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The Spiced Pear & Gin Upside down cake


The Spiced Pear Upside-Down Cake is made with gin and ginger!

As we start 2024, winter is in full effect and the air is ever crisper, our thoughts often turn to the comforting rituals of Cooking. Among these, is the joy of baking cakes , and what better way to get through the freezing January weather than with a delectable Spiced Pear Upside-Down Cake. This treat is a harmonious blend of warm, spicy flavours and sweet, sticky indulgence, perfect for those cosy evenings.

The star of the show in this recipe is undoubtedly the combination of ginger and gin. These ingredients infuse the cake with a fragrant and slightly boozy twist, embodying the essence of autumn. For those embarking on this baking journey, a bottle of Brilliant London Dry gin is an essential companion. which pairs beautifully with the flavours of ginger and pear.

Conference pears are the variety of choice for this recipe due to their widespread availability and ideal balance of flavour and texture. The preparation begins with crafting a ginger and gin caramel, a foundation that will host the pear slices. This sumptuous base is then topped with an easy-to-make cake batter, ready to be transformed in the oven.

The result is a cake that, once inverted, reveals a top layer of beautifully caramelised pears, nestled into a soft, aromatic sponge. Each bite is a celebration of autumn, with notes of sweet caramel, zesty ginger, juicy pear, and the rich undertone of gin mingling delightfully with the light and fluffy cake.


For the Pears:

  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 80g butter
  • 2 tbsp of Brilliant gin
  • 1 tbsp ginger syrup (from a jar of stem ginger)
  • 2 large pears, peeled, cored, and quartered

For the Cake Mixture:

  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 125g softened butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 125g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves

The baking process itself is a pleasure, with the scent of spices filling the kitchen. Begin by preheating the oven and preparing a 20cm cake tin with parchment. The caramel is made from light brown sugar and butter, infused with gin and ginger syrup for that extra layer of flavour. After creating the smooth and velvety caramel, it’s time to layer in the pears and cover them with the spiced batter, rich with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

Baking takes around 40-45 minutes, after which the cake should be golden and springy to the touch. Once cooled slightly, it’s ready to be turned out and served. This cake is best enjoyed slightly warm, perhaps accompanied by a dollop of double cream or crème fraîche, and for the full experience, a Spiced Pear Gin Cocktail on the side.

Process List

  • Preparation:
    • Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F).
    • Line a 20cm cake tin with parchment paper, ensuring the paper extends slightly up the sides to contain the caramel.
  • Making the Caramel:
    • In a deep saucepan, gently heat the light brown sugar until it begins to melt.
    • Add the butter and stir to combine into a light caramel.
    • After removing from the heat and letting it cool for about 10 minutes, stir in the gin and ginger syrup.
  • Arranging the Pears:
    • Pour the slightly cooled caramel into the bottom of the lined cake tin.
    • Arrange the pear quarters on top of the caramel.
  • Making the Cake Batter:
    • In a mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy.
    • Beat in the eggs one at a time.
    • Sift in the flour, baking powder, and spices, then mix until just combined.
  • Baking:
    • Pour the cake batter over the arranged pears and caramel in the cake tin.
    • Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until the cake is golden, springy to the touch, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Finishing:
    • Allow the cake to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes.
    • Turn the cake out onto a serving plate so that the pears and caramel are now on top.
  • Serving:
    • Serve the cake slightly warm with a dollop of double cream or crème fraîche.
    • For an enhanced autumnal experience, enjoy with a Spiced Pear Gin Cocktail.

This Spiced Pear Upside-Down Cake is more than just a dessert; it’s a celebration of autumn’s bounty and cosy charm. So, as the season turns, embrace the warmth and richness of autumn flavours with this irresistibly sticky and sweet delight.

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