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45 Minutes


8 Servings




As someone who was recently diagnosed with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, and has spent the last almost thirty years of my life without any dietary restrictions, you can imagine how hard it is now to suddenly become ill to foods I had been enjoying my whole life. Growing up in an Italian household taught me that food is not just a way of nourishing ourselves- but rather a way of creating memories, uniting family memories together, and becoming a gathering point for so many important conversations.

When I first diagnosed with MCAS I felt as though I could only eat three things- chicken, lettuce, and zucchini. You can only imagine how that went over at Sunday dinner when everyone was grabbing plates of Ziti and meatballs.

It was hard enough explaining the diagnosis to my family and friends, because frankly I wouldn't believe it either if I didn't deal with the random painful rashes- but to not be able to eat the same things they were eating was even harder to explain, especially when I had gone my whole life without any issues.

These very instances lead me to my journey to wellness and to create each of the recipes featured here on damngoodthyme. I wanted to prove that living an anti-inflammatory lifestyle does not have to mean restricting the foods we love, and being left out at the dinner table.

This Pear Cardamom Cake is a testament to that. This cake packs in the rich fall flavors, without being too sweet. It makes for the perfect dessert or pairing with a nice cup of coffee in the morning.


  • 1½ cups Gluten Free Flour

  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 2 tbsp ground hazelnuts

  • ¾ cup maple syrup

  • ⅔ cup cold water

  • ⅓ cup coconut oil

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

  • 2 small pears

  • ½ cup chopped hazelnuts


The maple syrup can be substituted with agave.


  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat oven to 350°F and grease or line a 9 inch springform cake dish with parchment paper.

  2. Mix the Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, ground hazelnuts, baking soda, salt, and cardamom

Dry Ingredients

3. Mix the Wet Ingredients: In another mixing bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, water, oil, vanilla and vinegar.

Wet ingredients

4. Combine the Wet and Dry Ingredients:  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Cake mix

5. Fold in the Pears: Gently Fold in the chopped pears into the cake, then pour the batter into the pan.

Springform pan with cake mix

6. Add the Toppings:  Top with the remaining pear slices and chopped hazelnuts


7.Bake the Cake: Transfer cake onto baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, until it’s completely set.

8.Let Cool: Remove it from the oven and allow to cool 10-15 min before releasing it from the springform pan. Place on a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.

9.Slice and Enjoy: Pair the cake with a nice cup of espresso or tea and enjoy!


What ingredients can I substitute?
The maple syrup can be substituted with agave.


Room Temperature:
  • If the cake is intended to be consumed within 1-2 days, you can store it at room temperature in an airtight container.

  • Ensure the container is placed in a cool, dry area away from direct sunlight.


  • Since Paleo cakes often contain ingredients like almond flour or coconut flour, which can spoil more quickly than traditional flours, it's advisable to refrigerate this cake.

  • Place the cake in an airtight container or cover it tightly with plastic wrap before refrigerating.

  • The cake can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.


  • If you need to store the cake for a more extended period, consider freezing it.

  • Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.

  • Label the package with the date and type of cake.

  • Frozen Paleo Pear Cardamom Cake can typically be stored for up to 2-3 months.


  • When ready to enjoy a frozen cake, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator.

  • Once thawed, bring the cake to room temperature before serving.

Avoid Moisture:

  • To prevent moisture from affecting the cake's texture, make sure the storage container is airtight.

  • If the cake is exposed, place a piece of parchment paper or wax paper over the cut section before sealing the container.

Serve at Room Temperature:

  • Before serving, allow the refrigerated or frozen cake to come to room temperature. This helps enhance its flavor and texture.

Individual Portions:

  • If you anticipate eating the cake in portions, consider slicing it before freezing. This way, you can thaw and enjoy individual servings as needed.

    Always consider the specific ingredients in your Paleo Pear Cardamom Cake when determining the best storage method, and use your best judgment based on the freshness and quality of the cake.