sticky pear cake

Sticky pear cake

Make the most of the seasonal pears in the garden and greengrocer this autumn. This wonderful, warming cake recipe makes a fabulous autumn pudding or an indulgent, sticky cake for afternoon tea.


  • 250g stoned dates – finely chopped
  • 300ml milk
  • 100g butter, plus a little extra to grease the tin
  • 140g ginger preserve
  • 140g dark muscovado sugar
  • 3 large ripe pears – peeled and chopped into large chunks
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 50g pecan nuts; keep a handful whole and chop the rest
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon mixed spice
  • 2 eggs beaten


1 Put the chopped dates in a pan with the milk, butter, ginger preserve and dark muscovado sugar.

2 Heat gently until the butter has melted and the mixture starts to bubble around the edges of the pan. Stir well and set aside for an hour to cool.

3 Heat the oven to 180C/350F Gas Mark 4 (fan oven 160C/320F). Line the base of a buttered 10-inch (23cm) cake tin with baking parchment.

3 Mix the flour, chopped pecans and bicarb with the spices, and then stir into the cooled date mixture with the eggs.

4 Pour into the tin and scatter over the pears. Roughly break the reserved pecans and drop on top.

5 Bake for 40 minutes and then cover loosely with foil. Return to the oven for 25-30 mins more until cooked. It may look a little wet around the pears. Use a skewer to check.

6 Remove the cooked cake onto a wire rack to cool. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

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