Five-Spice Baked Pears

These cozy baked pears are roasted with maple syrup and five-spice powder, a spice blend of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, and fennel.

Baked pears

Along with a bit cooler weather lately, we’ve seen a new offering at the markets to remind us of the impending change of seasons – pears!  We can’t believe it’s already time to start to transition from summer eating. We made this baked pears recipe a few years ago at a meal for Alex’s family after finding it at Gourmet. It was such a success that ever since then, we’ve kept saying, “Remember when we made those baked pears?” Keep reading for this simple pear dessert recipe.

How to make baked pears

Seeing the pears at the farmers market this weekend sparked our memories. We decided to not let another season go by before trying the famous baked pears dessert again. It was just as delicious as we remembered!

The basic method for how to bake pears is simple: peel the pears and slice them in half, then core them. You can leave the stem on, since it looks pretty. Place them in a baking dish with a little water (to keep them moist), butter and maple syrup. Then sprinkle with five spice powder (more on what that is, below). Bake them at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, until tender. The timing will depend on the ripeness of your pears, so try to find the ripest pears possible!

For serving these baked pears, we chose to use a little Greek yogurt, sweetened with maple syrup And we topped them with some toasted almonds. It was a wonderful healthy dessert option. To got for a more decadent dessert, try our Homemade Whipped Cream, Yogurt Whipped Cream, or Coconut Whipped Cream: they’d be the perfect topping! And of course, a little shaved dark chocolate wouldn’t hurt anything, either.

Let us know in the comments below

What is five-spice powder?

Have you ever cooked with Chinese five-spice powder? Five-spice powder is a spice blend that encompasses all five flavors in one: sour, sweet, bitter, salty, and umami. The mixture is most commonly the following five spices: star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, and fennel seeds. It’s a common ingredient used in Chinese and Taiwanese cuisine.

The flavor of five-spice powder is cozy, comforting, and tastes just like fall! It’s definitely worth buying a jar to make these baked pears: you’ll find you’ll want to put it in all your recipes!

Where to buy five-spice powder? You can buy five-spice powder at some groceries in the spice aisle or in the bulk spices. It’s also available online.

Baked pears | Five-spice powder

Looking for healthy desserts? 

While we go to desserts for a splurge, we love finding healthy desserts that are big on flavor. Outside of these baked pears, here are a few of our healthy desserts:

This baked pears recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, naturally sweet, and refined sugar free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, omit the Greek yogurt and use coconut oil.

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Five-Spice Baked Pears

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


These cozy baked pears are roasted with maple syrup and five-spice powder, a spice blend of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, and fennel.


  • 4 ripe pears
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon butter or coconut oil (for vegan)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Peel the pears; cut them in half, then remove the cores.
  3. Grease a baking dish with butter. Place the pears in the dish cut side down; then squeeze with the lemon juice. Pour the water around the pears and place small chunks of the butter or coconut oil around the dish. Drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup and sprinkle with the Chinese five-spice powder.
  4. Bake uncovered, brushing frequently with pan juices, until the pears are tender and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. (The exact timing depends on the ripeness of the pears; if they’re still not fork tender, bake them a little longer!)
  5. While the pears roast, prepare the Greek yogurt and almonds: In a small bowl, mix the Greek yogurt with the remaining 1 tablespoon maple syrup and the vanilla. In a dry pan over medium heat, heat the almonds, stirring occasionally, until browned – about 3 to 4 minutes (make sure to watch them constantly so they do not burn).
  6. To serve, place 2 roasted pear halves on a plate. Garnish with a dollop of vanilla Greek yogurt and toasted almonds.


Adapted from Gourmet

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Baked Pears, Chinese Five Spice, What is five spice, how to bake pears, Roasted Pears, Pear Dessert Recipe

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    anna maria
    September 13, 2012 at 1:26 am

    LOVE the photo of the pear! Have been snacking on pears all week – can’t wait to try this for dessert :)

  • Reply
    September 13, 2012 at 11:17 am

    I bet this would make a great seasoning for canned pears!

  • Reply
    Elana @ The Inventive Vegetarian
    September 13, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Ooooh this sounds so good! I pretty much only like pears when they’re roasted or poached, so I’ll definitely have to try out this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Courtney Jones
    September 13, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    Gorgeous photos! :) I adore pears and cannot wait to try this one out. I just bought some fresh Chinese five-spice. So, I’m all set! :)

    • Reply
      September 15, 2012 at 8:25 pm

      Haha. Perfect!

  • Reply
    September 14, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    so simple and unique at the same time! I loved that you used five spice in a sweet application, I must try it. Pretty pictures too!

    • Reply
      September 15, 2012 at 8:24 pm

      Thanks! I always forget how delicious 5-spice is…we need to use it more often.

  • Reply
    September 15, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Love the pictures in this post, really stunning images.

    • Reply
      September 15, 2012 at 8:25 pm

      Thank you!

  • Reply
    September 16, 2012 at 1:48 am

    I have lots of pears in my refrigerator. Should try this recipe!

  • Reply
    September 16, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Wow,this looks so delicious!

  • Reply
    This American Bite
    October 31, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Looks awesome, and I bet it smells awesome too.

  • Reply
    December 16, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    So, I just made this and I didn’t really like it. So I put the pear and yogurt into a blender with some ice..poured it in a glass and topped it off with some cinnamon..AMAZING!!!!! Maybe because I just don’t like to eat hot things..haha…I also prefer my coffee maybe that’s it.

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