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Poached Pear Ginger Cake

This poached pear ginger cake is spicy with a kick of freshly grated ginger and tons of warm spice from cloves and cinnamon. It’s by no means an overly sweet cake, which is how I like them. The molasses gives it color and that edge of bitter that I love.


  • Poached Pears
  • 4 Firm pears, peeled and cored (I use a melon baller), with stem left on. I used bosc pears, but any will do as long as they are very firm. Soft pears will just turn to mush when you poach them
  • 4 cups cider
  • 2 cups black tea
  • 6 cardamom pods I leave them whole, but you can slightly crush these for more intense flavor.
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, cut into pieces
  • 10 cloves
  • Ginger Cake
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp clove
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • 4 oz unslated butter, soft
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar, well packed
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger More to taste
  • ¾ cup black tea


Poached Pears

  • Combine the cider, spices and tea in a large pot. Add pears and simmer. Cook pears until they are tender. The timing will depend on how firm your pears are. To check to see if they are done, scoop the pears out of the liquid with a slotted spoon and poke the inside of the pear with a fork. It should still resist, but not be too hard. The pear will continue to soften as it bakes in the cake. Remove the pears and set aside.
  • Save poaching liquid to make cocktails or drink as is.


  • Prepare a pan with butter and parchment (this is an extra tall and long pan, but you can use a 9×5 Loaf Pan instead or a Pullman Loaf Pan without the lid).
  • Preheat over to 350°F
  • Whisk together the flour, spices, salt and soda, set aside.
  • Cream the butter and sugars together. Add the molasses and ginger and mix to combine. Add the egg and mix. Alternate adding the dry and tea to the mix, 1/3 dry, then half liquid, dry, liquid and always end with dry. Mix only enough to combine.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
  • Set the pears into the batter.
  • Bake for 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. I know this is a crazy range of time, but depending on the size and temperature of your pears it may take a very long time for the cake to set. Check with a tester and when it comes out with moist crumbs it is done.
  • Cool in the pan until you can comfortably hold the pan. Lift the cake out with parchment and cool completely before slicing.
  • Follow me on Instagram and you can watch me make this cake and many other recipes in my stories.