Sticky pear & ginger cake

Sticky pear & ginger cake

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(37 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…

    • 100g butter, plus extra for the tin



      Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 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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    22nd Dec, 2018
    Delicious recipe. I set the temperature to 170 fan in light of previous comments and it cooked under the time specified in the the recipe.
    13th Mar, 2018
    I made this cake with no sugar and half the butter. Still tastes amazing! Thank you.
    6th Nov, 2017
    I made this at the weekend and it is definitely a pudding rather than a cake. It is best warm with ice cream. Like some others have said previously, the cake does not seem to cook in the middle and I kept putting it in for an additional five mins. However, I can't complain, the cake is delicious and was well received by all on a wintry Sunday afternoon. It is very easy to make and the instructions are pretty clear.
    2nd Jul, 2016
    This is delicious - the dates, ginger preserve and pecans in this recipe really make a difference. I actually made this without the pears so that I could serve the cake with poached fruit (and it baked in the same time and was evenly cooked). I reduced the sugar quantity and used chunky ginger preserve for little hits of ginger. I also added a little cinnamon and reduced the mixed spice. I finished with whole pecans for a neat decoration on top. I made a smaller amount of syrup, using dark rum. I think the cake would still taste nice without the syrup, but it does look nice with the syrupy glaze on top. I served this with poached plums, using some of the ginger preserve in the poaching liquid, and ice cream or creme fraiche. A really lovely cake, thank you.
    9th Nov, 2015
    Superb! Followed it exactly but did put it back in oven for extra 10 mins as it wasn't quite ready. Very easy to make. Will definitely make it again.
    18th Mar, 2013
    Superb - everyone raved over it - I rounded the ginger preserve up to 200gm and increased the mixed spice to 1 tsp - will definitely make this one again
    22nd Feb, 2013
    This is a great recipe. However I did grease the sides of the tin as well. I don't know whether this was necessary: it was certainly easy to turn out!
    12th Nov, 2012
    A good cake, nice winter pudding texture, but not exceptional, flavours just ok. Maybe my expectations were too high, or omitting the syrup at the end was a mistake.
    2nd Nov, 2012
    This is alright, cooked for a very long time but still wet in the middle. Tasted pretty good when eaten hot as a pudding but having seconds once it had cooled was not so enjoyable.
    7th Oct, 2012
    Excellent pud/cake. Ate it warm with ice cream, and then finished off as cake. Was short of milk, so used half water, which worked fine. Also only had walnuts not pecans, and omitted the mixed spice as not keen on that, and it still had good falvour. Given comments above, I only made half the brandy syrup, and then just used half of that over the cake when it came out the oven, so it didn't turn out too wet. Cooking wise, I just gave it an extra 10mins and then it was perfect so no issues at all with cake being soggy. Will definitely make again as its a nice straightforward recipe to impress friends with!


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