Pear-fect dessert

I was searching for a sweet cake recipe that could be made in advance for a lunch we were hosting the following day. With the warmer weather I had pears in mind for the base ingredient, and was lucky enough to find this recipe which I was able to adapt to become wheat-free.

It was a beautiful moist cake, that kept well overnight. The cake was spicy and dense, and the pears were beautifully caramelised. However, we all agreed that it would be even better served warm – fresh out of the oven – with a good dollop of cream. Next winter perhaps!

A word of warning – there is a lot of sugar and butter in this cake, so its probably not the best choice for anyone watching their waistline 🙂

Pear and Almond Cake
Adapted from

180g brown sugar
250g unsalted butter
3 ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into slices
300g caster sugar
3 eggs
250g gluten free plain flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
80g almond meal
250ml buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
2. Grease and line the base of a springform cake tin with baking paper. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the base (it will seem like a lot!). Melt 100g of the butter and pour over the brown sugar.
3. Top the sugar mix with the pear slices, overlapping as you go.
4. Meanwhile, beat the remaining butter and caster sugar for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
5. Sift together flour, spices and baking powder and fold into egg mix with the almond meal.
6. Stir in buttermilk, then mix to form a smooth batter.
7. Spread the batter over the pears, and place on a baking tray (this is very important as I found that some of the butter escaped the bottom of my cake tin during the cooking process.
8. Cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes. I covered the cake with foil after 1 hour as I found the cake was starting to brown too quickly.
9. Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the tin for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the cake tin, and invert onto a plate.

Happy baking 🙂

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