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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