious to not turn them into butter.  They should be the texture of coarse sand.
  5. In a shallow bowl beat the separated egg yolks with the sugar and molasses until the mixture becomes emulsified and lighter in color.
  6. Add the pecans and mix to combine.  The mixture will be quite thick.
  7. Whip the egg whites to soft peaks.
  8. Place 1/3 of the whipped egg whites in the center of the pecan mixture.  Using a rubber spatula or large metal spoon slice down the middle through the egg whites gently folding the whites and pecan meal towards the center, give the bowl about an 1/8 of a turn toward you and repeat the process, slice down the middle and gently fold 2 or 3 times per turn.  Once you make it around the entire bowl, slicing, turning and folding, scrape down the sides of the bowl and gently fold that in.  Then add ½ of the egg white mixture remaining and repeat the slicing, folding, turning process and then add the remaining whites and repeat process giving a few extra turns if needed to fully incorporate batter.
  9. Pour into the parchment-lined springform pan.
  10. Bake @ 350 in a preheated oven 25-30 minutes, or until cake is firm to the touch in the center.

Roasted Pears ( 450F oven) 

  1. Core and slice pears (peel if desired).
  2. Place on a sheet pan with parchment.
  3. Cut butter into a few slices and disperse evenly.
  4. Sprinkle spices and sugar on top.
  5. Roast in a preheated oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes or until tender.


  • Using raw pecans is important as roasted nuts release more oil and can turn the nuts to nut butter while grinding in the processor.
  • Almond Meal is ground almonds, not almond flour.
  • For a speedy way to bring eggs to room temperature, separate your refrigerated eggs and then leave them out about 20-30 minutes while you gather the remaining ingredients.  They will warm up faster this way then if just left on the counter in the shell.
  • For an even lighter and richer batter you can increase the eggs to 6.


  • Serving Size: With the roasted pears
  • Calories: 353
  • Sugar: 20.9 g
  • Sodium: 262.6 mg
  • Fat: 26.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 27.1 g
  • Fiber: 4.7 g
  • Protein: 5.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 77.5 mg

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    1. It will freeze great! Just wrap it well. The pears are best made when serving from an appearance standpoint- but can freeze and have them more like a sauce on top.

  1. The recipe calls for 3 cups raw pecans but says ground almonds or hazelnuts can be substituted. What amount of already ground nuts should be used? Thank you.

      1. Sorry if I wasn’t clear. 3 cups of raw pecans. But the recipe doesn’t say how much this becomes when the nuts are ground. Presumably less than 3 cups. So wondering how much ground nuts to use (ground almonds or hazelnuts) vs whole nuts. Thank you!

        1. Oh I see! I would guess about 2 2/3 cups of ground. Next time I make it I will measure/ weigh this.

  2. The torte came out incredibly dense. It was edible but barely. I substituted almond meal. Now I see it says 340 grams for almond meal and using a converter, it comes out to 2.75 cups. I added 3 cups assuming it was the same at the pecans. So that was one error I made. Still, I’m not sure 1/4 cup of almond meal explains the failure. I used 5 eggs and sliced/folded the whipped egg whites in as instructed, at least best I could. When it said “pour” into the cake pan, I almost laughed. I added some water and even then could only spatula it into the pan. It’d be nice if you’re going to use “cups” for the pecans, to also use “cups” for the almond meal so there’s no confusion.

    1. Hi Renee, sorry this didn’t work out for you.🫤 Did you use almond flour? That may have been the problem, this recipe is for nut meal- ground nuts.

  3. Could I make this 2 days ahead? I want to bring it to Thanksgiving but won’t be able to bake where I’m going. Thanks-it sounds delicious!

  4. I’ve made this cake twice now and it was fantastic both with the pears and without (served with vanilla ice cream). Definitely a fall favorite dessert – thanks!

  5. This was a delicious dessert after a Thanksgiving meal. I was concerned with the amount of spices, but it was perfect! Thank you.

  6. I want to make this for Thanksgiving. Do you think I could make the cake and freeze, and then thaw/warm and add pears before serving?

  7. Hii:-) this looks stunning, a question, can I sub the sugar with maple syrup or agave ? Basically wet sugar over dry ?

    1. I’m not sure how the portions would hold up. Hasn’t been tested for this but if you try it, let us know!

    2. sounds like a good one to try. maple would taste amazing. I wonder about using 1/2 cup of liquid sweetner and adding an egg??

  8. Hallo again, this is one of those easy peasy cakes that can be whipped up in half an hour kind of 😉 Although it is very unassuming to make, it is pretty addictive. The chai spices are especially great for autumn vibes. We have a very similar torte in Croatia, the recipe for the cake is the same, but we use almonds instead of pecans and orange zest instead of chai spices. Once baked, it is glazed with chocolate. Anyway, I really enjoyed it so thanks!

  9. Sylvia what an amazing recipe! can’t wait to try it 🙂
    Have you ever thought of linking the ingredients to Whole Foods? I am buying them and would love to give you the ad dollars lol

    Have a great week!

  10. PS: I made it with a generous pinch of salt, not a teaspoon of salt, doubled the number of pears, because caramelized pears are one of my favourite flavours. The cake turned out well, love the combination with the pears and how the whole house is filled with chai spice aroma. I did not have enough pecans and had to substitute 60 grams with almonds. Would decrease the amount of sugar slightly next time. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks for the helpful feedback Pia! It does seem like a lot of salt for a cake but the large amount of raw nuts can really soak it up. Glad it you adapted for your taste.

  11. This looks amazing! I wonder if there is a way to make an eggless version…maybe whip aquafaba and use Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer?

  12. This looks delicious–thinking of making it for my mom’s birthday! Do you think it could be made with (pre-ground) almond meal instead of grinding from fresh pecans? If so, what volume would you suggest? Thanks so much!

    1. I think that should work. If it is almond meal you should be able to use the same weight/ measurement. Using a kitchen scale will give you the best results. Let us know how it turns out!

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