This is one of my favourite recipes at the moment and also goes down very well with the B&Bs when they have their tea and cake by the fire. It is a perfect cake for cold autumnal days but is also declicious with cream or custard (my favourite!) A few people have asked me for the recipe, so here it is. The recipe comes from The Quick Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer – a fabulous book if you want some fairly easy but delicious inspiration. I’m thoroughly enjoying cooking my way through the book.

I leave out the cardamom pods and add a very generous amount of fresh ginger. I’m sure you will all do your own little tweaks to adjust this to your taste. Enjoy and let me know how you all get on.

Last month I made this by special request for one of our B&Bs who was celebrating his birthday.


60g unsalted butter, plus more for the tin
125g dark brown sugar, plus a few extra pinches
2½ cm fresh ginger, grated
1 free-range egg
100ml milk
115g self-raising flour
1 tsp ground ginger
3 cardamom pods, seeds ground, pods discarded
½ tsp baking powder
4 slim pears, halved
1 ball of stem ginger in syrup, roughly chopped

Essential kit

You will need: a 28 x 22cm roasting or baking tin.


Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 25–30 minutes

Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C/gas 4 and line and butter a 28 x 22cm roasting or baking tin with non-stick or greaseproof paper.

Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth, then whisk in the fresh ginger, egg and milk. Stir in the flour, ground ginger, ground cardamom and baking powder and mix briefly until combined.

Tip the gingerbread batter into the lined tin, then arrange the halved pears across the cake as shown opposite. Scatter a pinch of dark brown sugar and a few bits of chopped stem ginger over each pear, then transfer to the oven and bake for 25–30 minutes, until the cake is risen and firm to the touch.

Let the cake cool down in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring it, with its paper, to a wire rack to cool a little. Serve the gingerbread warm or at room temperature.

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