PEAR CAKE WITH LEMON-HONEY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Cake
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups coarsely grated peeled Bosc pears (from about 3 pounds), well drained
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped

Frosting
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
3/4 cup honey

For cake: Preheat oven to 325F. Butter and flour two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and spices in large bowl. Make well in center of flour mixture. Add oil, eggs, milk and vanilla; whisk just until evenly moistened. Fold in pears and nuts; divide between pans.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks.

For frosting: Beat cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon peel in large bowl until fluffy. Add honey and beat until smooth. If frosting is very soft, chill until firm enough to spread.

Cut around cakes; turn out of pans. Place 1 cake layer, flat side up, on platter. Spread with 1 cup frosting. Top with second layer, flat side down. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.

 
Makes 10 to 12 servings.

 

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