Pear and Ginger Cake

This makes a dense, sticky cake perfect as a slice with coffee and equally good warm with custard. Don’t be afraid of adding too much butter or sugar to the base – the stickier the better!


4 good-sized, soft pears, peeled, quartered and cored 

20 grams demerara sugar

200 grams butter

200 grams golden caster sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

3 large eggs

100 grams ground almonds

100 grams self-raising flour

1½  teaspoons of baking powder

100 grams crystallised ginger finely chopped


  1. Heat the oven to Gas Mark 4 (180 C, 350 F).
  2. Grease well a 20 cm diameter, 8 cm deep loose-bottomed cake tin with butter. Scatter the Demerara Sugar over the base.
  3. Place the quartered pears around the base of the cake tin.
  4. Put the butter, sugar, vanilla extract into a mixer/bowl and beat until light and fluffy, a good five minutes or so.
  5. Then add the eggs and the ground almonds and beat for two or three minutes.
  6. Sift the self-raising flour and baking powder into the bowl and beat for thirty seconds.
  7. Stir the crystallised ginger through the mixture.
  8. Spoon into cake tin and level the top.
  9. Put into oven and check after forty minutes with knife into centre. This may take up to an hour to cook. If the top is browning too much before the cake is ready cover with aluminium foil.