EnRoute Rosé Returns! Stock up while you can here.

Holiday Wine & Food: Decadent Pear Cake Infused with Dolce Napa Valley


We incorporate a full bottle of Dolce Napa Valley into the recipe for this bountiful Pear Vineyard Cake, which absolutely makes it our new favorite holiday indulgence. And the fact that we put our late harvest wine in the cake doesn’t stop us from enjoying a glass of Dolce right alongside it!

Dolce-Infused Pear Vineyard Cake

Wine: Dolce Napa Valley


Serves 12

For the vineyard cake:

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

1 2/3 cups sugar

¾ cup butter, room temp

1/3 cup grapeseed oil (substitution: olive oil)

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (approximately two lemons)

2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest (approximately one orange)

2 teaspoons vanilla paste (alternative: the seeds of one vanilla bean)

4 eggs

1 ¾ cups Dolce Napa Valley

1 cup balled or diced Asian pear; ¼ inch x ¼ inch

Sugar crust:

5 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup sugar

½ cup diced pear

Optional Day-Dreamy Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:

14 ounces cream cheese

8 tablespoons butter, room temperature

½ cup maple syrup

¼ cup blackstrap molasses

2 tablespoons crème fraiche


For the cakes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease individual four-ounce ramekins or aluminum tins with pan spray.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.

Add your sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Add butter and grapeseed oil; beat for two minutes. Add vanilla, orange and lemon zests and combine. Incorporate eggs on low speed, one at a time. Scrape down sides and continue to mix. Add half of your flour mixture combine before adding ½ the Dolce. Add your remaining flour and Dolce and combine until smooth. You do not want lumps. Fill your prepared cake tins or ramekins 1/3 of the way. An ice cream scoop comes in handy for the filling process. Top with pears, and don’t be alarmed if they sink in while baking. Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges turn a slight golden-brown.

For the sugar crust: While the individual cakes bake, mix remaining butter & sugar in a bowl, using a wooden spoon to combine. Add remaining pear to the butter. After the cakes have baked for ten minutes, remove from oven and top each with your butter-pear mixture. Warning: it will be messy, but adding the pear-butter mix to the top of each cake is easiest when you use your fingers! Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and return cakes to the oven and allow to cook an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until each takes on a golden-brown top and a toothpick or skewer comes out clean.

For the [Optional] Day-Dreamy Maple Cream Cheese Frosting: “There are two secrets to the magic of this sauce, and one of them is Maldon salt. The other? Well, when it’s done right, it’s whipped until it’s as fluffy and light as soft rain clouds.” Far Niente Chef Sarah Walz

You absolutely need room temperature butter to achieve maximum fluffiness. Using the paddle attachment on your electric mixer, whip on high speed until smooth. Scrape down the sides of your bowl and mix again, as you want the butter to be silky smooth before adding the cream cheese. Add cream cheese and combine on high until evenly combined. Add maple and molasses and mix fully on medium speed. Scrap down the sides, add crème fraiche and combine. Taste. Please note that in order to balance the Dolce-sweetness of the vineyard cake, this maple frosting is not overly sweet.

To serve: Remove each vineyard cake from its ramekin or mold and assemble on a serving platter. Pipe or quenelle an elegant oblong tablespoon of frosting atop each cake. A sprinkle a pinch of flaky Maldon salt brings an extra note of balance to this heavenly dessert. Pair with a chilled glass of Dolce and toast the wintry close to another interesting year!

Related Posts

People Women in Wine


Women in Wine

Meet Six Women Shaping the Far Niente Family of Wineries & Vineyards.

Two winemakers. One CFO. Two VPs. And the woman who helped launch Far Niente more than 40 years ago. In celebration of Women’s History Month, we sat down to talk with just a few of the women shaping the way we grow, make, sell and share our wines. From the cellar to the board room, these daring innovators and leaders share a passion for human connection and a sense of adventure.

People Favorite Food and Wine Pairings: The Gratitude Edition


Favorite Food and Wine Pairings: The Gratitude Edition

It’s November and we’ve got food, wine and gratitude on the brain! A handful of our Far Niente Family team weighed in on favorite food and wine pairings that make them thankful for, well, food and wine! From simple classics to the food and wine combos that ignited their passion for wine, we’ve compiled their mouthwatering responses below.

People A Spring Chardonnay and Chicken Salad Menu


A Spring Chardonnay and Chicken Salad Menu

Madras curry and bright Meyer lemon give this easy-to-assemble chicken salad fragrance and flavor, while candied pecans lend it just the right amount of sweet crunch. Subtly smoky and lightly tangy, it's so good piled atop crusty sourdough baguette, rolled into picnic-ready wraps or neatly scooped into butter lettuce and endive "cups."


If you are at least 21 years of age and willing to accept cookies, please click enter.
Book a Tour Call Us