Spiced Poached Pear and Almond Cake

spiced poached pear and almond cake

I don’t menu plan, it’s all the rage right now, apparently it’s supposed to save you time and money. That’s great, but what about a daily dose if use-your-imagination? I get frustrated that I’m boxed in, that there’s no flexibility, no choice, no spur of the moment kitchen flare.


So each morning, I look in the fridge, have a think about proteins or even whole meals that are in the freezer and I plan from there. I definitely buy things on grocery day with intent. I mean, there’s only one reason that there’s a ham hock in the freezer, I just don’t know when that pea and ham soup will appear on our menu.

three pears peeled pears

So our grocery days are always just a top up of what we have. We always have a full pantry, the staples are there and even on the last couple of days of the fortnight, we can scrape together a nutritious meal.

pear cake

Market days are a bit more fun. We only buy local and seasonal. Walking down the aisles of the small barn where the local produce market is help a bag of pears caught my eye. My constant need for snacking requires something healthy, because it’s generally easier to grab an unhealthy snack, especially since Easter has just passed.

poached pear cake

Turns out the pairs were cooking pears, and terribly grainy. So what else do you do, but poach them and make a cake!

This cake is dense, but light, has a wonderful texture and is enhanced by the secret soft sweetness of the poached pears on the inside.

Do you menu plan? Do you organise you meals days, weeks or hours in advance? Or knock something up right before dinner?

poached pear cake sliced

Spiced Poached Pear and Almond Cake
Cook time
Total time
Poached Pears
  • 500gm pears - peeled, quartered and cored
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
Almond Cake
  • 200 g butter
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300 g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 70 g ground almonds
  • ½ cup sour cream
Poached Pears
  1. Put water, sugar, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves in a medium pot, stir until sugar dissolves.
  2. Add pears, cover with baking paper and lid and simmer for 10 mins.
  3. Remove pears with slotted spoon, keep poaching liquid.
Almond Cake
  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius, butter a bundt tin.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mix well between each addition. Beat in vanilla extract.
  3. Gently fold in dry ingredients, and sour cream.
  4. Spoon half of mixture into pan, cover with poached pears, cover with remaining cake batter. Smooth with spatula.
  5. Bake for 50 mins, cool for 10 mins, then turn out onto cake plate and spoon some of the poaching liquid over the cake.


10 thoughts on “Spiced Poached Pear and Almond Cake

  1. when i can i try to plan the weekly dinners, it just helps us stay on track so much rather than thinking ahh can’t be bothered, we’ll just go out for a meal. i decide on the protein and then find recipes/ideas around it, but many are the evenings where I cook it in a completely different way (either something easier, or something that suits what we feel like more…) it also helps with my shopping because i can vary what i buy a bit – otherwise i fall on the same stuff every single grocery trip! hugs

  2. I feel like I should menu plan, but I also don’t like being trapped. I don’t really use recipes, so I like to just create a meal. Of course, then the balance is finding a meal that uses what I have, rather than getting a great idea and running off to the shops to buy it. I also try to keep all the basics on hand and only ‘replace’ rather than shop.

  3. I’m pretty much the same as you. These days I try and get dinner sorted in the morning so if the day goes pear shaped (see what I did there? pear-shaped!) at least dinner is sorted. This looks like a wonderful way to eat your fruit!

  4. I’m not a menu planner – have tried & failed. I also like to go with the flow. This cake looks great. I will grab some pears next time I’m out & about so I can make it.

Leave a Reply to Clare Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>