Pear and Ginger Cake

The last few days there has been an autumnal nip to the air.  The swallows have left and it feels as though summer might be over   Definitely something warm and comforting is needed to eat but nothing too heavy.  We aren’t in winter yet!    This baked pudding is just the thing with a light ginger sponge topped with toffee, fudgey pears.  Served with thick cream it makes early autumn not seem so bad. “Yum, Scrum, Donkey’s Bum” as we would gleefully shout when we were kids to our parents horror

I read this recipe in Jane Grigson’s Fruit book where it was called Springfield Pear Cake   I was immediately drawn to it because as a small child I had lived on a Springfield Road  I have added more ginger to the sponge by adding powdered ginger as well as upping the chopped ginger.  I think this actually brings out the flavour of the pears by contrast

The Pears have to be starting to ripen so they are still a bit firm but when you squeeze them gently there is a little bit of give in them that speaks of the juice beneath. If you are picking Pears from your own tree you may want to do this a few days in advance.  I only learnt very recently that if left on the tree pears take ages to feel ripe.  If you pick them they ripen in about a week  For this recipe you want pears that are just starting to soften but still have some firmness to them.



For the pear topping

  • 4-5 ripe but firm pears
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 2tbsp syrup from preserved ginger jar
  • 90g salted butter
  • 90g granulated sugar

For the sponge

  • 125g soft butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 30g ground almonds (or add 15g more flour instead)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3-4 tbsp syrup from preserved ginger jar
  • 5 knobs of preserved ginger, coarsely chopped



Toffee sauce










  1. Take a 23-25cm cake or Tarte Tatin tin and put it on a low heat to melt the butter
  2. Once butter has melted swirl it around so it coats the sides of tin
  3. Add sugar and syrup and stir until combined and then heat until bubbling and toffee coloured as shown above
  4. Peel, core and quarter the pears, rub with the lemon juice (or squeeze over) and arrange them in a circle on top of the sauce filling in the centre with more pear
  5. Heat oven to 180c
  6. Add all the cake ingredients except chopped ginger, into a food processor and whizz until smooth.  Remove blade and stir in chopped ginger
  7. Pour mixture over the pears and spread evenly across the surface
  8. Bake in oven for approx 45 mins till springy to the touch and sides of cake are coming away from the pan.  Watch for the last 15 mins in case it is turning too brown and you need to cover cake
  9. Remove from oven and leave to cool in tin for 10 mins before running knife round edge of cake and turning out.

This cake is best eaten warm so if you are making in advance leave in tin, warm through gently on a low oven heat and then turn out

Slice of Pear and Ginger Cake with jersey cream

Pear and Ginger Cake

The cake is delicious served with thick great, custard or Icecream  You can even whip cream with ginger wine and icing sugar if you want to be a little fancy.


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