How to Make Caramelized Pears

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Caramelized pears infused with warm aromatic cardamom is easy and impressive fall dessert, perfect for dinner parties as well as a weeknight treat!

Caramelized pear slices with sauce in a white plate.


Let’s welcome fall with this simple, yet delicious caramelized pears with a hint of aromatic cardamom!

Why you’ll love this recipe:

It’s an absolute must-try fall dessert for number of reasons:

  • Super easy and quick to make – you just need one skillet and less than 30 minutes!
  • Effortless, yet impressive presentation – perfect for dinner parties!
  • Intoxicating aroma of this dish is beyond words.
  • Super versatile and easy to customize!

Ingredients you need:

  • Pears – For this recipe, you can use pretty much any variety of pears. In the pictures, I made it with Bartlett pears. But Anjou or Bosc pears work wonderfully as well. It’s best if pears aren’t fully ripe, as slightly firm pears will hold their shape better after cooking.
  • Cardamom – Earthy sweet and floral aroma of cardamom is so unique and adds a magical touch to anything it’s added to. It complements the warm pears in this delicious autumn dessert!
Caramelized pear slices with vanilla ice cream in a small bowl.
Caramelized pear slices with sauce in a white plate.

Pear Varieties:

  • Bartlett pears are super juicy and pretty sweet when ripe. These popular pears have buttery smooth texture. And while they’re best when eaten fresh or cooked into pear butter, you can also bake/cook with Bartlett pears. Just make sure to choose not quite ripe, slightly firm pears.
  • Anjou is another popular pear variety. You’ll find green and red Anjou pears, which are pretty similar in taste and texture. When ripe, Anjou pears are moderately sweet, nice n’ juicy and have buttery soft texture. They’re great all-purpose pears, perfect for eating fresh or cooking/baking.
  • Bosc pears are beautiful brownish pears with crips texture and mildly sweet flavor. They have soft grainy texture. Since it’s a firm pear, they hold their shape well, making them ideal for poaching and baking. But they’re also delicious for eating fresh.

And that’s not all, there’re more pear varieties too!

How to caramelize pears:

3 step by step photos of making caramelized pears.
  1. First, melt butter in a skillet and then add sugar and cardamom over medium heat. Stir everything to combine.
  2. Then add chopped or sliced pears and cook for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add vanilla extract and cook for another minute or so.


The cooking time varies depending on the ripeness of the pears.

Softer pears cook faster, and firmer pears cook longer.

And voila! Be warned that the smell of the caramelized cardamom pears is intoxicating!

Serving Ideas:

  • Vanilla bean ice cream is a classic! But you can also serve with some Greek yogurt, or even whipped cream.
  • Oatmeal is another favorite of mine.
  • Plain cheesecake won’t be plain anymore with a spoonful of caramelized pears!
  • You can also top baked brie with these pears along with candied nuts. Delish!
  • And last but not least, serve it over waffles, pancakes, or crepes!
Caramelized pear slices with vanilla ice cream in a small bowl.


Caramelized pear slices with sauce in a white plate.
4.67 from 3 votes

How to Make Caramelized Pears

Caramelized pears infused with warm aromatic cardamom is easy and impressive fall dessert, perfect for dinner parties as well as a weeknight treat!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings


  • 2-3 pears Note 1
  • 10 green cardamom pods Note 2
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar light or dark
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • Quarter the pears and remove the cores. Cut into slices or 1/2-inch cubes.
  • In a medium skillet, toast the cardamom pods over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cool until safe to handle, then peel and grind the seeds in a mortar and pestle.
  • In the skillet, melt butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Sprinkle in ground cardamom and cook until sugar is melted.
  • Add chopped pears and cook for 2 minutes. Once the juices start to release, increase the heat to medium high and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes.
  • Stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Cook for another minute. Then remove from heat and cool slightly.

Tips & Notes

Note 1: I like to use Bartlett pears. It’s best if the pears are slightly firm and not super ripe and soft. 
Note 2: Cardamom loses its potency really quick, and that’s why I recommend purchasing cardamom pods and toast/peel/grind them right before using. 10 cardamom pods = 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom.
Storing Tip: Refrigerate leftover caramelized pears in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


Calories: 182kcal
Carbohydrates: 34g
Protein: 1g
Fat: 6g
Sugar: 26g
Sodium: 6mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Hi, I’m Shinee!

Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here! I believe anyone can cook restaurant-quality food at home! And my goal is to help you to become a confident cook with my easy-to-follow recipes with lots of tips and step-by-step photos.

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  1. I’ve made this recipe several times for my commercially sold gorgonzola caramelised onion and pear croissant danish. All the elements are there, and it’s a good recipe. But I cook them much longer until the outer flesh of the pear bubbles and the whole thing is encased in deep brown sticky syrup. I take out the cardamom for my recipe, but the tips on grinding freshly roasted are good. I just want an easy way to break open those pods. It’s so time consuming, and I’ve been doing it for years.

    1. Hi, Prairie! Thanks for sharing your feedback and tweaks. I bet cooking them further deepens the flavor even more. Your danish sounds amazing!!!

      1. 4 stars
        It’s a solid recipe-really, its the proportions that count, and what I use it for. I’d post a picture up here but I don’t see how to do that.