Recipe: Honey Caramel Topsy Turvy Pear Cake

The autumnal flavour of pears in a rich butter caramel, topped with a drizzle of honey, makes this a most delicious cake.

Recipe: Extract from The Comfort Bake

Fresh, tinned or preserved pears can be used in this recipe.

Serves 8–12


825 g (1 b 13 oz) pear halves, drained if tinned

For the honey caramel:
125g salted butter
125g soft brown sugar
20g honey, plus 20g extra, for glazing

For the cake:
2 eggs
200g white (granulated) sugar
125ml milk
230g self-raising flour
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
125g salted butter, melted and cooled slightly


Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease a 23 x 30cm slab tin, 6cm deep. Line the base with baking paper and then grease again.

To make the honey caramel, melt the butter, brown sugar and honey together. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 minute, whisking. Pour into the base of the tin. Cut each pear half into four slices, and place them decoratively over the caramel.

For the cake, using hand-held beaters or a stand mixer, beat all the cake ingredients for 2 minutes. Spoon the batter over the pears, then carefully level the mixture with a spatula, leaving it just slightly concave in the middle. Bake for 30–40 minutes, or until a metal skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Allow to stand for 5 minutes before turning the cake out onto a wire rack; the pears will be on top. Position a plate underneath the rack so that it sits under the cake. (This way any spilled caramel can be retrieved by spooning it up and over the cake.)

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Heat the extra honey in a small saucepan until warmed through and runny, then spoon over the cake.

Cool the cake for 15 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.

The Comfort Bake by Sally Wise, photography by Samuel Shelley. Murdoch Books RRP $42.99

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