Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Golden Almond, Pear, Raspberry and Maple Cake

Cakes are healthy too. You just eat a small slice.
- Mary Berry

This is a Matt Preston upside down cake recipe, which I found in his book, 187 recipes that will make you incredibly popular. That would be really nice Matt. I've already made the Burnt creamy cheesecake out of this book, and that made me quite popular at the time, and I think this cake might as well, it's a keeper. I'll be making it again.When I saw the recipe, I felt a cake challenge coming on as it steps outside my comfort zone, with ingredients like almond meal (no flour at all), oat bran,  canned pears, and frozen raspberries or fresh if you can get them. Then I discovered it has also been published online for Delicious magazine, albeit a couple of variations to the original printed recipe which I compared and then came up with this recipe. Once I managed all of that I decided it would perfect to bake for yesterday's afternoon tea and I'm so glad that I did,  as it was my turn to host Tuesday Mahjong.  Gosh it comes around quickly.

Yesterday was the hottest day we have experienced in Mackay for some time. At 36 deg. C and with the Mahjong ladies arriving at 1.00 pm the air conditioning was turned on for the first time and Mahjong was played in our lounge room. There were just four of us yesterday so we played for 3 hours, just stopping for afternoon tea and cake, and everyone won a couple of games  so it was a very enjoyable afternoon. We really moved into the Mahjong zone. Mr. HRK was the perfect barista on duty, and drinking his espresso coffee flat whites adorned with coffee art, and eating cake in the airconditioning was a treat. Do yourself a favour and make this cake, it exceeded my expectations and was delicious. And it was cinch to make. It is half fruit and half cake and the frozen raspberries make it blush unashamedly. I wasn't expecting so much colour. I couldn't find any fresh raspberries in the shops here this week, otherwise I would have served it with fresh raspberries as well and they would have made the photo even more attractive. Never mind, it tasted great.

Let's Cook:


Serves 8-10 but only just as they will want two helpings

100 ml light olive oil, plus extra for greasing the cake tin
2 tablespoons good quality authentic maple syrup
3/4 cup (125 g) brown sugar (or white)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (100 g) almond meal
1/2 cup (75 g) oat bran
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
350g of canned pear pieces, weight of fruit after draining the can (or two large poached pears)
40-60 g frozen raspberries, or fresh if in season ( I used 60 g frozen for this one, hence the blushing colour. 40 would be fine)
creme fraiche, ice cream or mascarpone to serve

Let's Cook:

Preheat the oven to 180 deg. C. fan forced
Lightly grease the sides and the bottom of a cake pan or loaf tin with olive oil or oil spray, approximately 30 cm x 12 cm, and line the sides and bottom with baking paper. (I used my large loaf tin which is these exact measurements that I bake my large loaf of bread in.)

In a large bowl combine the maple syrup, sugar, olive oil, vanilla and eggs.
Stir with a spoon or whisk until well combined.Stir in the salt, almond meal, oat bran, baking powder and cinnamon.

Dice 150 g of pear into small pieces and stir it through the cake batter.

Cut the other 200 g of pear into small wedges and arrange on the bottom of the pan in a row. (This might already be done for you in some brands of canned pear, it was for me.)

Scatter the raspberries into the cake pan and pour the batter on top.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes.

Remove your cake from the oven and leave it to cool for about 10 minutes. Run a  knife around the inside of the pan.

Place a serving plate or board over the pan, turn it upside down on your bench, and gently remove the pan. Because of the baking paper it will slide out easily.

Remove the baking paper.

Serve the cake warm or cold on its own, or with creme fraiche, mascarpone, or with ice cream if it is for dessert. I thought it tasted really delicious when it had cooled down on the kitchen bench with creme fraiche. Even plain Greek yoghurt as a healthier alternative would be delicious served with it.

To my blogging readers, keep cool in the Southern Hemisphere, and warm and dry in the Northern Hemisphere.

Warm wishes



  1. Wow, love that stunning color ☺

  2. That's a gorgeous loaf of cake. We adore all sorts of upside down cakes. Your version with pears and raspberries sounds and looks really incredible.

    1. Yes upside down cakes with fruit on the top are great aren't they and pretty easy to make as well. Thanks Angie.

  3. I know about the *theory* of eating a small slice. But then I always want seconds :-) Anyway, this looks lovely -- love its looks, and I'll bet its flavor is excellent. Thanks!

    1. Yes it was delicious and quite light to eat in this heat we are having at the moment. I was surprised at how well the canned pears performed. Thanks KR.

  4. What a lovely coloured cake, Pauline. It looks yum. Yes the heat is terrible. We are heading for a 37C day on Saturday I think. More fires have broken out using up precious water and Clifton is already out of water with Stanthorpe due next. The rain always misses us for some reason as there was some last week but we just got a few spits.

    1. It's a dreadful situation Chel, the worst summer I can remember really. Unbelievable that Toowoomba is experiencing such temperatures. Although I grew up in Rockhampton and there were bushfires and extreme heat back then as well.Glad you liked the look of the cake, thanks so much.Take care:)

  5. looks great pauline. yep it is darn hot this week. 37C here today and in the 40s out west. what is happening to the world's weather?! anyway love your cake. keep cool.

  6. Thanks so much Sherry. Thanks goodness for cake, and this was nice and light and fruity to eat in the heat

  7. Now in our house that cake wouldn't last past the second cup of coffee during our afternoon fika. Stay cool in every way...

    1. Thanks Ron. It didn't last at our house past afternoon tea either, ha, ha. Always a good sign though.

  8. I love the look of upside down cakes like this. I somehow missed your Basque cheesecake but I made a version of it a couple of weeks ago.

    1. Thanks Lorraine, yes I am quite a fan of the upside down cake as well, all the colour was quite a surprise. Don't think I saw your recipe for the cheesecake, must look for it. Cheers, Pauline

  9. oh this looks rather delectable!!! it's nice to see a cake using pears, which i happen to love!!

    it is winter here, we are running the heat not the a/c!!!

    1. Thanks Debbie, yes and I realise we will be eating slightly different foods in our northern and southern hemispheres, however this cake suits both.

  10. That looks so good. We have had a heat wave weekend with lots of wind which means even hotter weather to follow. We do not have air conditioning so it means a lot of dips in the pool :)


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