Pear and almond pudding cake

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

This cake works well as a dessert or with tea.

Cooking time

45-50 minutes




  • 150g unsalted butter, softened 
  • 125g caster sugar 
  • 2 medium eggs 
  • 75g wholemeal self-raising flour 
  • 75g ground almonds 
  • a good pinch of cinnamon

For the caramelised pears:

  • 3 pears (reasonably firm, but not rock hard) 
  • 25g unsalted butter 
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar


Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3. Grease a 20cm-diameter springform cake tin and line the base with baking parchment.

Peel, core and quarter the pears. Melt the 25g butter in a frying pan big enough to take all the pear pieces, over a medium high heat. When it’s bubbling, add the sugar and stir gently until it has dissolved into the butter. Add the pears and cook gently, turning once or twice, until they have softened and are starting to colour – 5-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, beat the softened butter with the caster sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in one egg at a time, adding a spoonful of the flour with each to stop the mix curdling. Combine the remaining flour, the ground almonds and the cinnamon, and fold into the mixture. Scrape into the prepared tin. Arrange the pears on top and pour on any buttery juices left in the pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Stand the cake in its tin on a wire rack to cool for a few minutes, then release the tin. Serve the cake warm with clotted cream – or cold.

River Cottage Winter's On the Way is out now on DVD.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.