Oh my goodness. I just improvised the most amazing cake.

Best cake EVER

This is based on my banana cake recipe – I figured that if I kept all the quantities in the right place, I could add different flavouring and just switch out the type of mushy-cooked-fruit.

Pears are in season right now, so pears it is! Most pear recipes I found were all about keeping the pears whole (and stewed), or layering them for an upside-down cake, or leaving whole chunks in. But I needed a mushy mass of them, so I decided to stew them and make a puree to go into the cake. And what better to stew them in than CHAI?

The cake I wound up with is so amazingly delicious. Somehow moist and fluffy at the same time, with the perfect amount of richness with the brown sugar and spices to offset the freshness of the pears. I am so very pleased with it!

There are a few steps to this, but it’s totally worth it.

Pear Chai Cake


  • Chai or improvised chai – I improvised with whole (not ground, though broken up a bit in the mortar & pestle):
    • Earl Grey tea leaves
    • Star Anise
    • Allspice
    • Cinnamon
    • Peppercorns
    • Bay leaves
    • Fennel seeds
    • Cloves
    • Cardamom
    • Ginger
  • Water
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • ~380gm pears (2 pears)
  • 130g butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Ground spices:
    • Cinammon
    • Allspice
    • Cloves
    • Ginger
    • Nutmeg

Round or square cake baking tin.


Stewing the pears
  1. Peel and core the pears, cutting them into ~1 inch chunks.
  2. Brew the chai – In a saucepan big enough to stew pears in, first put in enough water for stewing and enough chai for the quantity of water. Simmer the chai in water for ~10-15 minutes, then strain out the chai – set aside the leaves & spices for use later.
  3. Returning the brewed water to the saucepan, add 1/3 cup white sugar, and heat/stir until dissolved. Add the chopped pears to the water and commence stewing!
  4. After about 15-20 minutes, the pears should be soft. you’ll need to mash them, so make sure they’re as soft as they can be without disintegrating. Fish the pear out with a slotted spoon and set the chai brew aside for use later.
  5. Mash up the pear with a fork in a bowl – it doesn’t have to be completely smooth. It’ll still be quite wet, so let it drain a bit more by sitting it in a sieve over a bowl. After about half an hour, it will have drained a fair bit; put the drippings back in the chai saucepan.
Mixing the cake

I do all of this in the food processor; it doesn’t need a delicate touch!

  1. Preheat the oven to 170° C.
  2. Beat together:
    130g butter (softened)
    1 cup brown sugar
    2 eggs
  3. Mix in the mashed pear.
  4. Mix in 2 tbsp of the chai/pear stewing water, 1 & 1/2 cups of self-raising flour, and a generous pinch each of the ground spices.
  5. Pour batter into greased baking tin, cook for 30-40 minutes in 170° C oven. A skewer should come out clean when it’s done. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack.
BONUS: Pear chai!

With the chai brew that you stewed the pears in, you now have your very own delicious CHAI SYRUP! To make chai to drink:

  1. Put a 1:2 ratio of chai syrup:milk in a saucepan (I use soy milk, om nom). Add back the original leaves & spices you brewed the chai with in the first place.
  2. Use low-medium heat to warm it all up and steep through the milk – stir to make sure the milk doesn’t burn to the bottom. It needn’t boil/simmer; just keep an eye on it and turn it off when it’s hot enough.
  3. Strain into mug/teapot & drink while eating the cake!

You won’t need to add honey to the chai – with the pear juice and sugar you added to it while stewing the pears, it will be perfectly sweet enough and DELICIOUS.

This is all so delicious, I can’t even.