Fresh Pear, Almond and Ginger Cakes

, from Issue #61. September, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Fresh Pear, Almond and Ginger Cakes

This is a base recipe that I have been using for years and simply change out the nuts and fruit to match the seasons. I serve it with thick plain yoghurt that I sprinkle with coconut sugar; after a few minutes it melts into the yoghurt like caramel.


100 grams butter, melted 
2 x #7 eggs (large)
finely grated zest 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅓ cup plain gluten-free or regular flour
½ teaspoon baking powder 
1½ teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
pinch salt
100 grams ground almonds
¼ cup caster sugar
¼ cup light muscovado sugar

To assemble
3 small pears, halved and cored
2 tablespoons flaked almonds
2 tablespoons raw sugar

To serve
icing sugar for dusting
thick plain yoghurt (optional)
coconut sugar (optional)
whipped cream (optional)

6 standard muffin tins, greased and lined fully with baking paper (Bring the paper up the sides of the tins. Press it firmly against the sides, pleating where necessary.)


Preheat the oven to 180˚C fan bake.

Cakes: Whisk the butter, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla together.

Sift the flour, baking powder, ginger and cardamom together in a large bowl then stir in the salt, ground almonds and both sugars.  

Add the egg mixture and beat with a wooden spoon until combined.

Divide the mixture evenly between the tins.

To assemble: Cut the pears into 1cm slices and place 3 slices standing up in each cake. Scatter with the almonds, then the sugar. 

Bake for about 25-30 minutes until the tops are golden and the cakes are puffed and risen. 

Serve warm, dusted with icing sugar, along with thick plain yoghurt with a little coconut sugar sprinkled over the top, or softly whipped cream. Makes 6