- Dish type
- Cakes with fruit
- Pear cake
This cake has an amazing combination of flavours and textures. It's perfect for dessert with a dollop of whipped cream.
69 people made this
- 30g unsalted butter, melted
- 4 tablespoons golden syrup
- 4 tablespoons dark brown soft sugar
- 1 (415g) tin pear halves, well drained
- 60g pecan halves
- 415g ginger cake mix
MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:40min ›Ready in:1hr
- Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Mix the melted butter, golden syrup and dark brown soft sugar in a 23cm round cake tin.
- Slice pear halves in half lengthways. Place a pecan in the centre of each pear quarter. Place pears cut side down in the cake tin, arranging them like spokes radiating from the centre of the tin. Sprinkle any remaining pecans around the pears.
- Prepare the cake mix according to package directions and pour over the pears and pecans in the cake tin.
- Bake 40 minutes in the preheated oven or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool slightly before turning out onto a serving dish.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(51)
Reviews in English (46)
by Aly D
I'm giving this 5 stars because it was the hit of my dessert buffet for Christmas. However, I had to make a few mods. Couldn't find gingerbread cake mix, so I used the spice cake as another user suggested. I made it the day before serving which probably wasn't a great idea since the topping soaked into the cake and made it soggy. To cover that mess up, I made another batch of the syrup-sugar-butter mixture and thickened it with cornstarch, heated it and poured it over the whole thing before serving. It was definitely the hit of the night... Highly recommend the additional thickened topping even if yours comes out great to start with. That put it over the top. Thanks for the recipe. I will probably make again, but will likely thicken the original sauce as well. Merry Christmas!-25 Dec 2007
by Dee Cribb
This is a quick & delicious cake that can be personalized endlessly to suit anyone's taste. I made it as written except for replacing the water with pear juice. It made the whole house smell like Christmas & I was even inspired to take a pic which I'll post when I'm not having such a lazy day:o)Thanks Mallinda!-11 Nov 2007
Good holiday flavor. My husband and I both agreed that it needed more pears. Next time, I'm planning to cover the entire bottom on the pan with the pear slices. I think that will make it look prettier too.-07 Oct 2008
Ginger pear skillet cake from Bake from Scratch Magazine Special Issue: Cake (2019) (page 110)
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- almond extract
- crème fraîche
- crystallized ginger
- all-purpose flour
Always check the publication for a full list of ingredients. An Eat Your Books index lists the main ingredients and does not include 'store-cupboard ingredients' (salt, pepper, oil, flour, etc.) - unless called for in significant quantity.
Recipe adapted from "Cake," by Brooke Bell
Yield: One 10-inch cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups plus 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1¾ teaspoons baking powder
1 pound pears, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger, divided
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour a 10-inch enamel-coated cast-iron skillet.
2. In a large bowl, beat butter and 1½ cups sugar with a mixer At medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in almond extract.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with crème fraîche, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Fold in half of pears and 1½ tablespoons ginger. Spoon batter into prepared skillet, spreading to edges. Arrange remaining pears and remaining 1½ tablespoons ginger on top, slightly pressing into batter. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar.
4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 50 minutes, covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
This was great! I made it for a fall dinner party and the flavors were spot on. I sliced the pears and arranged them carefully in the pan with brown sugar and butter, as recommended in previous reviews. It made a beautiful presentation. I served it with a dollop of whip cream and a bit of dark chocolate. Perfect! I may make it for Christmas dinner, it was that good.
I found this recipe years ago It was great. Miost tasty and very yummy.lent my book to a freind and never got it back
One of the best cakes I've ever made, and so so easy! I followed others advise and arranged the pears on 1:1 creamed butter and brown sugar (1/4c each). I replaced the light molasses with treacle which gave the cake a lovely rich but mild burnt caramel flavor and a great crumb. I replaced the allspice with cardamon and nutmeg, and PLEASE PLEASE don't leave out the pepper!
