Sour Cream Butter Cake with Pears and Raspberries


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Bourke Street Bakery

By Paul Allam and David McGuinness

Published 2009

  • About

This is a versatile cake — at Bourke Street Bakery, we put the batter in the cake tin first and the fruit on top. The fruit sinks into the cake as it bakes and ends up on the bottom of the tin. The cake is then inverted to serve.


  • 250 g (9 oz) unsalted butter
  • 355 g (12½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 g (7 oz) sour cream
  • 300 g (10½ oz/2 cups) self-raising flour, sifted
  • 24 poached pear wedges
  • 125 g ( oz/1 cup) fresh raspberries


Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6). Grease a 28 cm (11¼ inch) round cake tin and line the base and side with baking paper — the paper should protrude about 2.5 cm (1 inch) above the tin.

Put the butter, sugar and vanilla seeds in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk on low speed until pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure they are completely incorporated before adding more. Add the sour cream in two batches, then add the flour in two batches, until well combined. Using a rubber spatula, scoop the mixture into the prepared cake tin. Arrange the pear wedges in an even circle around the tin, then scatter the raspberries over the top. Bake for 55 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake. Cover the top of the cake loosely with baking paper if it starts to brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. This cake is best eaten as soon as it has cooled but can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


Different fruits sink to different degrees and it is also possible to pour the batter over the top of the fruit in the tin. Basically, any fresh fruit will work as long as it’s not too watery, or if it’s a hard fruit, it should first be poached. You can also omit the fruit and make a plain sour cream cake instead, or add 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds and the finely grated zest of 2 lemons.