Chocolate Spiced Pear Cake

Chocolate Spiced Pear Cake

This chocolate spiced pear cake is a real winner, light, moist and chocolaty. Full of autumn flavours, the pears are infused in a poaching liquid of vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, turmeric and whisky.

It is not necessary to poach the pears if you really don’t want to make the extra effort, but I find the flavours comforting. They remind me of winter, sitting by the fire with a hot toddy. And this poaching liquid is a little different as it includes the addition of a few extra ingredients, not normally found in hot toddy but they compliment the pears really well.

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    For this recipe, which also includes a chocolate sauce you will need these ingredients:

    • Pears
    • Whisky
    • Cinnamon stick
    • Cloves
    • Ground ginger
    • Ground turmeric
    • Brown sugar
    • Plain or all-purpose flour (BL55)
    • Cocoa powder
    • Baking soda
    • Baking powder
    • Neutral-tasting oil (vegetable or sunflower)
    • Caster sugar or granulated white sugar
    • Pure vanilla extract or paste
    • Egg
    • Milk
    • Cream

    Vanilla recommendations: pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste or vanilla pods.


    I highly recommend adding a good pinch of salt to your cakes. It might seem counterproductive, but it’s not. Salt helps balance out the sweetness and richness. It also elevates the other ingredients, bringing out the best characteristics of any recipe. In a seemingly absurd or contradictory way, salt intensifies the mouth’s ability to taste sweetness. It is the sodium that sends signals to move glucose into the sweet taste receptor cells in our tongue, triggering the cells to register sweetness. The result is that salt not only alerts our ‘salt sensitivity’, but also our ‘sweet sensitive’ taste buds.
    I recommend Maldon Sea salt flakes or Cornish sea salt for baking.


    This small pan is a great size for boiling small amounts of liquids and it has pouring lips built into the rim of the saucepan which makes it easy to use.

    I like this size of pan for making jams etc..

    Perfect for banana bread, lemon drizzle, pound cake and traditional loaves.

    The Gourmet Larder is an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

    TIP: I highly recommend using metric measurements and a digital kitchen scale, rather than cup measurements. If you have ever ended up with dry, dense or crumbly baked goods, it might be because of inaccurate volume measurements, not all measuring cups are made equally. All my recipes on this blog are carefully developed so that you can easily recreate them in your own kitchen with success, using metric measurements. It is also a lot easier, less messy and you will get far better, consistent results. 🙂
    If you are interested in understanding conversions, here you will find the best conversion chart.


    Serving: one cake slice

    Nutrition information can vary for a recipe based on factors such as precision of measurements, brands, ingredient freshness, or the source of nutrition data.

    I strive to keep the information as accurate as possible but make no warranties regarding its accuracy.

    I encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.


    This cake is best eaten on the day but also keeps well for up to 5 days.

    Freezing: Wrap this cake well with cling wrap or put it in a freezer box and it will keep for 2-3 months.

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    Chocolate spiced pear cake

    Chocolate Spiced Pear Cake

    Preparation:40 minutes
    Baking:1 hour
    Total:1 hour 40 minutes
    Servings: 10 slices
    Tools you’ll need:
    • 900g 2lb loaf pan
    This chocolate spiced pear cake is a real winner for those autumn days, Whisky infused pears in a light, moist chocolaty sponge.


    Poached pears

    • 3 whole pears
    • 25 ml whisky
    • 1 stick cinnamon
    • 5 whole cloves
    • ½ tsp ground ginger
    • 1 whole vanilla pod (optional)
    • 200 g light brown sugar
    • ½ tsp ground turmeric
    • 800 ml water


    • 120 g plain flour (all-purpose)
    • 45 g unsweetened cocoa powder
    • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda / baking soda
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 60 ml neutral-tasting oil (coconut, vegetable or sunflower oil)
    • 120 g caster sugar
    • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp of vanilla paste
    • ½ tsp fine sea salt
    • 1 medium egg (50g total)
    • 130 ml milk
    • 130 ml boiling water

    Chocolate sauce

    • 300 ml pear poaching liquid
    • 100 ml single cream
    • 40 g unsweetened cocoa powder


    • Poaching pears: Peel the pears, leaving the stalk intact.
    • Combine all the ingredients into a small saucepan, the water should be enough to cover the pears, bring to a simmer.
    • Gently poach the pears for about 15 minutes.
    • Remove the pears and the spices with a slotted spoon.
    • Chocolate cake mix: Preheat the oven to 160°C fan / 350°F / Gas 4
    • Line a 900g (2lb) loaf pan with baking/parchment paper.
    • Place all of the cake ingredients, except the boiling water, into a large mixing bowl. Using a spoon, or electric whisk, beat the mixture until smooth.
    • Add the boiling water to the mixture, a little at a time, until smooth. (The cake mixture will now be very liquid.)
    • The pears should now be cool enough to place into the loaf tin, if they don’t stand easily, you can cut the bottoms straight to help them. Pour the batter in and around the pears.
    • Baking: Place on the middle shelf in the oven for 45–50 minutes, or until the top is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
    • Chocolate sauce: Whilst the cake is baking prepare the chocolate sauce by reducing the pear poaching liquid down to about 300ml, then add the cream and cocoa powder to make a rich chocolate pear sauce.
    KEYWORDS chocolate cake recipes, chocolate recipes, fruit recipes, poached pears

    Chocolate Spiced Pear Cake


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