Pears didn't caramelize because the recipe didn't instruct to melt butter in the bottom of the pan before layering pears. Also, too dry. Otherwise, tasty.
I made this for the first time for a dinner party and received rave reviews. I added 1/2 stick butter and brown sugar to the pan and put in the oven to melt before adding the pears and the batter, made a wonderful topping. I didn't have light molases so used half what the recipe called for - perfect! Used the pepper and it added a wonderful subtle layer of flavour. Also I made in a spring form pan which worked beautifuly. Yummy, and leftovers still good 2 days later. Will definitely make again!
This was the BEST cake I've ever made. It was better the 2nd day, after it had a chance to settle in.
My group of 8 loved this. I thought it might be too spicy but was wrong. It was excellent. I made it the day before and served it at room temp with real whipped cream. yummie.
The cake is beautiful, with a soft texture. The freshly ground pepper adds a bit of zing. I had to substitute maple syrup for the molasses and the cake seemed fine. I put a tbsp of crystallized ginger on the pear layer but didn't feel it was necessary as the cake is very spicy to begin with. I baked mine in a 9 in springform pan because my regular cake pans do not have 2" sides. It took a bit longer to cook than the recipe indicates.
Every time I make this cake, it gets rave reviews it's delicious with unsweetened, or very lightly sweetened, whipped cream, and I usually add a generous handful of chopped crystallized ginger to the pear layer. mmmmm.
This was delicious. The liquid sugar used was golden syrup, popular in NZ. My friend made it first, and served it with thick unsweetened yogurt. It is a good marriage of sweet and tangy! Enjoy.
I really did not like this cake. I made it for my family of 10 and nobody else did either. I really dont think I messed it up either. It was way to strong of a flavor. The moasses overwhelmed it.
De-lish! Would like to try the butter/brown sugar with the pears as suggested by another reviewer to get the gooey effect, but this was terrific as is anyways. I drizzled some store bought caramel over the top - perfect fall dessert without huge effort.
The version I have of this recipe calls for a 1:1 butter and brown sugar topping, that you cream and spread onto the pan before placing the pears and walnuts. The topping is really crucial I think, it is all gooy and caremlized afterwards, and helps get the cadke out of the pan.
Fabulous and easy cake. Very sophisicated flavor. Definitely keep the black pepper. It adds a bit of mystery to this delicious cake.
Absolutely fabulous. Make sure you let the cake sit before you turn it over. The pears will stick if you don't! Wonderful spicy flavour. Don't leave out the pepper!
This is fabulous! I usually like to try a recipe a few times before writing a review but this was so good last night that I just had to speak up. I didn't have cake flour so I used 2 TBSP cornstarch and rest all purpose flour to make a cup of cake flour. I also omitted the blk pepper. Just didn't sound right and some reviewers suggested it. I actually baked mine in a bundt cake and I put the sliced pears all over. Served it warm with vanilla ice cream and freshly whipped cream. SO GOOD! I'm having it cold now for breakfast!
This is a wonderful gingerbread type of cake with pear on top. be careful and use a pan with high sides (springform?)
We needed something for Thanksgiving dinner that could be made in advance but not refrigerated, and travelled well. This fit the bill. Nice flavors, and easy to make. Were I to make again, Iɽ carmelize sugar and add this in before the pears to give it some color. I took the advice of another reviewer and omitted the black pepper. Great the next morning.
This was easy to make and delicious. I sweetened the whipped cream, and added a little bourbon. I also sprinkled some chopped crystallized ginger over the top, which made it extra good. Next time I think i will incorporate the crystallized giger into the batter itself. Used parchment and had no trouble getting the cake out of the pan.
This is a very easy and wonderful dessert. I baked in in a spring form pan and it was perfect. I served it warm with whipped cream and one of my guests ate it again for breakfast with his coffee. a big hit.
One of those incredibly easy but sophisticated tasting recipes. Definitely best if it's served slightly warm. Don't change a thing!
