Upside-Down Toffee Pear Gingerbread Cake

This is the first cake recipe that has worked successfully in my joke of an oven, and so will always have a special place in my heart. It is a recipe from the Books for Cooks in Notting Hill’s Favourite Recipes series which I have had for many years but avoided due to a disastrous attempt at making their sour cream blueberry cake many years ago, which refused to set after several hours of cooking, and eventually ended up in a pubble on my kitchen floor. This is luscious, and not overly sweet due to the addition of the pears, which are probably my favourite dessert fruit, although I never eat them normally. I did not have treacle, and used golden syrup to excellent effect. I also lowered the pear content as I don’t know where books for cooks expected you to fit all of them. But as reflected in the recipe, I think this would be nice with a pear layer in the middle of the cake, but feel free to just top it. This make a 24cm cake.


For the topping:

  • 75g butter
  • 125g brown sugar
  • 2 pears

For the cake

  • 175g self raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 175g brown sugar
  • 125g treacle or golden syrup
  • 150ml milk
  • 100g melted unsalted butter


  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Grease and line a 24cm cake tin.
  • First make the topping by melting the butter and sugar together until bubbling, creamy and toffee-like
  • Pour into the base of the tin..
  • Top with a layer of pear slices.
  • To make the gingerbread, mix all the dry ingredients well, then slowly beat in the eggs, milk, syrup and butter.
  • Beat well for 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour half into the cake tin.
  • Add another layer of chopped pear.
  • Pour the remaining batter in.
  • Cook for about 45-55 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  • Turn out onto a plate and leave to cool.
  • Best served immediately.


4 thoughts on “Upside-Down Toffee Pear Gingerbread Cake

  1. Wow, I have been absolutely craving a cake like this. Literally, like, daydreaming about toffee fruit upside-down cakes. This one looks like a winner. And as I also have a joke of an oven (one reason why my blog is a bit thin on home baking recipes), it is heartening to read. Lovely!

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