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Kalyn's Kitchen

Low Sugar and Whole Wheat Apple-Pear Cake with Cinnamon and Pecans

Low Sugar and Whole Wheat Apple-Pear Cake with Cinnamon and Pecans is made with white whole wheat flour, apples, pears, Stevia granulated sweetener, and just a touch of brown sugar. This tasty cake is low-glycemic and South Beach Diet Phase Two. Use Dessert Recipes to find more recipes like this one

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Low Sugar and Whole Wheat Apple-Pear Cake with Cinnamon and Pecans found on KalynsKitchen.com

Once in a while I feature recipes that are a bit higher in carbs or more indulgent than my usual low-carb offerings and this Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Apple-Pear Cake with Cinnamon and Pecans is a whole wheat cake with just a little sugar that’s delicious for fall. There’s something about cinnamon-laden cakes with fruit that just screams Autumn, but this cake recipe actually got started when it was still summer and I had a surplus of zucchini and made a low sugar and whole wheat Garden Harvest Cake with apples, zucchini, and carrot. Despite the fact it looked more like a bread than a cake, it was definitely one of my favorite new recipes that year.

At the time I wondered if you could adapt the recipe to make a cake with just apples, but when I had both pears and apples I decided to try it with that combination. Apples and pears together in a low sugar cake sounded so good to me, but my first attempt was far too wet, and I also decided I wanted a flat cake instead of the loaf pan the original recipe called for. It took me two more cakes to get to the version you’ll find in this recipe, which is a low sugar dessert that I’m thinking just about anyone would enjoy. You can  skip the touch of brown sugar and use all sweetener for a cake that’s even lower in sugar or if you don’t care if the cake is low in sugar, skip the Stevia and make it with all sugar if you’d like.

When I went to photograph this cake, it screamed for a dollop of something creamy on top, and I used a dollop of whipped cream from a can that I had in the fridge, which was actually pretty low in sugar but probably not that healthy. Of course you could use sugar-free or low-sugar ice cream or frozen yogurt, but an anonymous commenter suggested topping the cake with plain low-fat Greek yogurt, which I think sounds good.

Low Sugar and Whole Wheat Apple-Pear Cake with Cinnamon and Pecans found on KalynsKitchen.com

Start by combining the white whole wheat flour, sweetener, brown sugar (or 2 T more sweetener), baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. I found I got best results with this recipe when I grated the pear and apples in a food processor (hand grating made it wetter) so I’d recommend using that if you have one. One pear and two apples gave me 2 cups of grated pear-apple mixture. Mix the pear-apple mixture into the dry ingredients, turning over several times until all the grated fruit is coated with the flour-Stevia mixture.

Then measure 3/4 cup pecans, chop pecans with a chef’s knife, and stir into the floured fruit mixture. In a small bowl, whip eggs with a fork, then stir in the canola oil and buttermilk and stir together a few times with the fork. Pour egg mixture into the other bowl with the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Spray a 9X9 inch dish with non-stick spray, then pour the batter in and pat down evenly with a rubber scraper. (I think an 8×8 inch cake pan would also work.) Cake is done when it’s nicely browned, begins to pull away from the sides of the pan, and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. For me, that was about 35 minutes.

Low Sugar and Whole Wheat Apple-Pear Cake with Cinnamon and Pecans found on KalynsKitchen.com

More Recipes for Low-Sugar or Sugar-Free Cakes:

Harvest Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting from The Kitchn
Low Sugar and Whole Wheat Garden Harvest Cake from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Sugar-Free Snickerdoodle Cake from Ginger Lemon Girl
Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Oatmeal Spicy Cake with Fuyu Persimmon from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Low Sugar and Whole Wheat Apple Pear Cake with Pecans

This Low-Sugar and Whole Wheat Apple-Pear Cake with Cinnamon and Pecans is delicious for fall.