This cake is quite easy to make, it tastes and smells fantastic and it looks great too. I lined the pan generously with butter to solve the problem of the cake sticking to the pan. Would definitely make this again!
My boss gave me some yummy pears from Harry & David so I searched Epicurious and found this recipe to try out on my family for Christmas dinner. The only alteration I made to the recipe was to use full flavor molasses instead of the light flavor since it was all I had. It definitely made the cake dark and rich and probably a little more spicy than it was intended to be but everyone still really liked it. I didn't use parchment as some other reviewers did and I didn't have any problems with the cake sticking to the pan. I would definitely make this recipe again, although next time I might try it with the light molasses and see what a difference it makes.
I used parchment paper as another reviewer suggested and felt it worked well. In fact the parchment didn't cover the entire bottom of the pan, and where it wasn't, I did notice the pears sticking. I, also, could only find regular molasses, but felt it wasn't too over powering. A definite make again, and might even try adding walnuts next time.
Loved this cake! It was easy to make, not too sweet, made for pretty presentation, tasted great. I did use parchment on the bottom. Didn't change one ingredient. Baking time was right-on target for good finished product.
Pear and Ginger Cake Recipe
Great for anyone on a dairy-free diet, this dense, moist cake with its delicate taste of pear and sugary, peppery bite of stem ginger makes a great choice for afternoon tea. Serve it plain or enjoy it with thick soy cream poured over the top.
Ingredients: (Serves 8)
- 3 eggs
- 160 ml/6 fl oz vegetable oil
- 2 pears, grated
- 4 pieces of stem ginger in syrup, chopped
- 170 g/6 oz self-raising flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 140 g/5 oz caster sugar
- Icing sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4. Grease a 20-cm/8-inch round cake tin and line the bottom with greaseproof paper.
Put the eggs and oil in a bowl and beat together to combine, then stir in the grated pears and stem ginger. Combine the flour, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg and sugar, and sift over the egg mixture. Fold together until well mixed.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 1 hour until risen and golden and skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar to serve.
Can you Freeze Olive Oil Cake?
I learned from Gayle’s apple cake recipe that you can make the cake ahead and freeze it. I did this for the pear version the first time I made it – careful to wait until it was completely cool and wrap it airtight. It defrosted perfectly and served up so well. Make this cake ahead of time and freeze it with confidence knowing you’ll have a delicious cake to serve the day you need it.
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease and dust a 22 cm cake tin with flour and line with baking paper.
Whisk the oil and sugar together until well combined. Gradually whisk in the eggs.
Stir in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, spices and pears and mix well.
Pour the batter into the tin and smooth the top.
Bake for 50–60 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool completely in the tin, then turn out.
Cook's note: "My mom is a pastry chef so everything she bakes is amazing every time! This is probably why I have such a fear of baking because my baked goods never taste or look like hers! This cake is one of my favourites because it isn't the most beautiful cake you have ever seen, but it is definitely one of the most delicious and nostalgic – perfect with a cup of tea, a dollop of thick Greek yoghurt and a couch to curl up on.” – Hannah LewryRecipe by: Hannah Lewry View all recipes
Woolworths TASTE’s Food Editor is passionate about conjuring up fresh ideas for fast and easy dishes that taste as great as they look. Turn to her expertise for everything from time-saving mid-week food to lazy weekend meals. You’ll have a lot of fun in the kitchen while you’re about it.
Pear and Ginger Cake
Last week we talked about creating your perfect plant-based plate, which if you missed you can read up on here. This week I wanted to take a short interlude and share with you this delicious Pear and Ginger Cake recipe. Because if you’re eating a healthy plant-based wholefoods diet 95% of the time, then you can certainly have your cake and eat it too!
