Sticky pear & ginger cake

Sticky pear & ginger cake

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(34 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 10 mins Cook: 1 hr, 20 mins


Serves 8 - 10
This is a cross between a sticky toffee pudding and a ginger cake. Serve warm with ice cream or cream as a dessert

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal521
  • fat13g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs89g
  • sugars72g
  • fibre3g
  • protein7g
  • salt0.64g
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    For the cake

    • 250g stoned dates, finely chopped



      Dates are one of the oldest cultivated fruits - it's thought that they were a staple part of…

    • 300ml milk



      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

    • 100g butter, plus extra for the tin



      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

    • 140g ginger preserve (you'll find this with the jams)
    • 140g dark muscovado sugar
    • 3 large ripe pears (we used Conference)



      Like apples, to which they are related, pears come in thousands of varieties, of which only a…

    • 175g self-raising flour
    • 50g pecan nuts, reserve 10 and chop the rest
      Pecan nuts



      Related to the walnut, pecans are native to America, and grow enclosed in a glossy, browny-red…

    • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
      Bicarbonate of soda

      Bicarbonate of soda

      Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

    • 2 tsp ground ginger
    • ½ tsp mixed spice
    • 2 eggs, beaten



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

    For the brandy syrup

    • 85g light muscovado sugar
    • 150ml brandy



      Brandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…


    1. Put the chopped dates in a pan with the milk, butter, ginger preserve and dark muscovado. Heat gently until the butter has melted and the mixture starts to bubble round the edges of the pan. Stir well and set aside for 1 hr to cool.

    2. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line the base of a buttered 23cm springform tin with baking parchment. Peel and chop the pears into large chunks. Mix the flour, chopped pecans and bicarb with the spices, then stir into the cooled date mixture with the eggs. Pour into the tin and scatter over the pears. Roughly break the reserved pecans and drop on top. Bake for 40 mins, then cover the top loosely with foil and return to the oven for 25-30 mins more until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with just sticky crumbs – the cake may still look a little wet around the pears.

    3. While the cake is baking, make the brandy syrup. Tip the light muscovado sugar into a pan with 50ml water and dissolve over a low heat until syrupy. Stir in the brandy and set aside. When the cake is ready, spoon over half the syrup, then leave the cake to cool before serving with extra syrup on the side.

    4. To freeze, cool the cake in its tin, then wrap well and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost and warm through in a low oven. The syrup can be frozen separately, warmed, then drizzled over as before.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    28th Sep, 2012
    A perfect cake! For any occasion. Easy and delicious. Will make it often, maybe I'll try it with apples or quinces (blanched first) also.Thanks.
    9th Jul, 2012
    I hate to go against the masses, however I really didn't like this cake. It remained wet, despite cooking it for the time stated, and then leaving it in the oven for a while longer to try and dry it out. The flavour was just too strong, and it could have benefitted from more nuts mixed in, and the pears cut smaller, and putting half actually in the cake mix, and then maybe thin slices for decoration on the top. I also think that rum would have been a better match for the syrup, however it was superfluous as the cake without was plenty sweet enough.
    28th Feb, 2012
    Really loved this cake. Enjoyed it both warm and cold. It was so moist and kept really well. I had a little of the brandy syrup left over after we had finished the cake - so would probably make a little less syrup next time. Definitely 5 stars though!!
    27th Jan, 2012
    love it!! have made again and again
    23rd Nov, 2011
    I didn't have enough dates, so supplemented them with some dried pears that I had. Not sure this worked though as it didn't turn out that sticky, and I think the middle wasn't cooked through even though I baked it longer. The syrup is well boozy, so much so you can't taste the spices in the cake! Other than that it really wasn't difficult to make!
    22nd Nov, 2011
    Loved this cake/pudd, when serving as a cake I would omit the sugar & brandy sauce as it goes a bit too moist.
    10th Nov, 2011
    totally yummy cake and turned out so moist.
    30th Oct, 2011
    Delish!! didn't wait the whole hour to cool toffee mix, (it's cake afterall, who can wait!) no detrement affects, mixed the pear chunks in as opposed to 'dropping' them in, I feel the it made the cake even juicier and more moist. Served warm with extra thick cream - heavenly!!
    27th Oct, 2011
    Wow this is a lovely moist sticky cake! Made this for Sunday lunch & everyone loved it. I was a bit unsure about the brandy so i only poured half over and served the rest at the table so everyone could adjust as they liked and it wasn't overpowering at all. Absolutely gorgeous served with cream and got even better over time -not that it lasted very long!
    26th Sep, 2011
    This cake is yummy!! I am not too keen on Brandy so I made the syrup with Orange juice and dark muscovado sugar. Like the idea of freezing it, but have a feeling it will be eaten before it makes it to the freezer. Will be making this agin soon.


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