Spiced pear and rye cake

This treacly ginger cake is a little bit like parkin, studded with tender pears and drenched in a syrupy glaze.

  • Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus cooling
  • Cooking time: 1 hour
  • Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes plus cooling

Serves: 12


100g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

4 comice or concorde pears, peeled, cored and sliced

100ml double cream

100g light brown muscovado sugar

100g golden syrup

100g treacle

3 eggs

100g plain flour

100g rye flour

1 tsp baking powder

1⁄2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tbsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon


200g ginger wine

100g golden syrup

50g unsalted butter


1. Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C, gas mark 4; grease a deep 23cm cake tin. Arrange the pears in the base of the tin.

2. Gently heat the butter, cream, sugar, syrup and treacle in a small saucepan until the butter has melted. Stir to combine, tip into a mixing bowl and leave to cool for 5 minutes.

3. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, then mix in the flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, spices and a pinch of salt until just combined. Tip into the tin over the pears and bake for 45-50 minutes.

4. Set the tin on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the glaze. Bring all the ingredients to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, until syrupy.

5. Remove the cake from the tin and turn upside down so the pears are on top. Spoon over the glaze, then leave to cool.