With all my recipes I love to encourage you to sneak in either fruits or vegetables at every opportunity. Whether it’s zucchini in my Zucchini, Herb & Chickpea Fritters, carrots in my Healthy Carrot Cake, goji berries in my Chewy Choc Goji Crunch, green beans in my Pesto Potato Salad, or pears in this lovely moist Pear and Ginger Cake. In fact for me, cooking is all about the fruit and vege taking centre stage, with everything else just working to elevate and flavour these lovely little bits of earth-grown nourishment.
And so this cake includes pear, ginger and dates, as well as almonds, wholemeal spelt flour, vanilla extract, and some coconut cream to hold it all together. I’ve used spelt for my flour in this cake, as it’s one of my favourites to bake with. It has a lovely flavour, holds things together nicely so they don’t end up in a crumbly mess, and gives you a similar texture to what you might find with regular white wheat flour. It’s therefore the perfect substitute for altering your own favourite family recipes.
Mixing Up Your Flours
I highly recommend you getting a bit more adventurous in the flours you use at home. When I grew up I did lots of baking (namely scones, cookies, banana cakes – the classics), but always using regular white wheat flour. Which gives you a lovely soft and fluffy result and great taste, but it’s a good idea to mix things up sometimes and incorporate some other wholefoods flours in your life. I love spelt for cakes, but some others I recommend you getting in your pantry include:
- – lovely texture and taste, good substitute for regular white wheat flour, great in cakes and cookies, binds nicely, is unrefined, and contains much lower levels of gluten than regular white wheat flour. (GF) – a lovely nutty taste, good option for gluten free baking, reasonable binding capacity. Does give out denser baked goods than spelt – I recommend blending it with brown rice flour, oat flour and cornflour to give a better result for wheat free baking, or for fully gluten free, swap the oat for extra buckwheat and brown rice. (GF) – really nice mild flavour, not overpowering. Again gives denser results than wheat or spelt flour so good to use in a combo with buckwheat, oat and cornflour. – great nutritional value, nice creamy flavour. Doesn’t bind at all though so definitely need to use with another flour (eg buckwheat or brown rice). Note oats contain a type of gluten called avenin, but for most people it doesn’t cause damage to the intestinal cells – check with your doctor if you are coeliac before using. It is however naturally wheat free.
- Corn Flour (GF) – good to add a small amount of this when using a gluten free buckwheat, brown rice, oat flour combo, as helps to bind and also give a lighter baking result.
- Besan/Chickpea Flour(GF) – my other all time favourite – definitely not for baked goods, but great for savoury recipes as a binder – I use it to make fritters (try my Spiced Cauliflower Fritters, or Zucchini, Herb and Chickpea Fritters), to make vegetable burger patties, or to make omelettes or savoury pancakes without eggs. Absorbs a lot of water when it cooks so make sure you add enough water. Is my favourite egg alternative in savoury recipes, it’s amazing!
All of these amazing flours are available to order from our online store here if you’d like to try them out. They’re all really reasonably priced so definitely worth having a few stashed in the pantry for those last minute Sunday baking episodes!
All of the above flours are ones that I love and use on a regular basis in my plant-based kitchen. In terms of baking, I personally love wholemeal spelt as it definitely gives the best classic flavour and light texture, but if you would like a wheat free option, then my top recommendation is a blend of buckwheat, brown rice, oat and cornflour. For every cup of spelt, swap it with 1/3 cup of buckwheat, 1/3 cup brown rice, 1/4 cup oat and 1 1/2 tbsp cornflour. For a completely gluten free version, simply substitute the oats for a further 2 tbsp of brown rice and 2 tbsp buckwheat. In this delicious Pear and Ginger Cake I’ve tried all three versions and they all taste great, the gluten and wheat free versions just turn out a bit denser and crumblier, with an earthier flavour.
I hope you’ll try this easy as cake. I do love making desserts and sweet treats like this, where you can spend an hour one night, then have a delicious treat for those post-dinner relaxation moments the rest of your week. This lovely little cake will last for three days in an air tight container, or you can slice it up and store the individual slices in the freezer for later. It tastes best with a generous dollop of something creamy on the side – whipped coconut cream, coconut yoghurt, or my Coconut Cashew Chia Cream and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (my favourites!).
