Upside-down ginger pear and walnut cake

1 hour 30 minutes


Ginger cake

  • 125g of plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 egg
  • 125g of light brown sugar
  • 90g of black treacle
  • 120ml of milk, soured with 1 tsp of lemon juice
  • 50g of butter, melted

For the topping

  • 50g of unsalted butter
  • 100g of light brown sugar
  • 400g of pears, halved (tinned are fine)
  • 1 handful of walnut halves

To serve

  • vanilla ice cream


Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
To make the topping, gently melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the sugar and stir for a couple of minutes. Smooth over the base of a 20cm cake tin with a removable base, 7cm deep. Arrange the pears on top, cut-side down, with a few walnuts around the outside, flat-side down
To make the cake, sift the flour, bicarb and spices into a bowl, and add a good pinch of fine sea salt. Blend the egg, sugar, treacle, soured milk and butter in a separate large bowl, and fold in the flour mixture. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth and then pour the mixture over the fruit in the tin
Place on a baking tray and bake for 40-50 minutes. To test the cake is done, insert a skewer into the centre and if it comes out clean, it’s ready. Try to skewer a patch of cake rather than a pear by the way! Remove from the oven, run a knife around the edge and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes
To serve, remove the collar and invert the cake onto a plate or cake stand and cut into slices. Best enjoyed warm or at room temperature. And the aforementioned dollop of vanilla ice-cream always goes down a treat too