My Pear and Ginger Cake is an easy, adaptable recipe that the whole family is sure to love. It’s perfect for afternoon tea, or as a dessert with cream or ice cream. You can also serve it as a traditional British pudding with custard. There’s a gluten-free option too!
Seriously easy to make, the only complex bit about Pear and Ginger Cake is cutting the slices of pear for the top of the cake. They really do look lovely arranged in a circular pattern on top. It’s not a deal breaker though. If you are having one of those days when cutting slices of pear is a step too far, just chop the pears and fold them into the batter. It will still taste amazing. I’d only use 2 pears in this case though, so the cake doesn’t become too moist.
This recipe evolved from my Easy Plum Cake Recipe, but it has a character all of its own. As I mentioned above, it’s one of those cakes that you really can serve anytime – I wouldn’t say no to a slice for breakfast either!
How Do You Feel About Ginger?
This Pear and Ginger Cake recipe is so adaptable! If you love ginger like I do, you’ll want to use two and a half teaspoons of ground ginger for the recipe. Not so sure about ginger? Just use a teaspoon, or leave it out entirely. Of course, you’ll need to call it Pear Cake instead, but that’s no big deal. If you do choose to leave out the ginger, perhaps change the almond flavouring to vanilla extract to really bring out the flavour of the pears.
Can Pear and Ginger Cake Be Made Gluten-Free?
Yes! My lovely cousin Larissa made the cake with Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking Flour and got beautiful results. Click here to see her Instagram post! Larissa also recommended using lemon juice instead of water in the glaze, which sounds like a wonderful idea to me!
Can You Use Canned Pears in Pear and Ginger Cake?
I prefer to use fresh pears for my Pear and Ginger Cake as they are firmer. If you do use canned pears, be sure to drain them really thoroughly or the cake will be too moist. I would also just chop the canned pears and fold them through the cake batter as they are likely to sink if you put them on top. If you do decide to use canned pears for this recipe, I would use just under a cup of chopped pear pieces.
Should You Decorate Pear and Ginger Cake?
The pears arranged on top make this cake really pretty, but it’s extra special with a glaze. I just use a mixture of icing sugar and water or lemon juice and drizzle it all over the cake. Again, don’t get hung up over this. There are no rules for drizzling!
How Can You Serve Pear and Ginger Cake?
The possibilities for serving this cake are endless. I mentioned a few ideas at the beginning of this post, but I’ve got even more! It tastes delicious plain, but loves a dollop of luscious whipped cream. Serve Pear and Ginger Cake with ginger ice cream, or use vanilla instead and top with salted caramel sauce. However you choose to serve it, this versatile cake is sure to become a dessert staple, especially when pears are in season.
Pear and Ginger Cake – Printable Recipe
Pear and Ginger Cake
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing the pan
- ¾ cup white sugar either granulated or caster sugar is fine
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 teaspoons almond flavouring
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour or Bob's Red Mill 1 - 1 Gluten Free Flour all purpose flour is also known as plain flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder use gluten-free baking powder if required
- 2 teaspoons ginger Depending on how much you like ginger you can use between 1 and 3 teaspoons.
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup buttermilk ordinary milk will also work but buttermilk gives a lovely flavour
- 2 to 3 medium pears, one peeled and chopped, the others peeled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice most lemons will yield about 2 tablespoons of juice
- 2 tablespoons Demerera sugar for garnish If you do not have Demerera sugar (also known as Turbinado sugar) you can use white sugar instead
- 1½ cups icing sugar Icing sugar is also known as confectioners sugar or powdered sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons water or lemon juice you may need slightly more or less
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (170°C or 160°C for fan/convection ovens).
- Grease the bottom and sides of an 8 inch (21cm) loose-bottomed cake pan.
- Peel the pears, one at a time. Chop the first pear and put it in a small bowl. Toss the chopped pear pieces in half the lemon juice to prevent them turning brown. Cut the remaining pears into slices, and place in another small bowl. Add the remaining lemon juice to this bowl and toss the pear slices gently so they remain intact. Set both bowls aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together.
- Add the eggs and almond flavouring and beat for a minute or so.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the batter and mix well.
- Pour in the buttermilk and beat until the cake mixture is smooth.
- Gently fold in the chopped pear only.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, smoothing the top.
- Arrange the sliced pears on top of the cake in a circular fashion. Don't get stressed about this, it doesn't need to be perfect!
- Sprinkle the top of the cake with the Demerera sugar.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean and the top of the cake is beginning to turn golden.
- Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.
- When the cake pan is cool enough to handle, release the springs and gently remove the sides. You can leave the cake on the metal base of the cake pan to serve it. (However, if you are feeling brave, you can remove it by sliding a knife very carefully between the cake and the metal base. Use a large slice or egg lifter to transfer it to the wire rack to cool completely.)
- When the cake is completely cool, it's ready to glaze. Put the icing sugar in a bowl and gradually add the water, a bit at a time, until a smooth, drizzle-able consistency is reached.
- Drizzle the glaze over the cake.
- Let the glaze set before slicing the cake.