If you try it out I’d love to see your results on Instagram just tag me @begoodorganics and #begoodorganics so I can come and admire your masterpiece!
That’s it from me for this week. Have a great week ahead and I hope you enjoy some cakey goodness some where along the way.
PS If you like this recipe I’d love you to share it on Pinterest (hover over any of the images and click Pin It), Facebook or Twitter (hit the buttons up top). Thanks a bunch!
Please note – if you are wanting to meet any of the specific dietary requirements below, please read my recipe notes.
Ginger and Pear Upside-Down Cake
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add the pears and cook over high heat, stirring, until crisp-tender. Add 4 tablespoons of the butter, the brown sugar and honey and stir over moderate heat until melted. Off the heat, arrange the pears in an overlapping ring, with the pointed ends facing the center. Fill the center with pears and sprinkle with the crystallized ginger.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg and salt. In a large bowl, cream the remaining stick of butter. Add the granulated sugar beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. Add the vanilla. Beat in the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the milk. Spoon the batter evenly over the pears, spreading it to the edge.
Bake the cake on the bottom oven rack for 30 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes, then invert a plate over the skillet. Quickly invert the skillet to release the cake. Replace any pears that stick to the skillet and drizzle any remaining syrup over the cake. Let cool before serving.
I should have listened to the smart reviewer who warned about burning the butter and brown sugar while sautéing the pears. It smelled burnt, but I shrugged and used it anyway. Sadly, the cake is inedible. It looks pretty, if you like a black cake. So learn from my sad lesson — if it smells burnt, start the topping over with a lower flame.
Thanks to all the helpful commenters who've gone before! Doubled the spices, used oil instead of butter for the batter (not for frying the pears), used a large springform. Ridiculously simple but delicious cake. Definitely a keeper! Served it with sour cream. Oh, and I added juice of a lemon to the frying pears.
This was amazing! I also doubled the ginger - but it would have been scrummy either way. Next time I will also double the other spices, and I will use more pears or apples. The fruit shrinks quite a bit so you should really crowd it in there.
Oh my god--what a total disaster! I made in a standard (Lodge) 10" cast iron pan as directed, and it spilled all over the edges and all over my oven. What a complete mess. Maybe a 12" would have worked. I have no patience for recipes that let me down like this.
just wonderful. Like others suggested, I increased the ginger to twice the amount in the recipe, maybe even more, but otherwise followed the recipe without changes. Served it to a dozen people--it's a generous sized cake. I would just comment that my batter was thinner than I expected when I read that you should smooth it over the pears--it smoothed itself. I worried that Iɽ made a mistake but it baked perfectly. I will add this to my fun desserts for the future.
Absolutely wonderful. Gorgeous! Impressive! Delicious!
incredible cake - absolutely delicious and beautiful presentation. We upped the pear amount to 4 pears, and upped the ginger to 1 1/2 tablespoons to produce a spicier cake. Was definitely not overwhelming, recommended for anyone that is interested in a more powerful spice component. We also used dark molasses instead of mild. It was a gorgeous dark color, super moist, and not overpowering. HIGHLY recommended!
This was awesome! I made this for a dinner party with 12 guests. I read all the reviews and chose to make this in 2 8" cake pans. I buttered the bottom and lined them with a circle of parchment paper. I doubled the topping ingredients and sauteed the pears and syrup until the sugar was all melted. I spooned the ingredients into the cake pans, however I did not use all the syrup. I did not change anything with the filling just split it between the 2 pans. The cooking time was much quicker, about 30 minutes so watch the time if you choose to do it this way. Everyone loved it.
This was a nice holiday cake - very moist. I only had strong molasses in the house and agree that milder molasses would be better - it was a bit overpowering in my rendition. I might actually use only 3/4 cup in my next attempt.
