Caramelized Pear Gingerbread Cake

Classic soda gingerbread is topped with pears while caramel sauce enticingly drizzles down the sides. It is very rich in an English pudding-like manner-perfect fare as the days get shorter and pears are at peak ripeness.



  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 medium ripe pears, soft but not mushy
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter melted


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). To make topping, put butter in a 9-inch (23-cm) round cake pan and place in preheated oven for 3 to 4 minutes or until butter is melted. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Peel pears, core and thinly slice into wedges. Arrange decoratively over brown sugar, overlapping as needed.
  2. To make cake, whisk molasses with milk, egg and ginger until blended. Mix flour with sugar, soda and salt; add molasses mixture and melted butter. Stir until almost smooth (batter will be thick). Spread over pears. Level top.
  3. Immediately bake in centre of preheated oven for 45 minutes or until edges of cake pull away from sides and a cake tester inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven; run a knife around cake edge.
  4. Place a large plate with sides over cake top. Together turn upside down; cake will fall onto the plate. Replace any pears that stick to pan; run a rubber spatula around bottom to get last of caramel sauce onto cake. Serve warm with crème anglais or lightly whipped cream.


Makes 8 servings

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