Vanilla Pear Cupcakes with Whipped Chocolate Ganache

A lot of our recipes are good for your body, but this one is good for your conscience. We chose locally grown pears and fair trade chocolate to make these surprising light and fruity cupcakes. The fresh taste of pears is in every bite, and it goes beautifully with the rich ganache – they’re decadent but never overwhelming. Treat your family to something sweet today, and feel good doing it.
Yield: 22 cupcakes
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18 to 23 minutes


  • 219 g / 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 g / 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 g / 1/2 tsp baking soda2 g / 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 g / 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 g / 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 g / 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 170 g / 3/4 cup Crystal margarine
  • 200 g / 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 120 ml / 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 290 g / 2 cups peeled and diced locally-grown ripe pears (Bartlett or Anjou)

For the Chocolate Ganache:

  • 340 g / 2 cups finely chopped dark chocolate or chips (preferably fair trade)
  • 360 ml / 1 1/2 cup heavy cream

Garnish (optional):

  • cacao nibs
  • shaved or chopped chocolate
  • pear slices


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two muffin tins with 22 paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cardamom, salt, cinnamon, and cloves until thoroughly mixed. Set aside until needed.
  3. In the bowl of stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the Crystal margarine with the sugar until fluffy; about 3 minutes.
    Add eggs, one at a time, ensuring that each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next ingredient. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  4. Add in 1/3 of the dry ingredients into the batter. Mix until just combined; do not overmix. Add in 1/2 of the buttermilk. Repeat process with the remaining dry and wet ingredients, ending with the dry ingredients.
  5. With a spatula, fold in the diced pears.
  6. With a small ice cream scoop, fill the liners about 3/4 full. Place the filled tin into the preheated oven. Bake for 18 to 23 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of one of the cupcakes.
  7. Allow cupcakes to cool slightly in the pan; 5 minutes. Place cupcakes onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  8. For the whipped chocolate ganache:
  9. In a heatproof bowl, place the chopped dark chocolate or chips.
    In a pot, heat the heavy cream until it just begins to simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let sit for about a minute, before slowly stirring.
  10. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and ganache is glossy and smooth. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Place into the fridge to chill and firm up; about 1 hour.
    With a handheld mixer, whip ganache until soft and lightened in colour.
    Transfer some of the whipped ganache into a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe ganache onto the cooled cupcakes. Garnish with desired toppings, if desired.

Chef’s Notes:

  • Choose pears that are ripe but still firm.
  • If buttermilk is unavailable, add 1 tablespoon (15 millilitres) of vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup (240 millilitres) of milk, whisk to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes or until milk thickens. Proceed with recipe, using the amount needed.
  • Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before proceeding with the recipe.