Cakes & Bakes: Pear and ginger cake

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Home-made pear and ginger cake | H is for Home #recipe #cake #baking #gingercake #pears #upsidedowncake

Temperatures have fallen this week and the local sycamore trees are getting the tell-tale tar spots on their leaves. Two clues to the onset of autumn. Autumn makes us crave more warming, hearty foods – porridge for breakfast, shepherd’s pie for dinner. This week’s Cakes & Bakes item falls into this category. It’s Rose Prince‘s pear and ginger cake taken from a recent issue of the Telegraph Magazine.

Pear and ginger cake

Serving Size: serves 8

Pear and ginger cake

Those who know Rose Prince's cake-making will be accustomed to the boiling method that she uses for fruit and spice cakes – it ensures an edge with a lovely chewiness and a soggy inner crumb. Eat this cake with mature cheddar cheese, after a long Sunday lunch.You will need a 20cm square cake tin with a loose base, or a similar 25cm round tin. Prepare the tin by buttering it well, then lining with baking parchment and buttering it again – generously.


  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 2-3 pears (depending on your pan), peeled, cored & halved
  • 180g unsalted butter
  • 180g soft brown sugar
  • 90g golden syrup
  • 90g black treacle
  • 2 level tsps ground ginger
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 270g ground almonds
  • 90g plain flour
  • ¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda


  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/340ºF/Gas mark 3½
  2. Sprinkle the demerara sugar evenly over the base of the cake tin, then place the pears, core facing down, in the tin. Set to one side while you make the batter
  3. Put the butter, sugar and both the syrups into a large saucepan together with two tablespoons of water and bring the mixture to the boil. Boil over a medium heat for 3 minutes then remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool for 10-15 minutes
  4. Mix in the ground ginger, then the beaten egg, and beat well
  5. Stir in the ground almonds
  6. Sift in the flour together with the bicarbonate of soda
  7. Mix everything together well, then immediately spoon the mixture into the cake tin over the pear halves, without disturbing their arrangement if possible
  8. Bake for 50-70 minutes, until the cake feels firm when pressed
  9. Turn the heat down to 160ºC/320ºF/gas mark 3 if the surface or edges begin to look too dark
  10. Allow to cool, then turn out on to a board or flat plate/platter
  11. Serve cut into thick slices