Celebration supper… easy as pie: Caramel whisky-pear cake

As decadent as it is comforting – perfect for ringing in a feel-good New Year.


75g butter salted, with extra greasing

150g light soft brown sugar

5.25 tbsp whisky


2 comice pears

Plain flour 200g

¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tablespoon ground nutmeg

Soft light brown sugar 200g

50g ground almonds

150g Greek yogurt, 0% fat

2 medium free-range eggs

4 Tbsp whole milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

100g salted butter, melt

crème fraîche or thick cream, to serve

  • Pre-heat the oven at 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Butter a 23cm round cake pan. With a removable collar and a buttering brush, trace a 4cm circle from baking paper. From the edges of the parchment to the tin, cut six vents. It should be laid flat so that the vents reach the top of the tin.
  • Make caramel by heating the butter, sugar, 3 tablespoons of whisky, in a saucepan. Heat on medium heat until it melts.
  • Core, peel and quarter the pear. Place half of the caramel on the bottom of the tin. Then, arrange the quarters of pear curved side down and pointed ends around the outside. Reserve the remainder caramel for your next meal.
  • Mix the flour, bicarbonate soda, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Next, add the sugar and ground almonds to the bowl and mix well.
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk the rest of the ingredients together with 2 teaspoons of whiskey until they are well blended. Blend this with the dry ingredients until it is well-combined. This should be poured over and around the pear halves. Make the cake ahead of time and let it cool in the container.
  • To reheat the cake after it has been cooled, heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4, and then place the cake (still in its tin) into the oven. Heat for 20 minutes.
  • Turn the pan upside down and place the cake on a plate. If the caramel has set, gently rewarm with a tablespoon of water to dissolve the sugar crystals and serve a couple of teaspoons trickled over each slice, plus a dollop of crème fraîche or cream.

GET AHEAD You can prepare to the end of step five up to a day in advance and reheat in the tin.