Delicious, moist and very fragrant! I made this in 9 in cake pans and the batter was enough to fill 2. I substituted about 1/4 C grated fresh ginger for the ground ginger so perhaps the ginger flavor was not too pronounced. Next time I would up the fresh ginger to 1/2 C.
Autumn and winter fall crowd pleaser, guaranteed. When I'm jammed with time, for sure the gingerbread mix is a good cheap savior. Yes, I toss in some candied ginger bits (thank you, Penzeys) in the gingerbread. Quick and easy to top with whipped cream or ice cream (vanilla obivous, but also ginger, or Toscanini's burnt caramel if you're in the area). BUt if you're into it -- try a nice creme anglaise sauce in a small pool, a little drizzedl over the top. Or (this is my day for cheap tricks) simmer some sweetened condensed milk with a little rum and add ginger bits if you like for a dulce de leche type sauce.
This dessert was not only beautiful but also really good. Sugar is just right and with some ice cream it is a great fall dessert. I did use a seasoned cast iron pan. Be careful not to burn the sugar/butter combination at the beginning. I had to do it twice. The second time I just put the butter and sugar together and simmered about a couple of minutes. Other than that, it worked great. Make sure to cool the molasses water combination also before pouring into the butter batter.
Everyone loved it! Looked beautiful.
Great cake. I did a test run for Thanksgiving. I like the suggestions for adding extra pears. Also, I think I'll cut down on the butter based on others' suggestions. The top came out a little goopy and messy, but as it cooled it got a little more manageable. I used an 11-inch cast-iron skillet and it fit the batter perfectly. I'm guessing the extra butter made the top a little messier though.
This is a wonderful dessert. I would make no changes. I did not have light brown sugar, so used dark. Did not have light molasses, so used dark. Still great. Only problem is that the batter was too much for my iron pan, so I put some in a little bread pan. which was great for snacking! Also, it feeds about 12 people, not 12! I have now made this twice and it is in my BEST recipe pile.
I can't believe the reviewer that said this "wasn't pretty". It is unbelievably gorgeous and the presentation is spectacular. It has just about every texture and taste sensation any food could have. It's my favorite dessert,for fancy and casual dinner finales. If I could only have one food on a deserted island, it would be this.
This recipe never misses. My family won't let me in the door without this cake over the holidays. If you follow the recipe faithfully you can't go wrong. And if you like a stronger ginger flavor, you can double the ginger and/or add candied ginger to give it a kick. This is a rich, decadent, gooey holiday treat that will be remembered by all who enjoy it.
I love this recipe! My daughter made a similar recipe one year for christmas and I wanted to learn how to make it. I went on this website and found this recipe. This recipe is actually much better. I now make it for Christmas every year
I used gingerbread mix (horrors) and it came out just fine though a bit much for the cake pan but I had put it on a baking sheet in anticipation. This time I'm going to add candied ginger to the mix and serve it with whipped cream with a bit of ground ginger and cinnamon.
This was moist and very flavorful. I didn't have enough molasses (only about 1/4 c.)so I used what I had and substituted maple syrup for the rest. Though this recipe was VERY good, I would try all molasses next time and maybe more ginger (only because I love a strong ginger flavor). Yum!
I loved this recipe. perfect for a cool fall evening. I had to substitute blackstrap molasses for the mild but I thought it was still good. I love the deep rick favors. Will make it again very soon but will use mild molasses as called for.
Very easy, even for a non-baker like me, and very good but not nearly gingery enough. Note that the Guinness Stout Ginger Cake recipe on this site calls for 2 Tablespoons of ground ginger!
I made this recipe to the exact specs, EXCEPT I had regular unsulfured molasses, not mild. It turned out horrible. The gingerbread was far too strong for the more subtle -- albeit sweet -- pears. When the recipe says it prefers mild molasses, make it a must!