Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease two 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pans and line the bottoms with waxed paper.
Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Sift the flour and apple pie spice over the bowl, then fold in. Fold in the pears and cranberries.
Divide the mixture between the prepared pans, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. To make the frosting, beat together the mascarpone and confectioners' sugar until smooth and creamy. Spread slightly less than half over one cake. Place the second cake on top and swirl the remaining frosting on top. Decorate with fresh cranberries and holly leaves.
Reprinted with permission from © 500 Cakes: The Only Cake Compendium You'll Ever Need by Susannah Blake, published by Sellers Publishing click for book review
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