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


    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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    2nd Mar, 2011
    Definately one for my "Binder", it tasted "Devine" One of those Desserts to keep in the freezer for entertaining, as long as you take it out the night before! It froze in the tin, and was kept for two months before being "devoured" by family and friends in one leftovers. When making again I would make double portion of sauce to make it "juicier"
    30th Jan, 2011
    This was delicious served with a dollop of creme fraiche. The syrup was very strong so I warmed it for about 15minutes to evaporate off some of the alcohol! YUM!
    31st Dec, 2010
    Sorry about the typo, I meant to say I used mincemeat instead of the dates for my version!
    31st Dec, 2010
    I made a variation of this cake by using dates, marmalade and mixed spice instead of the dates, the ginger jam and ground ginger. It was a pre Christmas pudding and I made half the amount which serves 6 people. I cooked it in a lasagne type ovenproof dish Me and my husband ate 2 portions each over the next couple of nights, then I froze down the remainder for our Christmas 'Pudding'. It was delicious and is a wonderful, lighter alternative to conventional Christmas Pud which we personally find a bit too heavy. We have decided that this will become our regular alternative. I will say that the cake/pudding as I made it is much better served warm than cold.
    21st Dec, 2010
    I've made this cake last Sunday for a pre-Christmas dinner. I've used less brandy, sprinkled it with edible gold glitter and served it with whipped cream (made with icing sugar and ground ginger). Absolutely delicious and perfect for the Christmas season!
    1st Dec, 2010
    19th Nov, 2010
    Definitely a five star cake. Will make it again and again. A real winner.
    11th Nov, 2010
    This looks so delicious I can taste it online! Will bake and see how it really tastes!
    8th Nov, 2010
    It's now 2 days later and I'm having leftovers of it at work for lunch and I must say, it tastes even better! It's one of my favourite cakes and I can't wait to make it again. My husband said that it should replace christmas pudding from now on - it tastes chrismassy without all the bits that he doesn't like.
    7th Nov, 2010
    Beautiful cake! It came out exactly like on the picture, fruit did not sink to the bottom (like it always has done with every other cake I have made) and tasted absolutely delicious. Next time I will add more spice and reduce the amount of brandy. Even though I love boozy deserts, it was a little too overpowering.


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