Poached Pear Gingerbread Cake


For the poached pears:

  • Place the sugar water & spices in a medium sized pot and bring to a gentle boil.
  • Peel and cut the base of the pears so they stand straight and upright.
  • Add them to the hot poaching liquid and cook until the pears soften slightly but are still firm in the centre. It's important you don't overcook at this point as the pears will be cooked furter when added to the cake.
  • Remove from the heat and place the pears and the liquid in a container and chill until needed.

TIP: Try and store in a small container so the poaching liquid covers all the pears, this will help stop discolouration 


For the gingerbread cake:

  • Preheat your oven to 170C / 150C Fan / Gas 3 / 325F
  • Line the base of a 8” round loose bottom baking tin with parchment and grease and flour the bottom and sides. Set aside.
  • Place the milk, butter, brown sugar and treacle in a small pot and heat gently until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • Mix the four, soda and dried spices in a medium sized bowl.
  • Add the eggs, grated ginger and room temperature treacle mixture and using a wooden spoon, stir together until smooth and lump free.
  • Spoon this mixture into the lined tin.
  • Remove the pears from the cold poaching liquid and pat dry.
  • Place the pears standing upright into the batter and gently push down into the mix.
  • This goes into the preheated oven and bakes for 50/60 minutes.
  • Once baked, remove an allow to cool in the tin.

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Recipe Information

Preparation Time
35 mins
Cooking Time
50/60 mins


Poaching liquid

  • 300ml water
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 5/6 firm conference pears

Gingerbread cake

  • 110g soft butter
  • 2 tbsp treacle
  • 115ml milk
  • 110g brown sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 225g self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp bread soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger grated
  • 2 tbsp honey to glaze