  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup Stevia in the Raw or other sweetener (or use sugar if you prefer)
  • 2 T brown sugar (or use 2 T more Stevia in the Raw or other sweetener)
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon (I used Saigon Cassia cinnamon from The Spice House)
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt (I used fine grind sea salt)
  • 1 pear and 2 Granny Smith apples (or any combination of apples and pears to make 2 cups grated fruit, grating with food processor recommended)
  • 3/4 cup pecans, chopped with chef’s knife
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (plus additional 1 T butter milk if needed)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C and spray a 9X9 inch pan with non-stick spray or oil (Or you can use an 8X8 inch pan and have the cake rise a bit above the top.)
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add white whole wheat flour, sweetener, brown sugar (or more sweetener), cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Mix together with large spoon until well-combined.
  3. Peel and grate apples and pear to make 2 cups grated fruit, then stir into dry ingredients, turning over several times until all the grated fruit is well-coated with the flour mixture.
  4. Measure 3/4 cup pecans and chop with chef’s knife, then add chopped pecans to the bowl with the flour/fruit mixture. Use the spoon to toss ingredients together.
  5. In a smaller bowl, add eggs, and beat with a fork about 30 seconds. Add canola oil and buttermilk, and stir together with the fork.
  6. Pour egg mixture into the other bowl with the flour mixture and stir until just combined. (Mixture will be fairly stiff, but if it’s not wet enough to incorporate all the dry ingredients, add 1 T more buttermilk.)
  7. Pour cake into oiled pan. Bake at 350F/175C for about 35 minutes, or until cake is nicely browned, is beginning to spring away from the sides of pan, and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out completely clean. (For me, that was exactly 35 minutes.)
  8. Cool cake in the pan placed on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes before cutting. This lasted several days in the refrigerator, but I did find it very hard to resist eating it for breakfast!


I use Stevia in the Raw and Saigon Cassia cinnamon for this recipe.

This recipe was adapted from Garden Harvest Cake.

All images and text ©

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Obviously this Low Sugar and Whole Wheat Apple-Pear Cake can’t ever be sugar free, because there’s natural sugar in the fruit, but even if you use the 2 T of brown sugar I felt gave the best flavor, it’s still pretty low in sugar for a dessert. I’d consider this a “once in a while treat” for the South Beach Diet if you’re on phase two, or you could eat it more often for phase three. This would be too high in carbs for a low-carb diet plan.

Find More Recipes Like This One:

Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. Or if you’re a member of Yummly, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.

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    34 Comments on “Low Sugar and Whole Wheat Apple-Pear Cake with Cinnamon and Pecans”

  1. My wife loves apples and pears so this will be perfect for her.

    Just thinking out aloud, I wonder if some stiffly beaten egg white added to whipped cream might reduce the calorie load. Don't think it would keep too well though.

  2. What a delicious & good for you cake this is!!!

    I love cakes as yummie as this!!


  3. You could probably make a cake like this with agave, but I don't know what the adjustments would be. I think it would take some definite tinkering with the recipe, since Splenda is a dry ingredient and agave is a wet ingredient.

  4. Kalyn, I was wondering…for those trying to avoid artificial sweeteners, could you subsistute Splenda with only Agave? Do you know what the conversion would be? Thanks!

  5. Awesome, not only low in sugar, whole wheat but has cinnamon and pecans! I must try this 🙂

  6. Anonymous, the reason I chose the South Beach Diet is because I didn't want to have to figure out calories, carbs, etc. for everything I eat. I think there are some easy places online where you can enter the amounts and calculate it yourself though if you want to know.

  7. I wish the nutritional values were listed for this. I have Ginger Gold apples and plenty of pears.

  8. Maria, yes indeed, it did smell fantastic!

    Jessica, thanks!

    Christine, would love to see a version of this with almond flour or some other type of nut flour. Do share if you come up with one.

    Winnie, that's what I decided. I took a couple of photos without any topping, but it did indeed look "blah." I'm thinking Greek yogurt with a bit of agave drizzled over might be the best option of all!

  9. Kalyn,
    Cool whip or not, the topping does make the cake look fabulous…I like the Greek yogurt idea much better though!
    Looks great…

  10. This is quite a lovely looking cake, Kalyn. I'm eating no wheat these days so may try to play with your great recipe (nut flours?). I'll let you know how/if it turns out. Thanks, as always, for the link!

  11. This looks delish! Love the recipe. So healthy. 🙂

  12. Apples and pears are so good right now. I bet your kitchen smelled amazing while this cake was baking. I love it!

  13. Joanne, Chriesi, and Linda, thanks! I really liked it. I'm not much of a sweets person, and this was just sweet enough.

    Dara, this was one of those things you learn by accident. The food process gave me nice long shreds of grated fruit, but when I grated it by hand it turned to mush!

    Anonymous, love the idea of topping it with Greek yogurt! Will edit to add that suggestion, thanks!

  14. Why not try some lowfat greek yogurt as a topping, as something a bit more real but still not too unhealthy?

  15. Very nice Autumn cake recipe, Kalyn! I like the tip about grated the apples and pears in the processor.

  16. I have a similar chopped apple cake recipe that is our family favorite so I know this will be good!

  17. That cake looks and sounds very good!

  18. I love the cassia cinnamon from The Spice House; it's so rich in flavor without being bitter. Your recipe inspires me to try a low sugar version of my favorite apple spice cake.

  19. I have to say that when I clicked on your webpage this morning, I instantly started drooling when I saw this. I love cinnamon-laden anything, and the apples makes this all the better.