Squidgy & Sticky Spiced Pear and Rhubarb Cake

Hello dear reader,

It’s been a good while since I made a cake but this recipe has been rumbling away in my mind ever since I saw the first of this season’s rhubarb. A picnic with friends at the weekend was the perfect audience to try it out on and the fact that one of them ate several slices must mean it’s pretty good!

Squidgy sticky pear and rhubarb cake

The base is really moist and squidgy, not like cake at all, due to the addition of cooked rhubarb to the cake mix. The topping is soft pear coated in sweet sticky syrup. The kids didn’t really like this one so it is definitely one for adult palates!

Squidgy & Sticky Pear and Rhubarb Cake – recipe
– 12 oz rhubarb
– 1″ root ginger, peeled
– 2 tbsp maple syrup
– 3 oz butter
– 6 oz light soft brown sugar
– 5 ripe pears (over-ripe is fine too)
– 8 oz plain flour
– 1½ tsp baking powder
– ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
– ½ tsp ground cinnamon
– ½ tsp ground ginger
– 1 egg
– 1 tbsp milk

1) Peel any thicker stalks of rhubarb and slice in half lengthways (this shouldn’t be necessary with thinner stalks or earlier forced rhubarb). Cut widthways into 1cm chunks.

Chopped rhubarb

Place in a wide-based pot with the root ginger, maple syrup and 250ml water. It is best not to use a copper or aluminium pot, as this can turn the rhubarb brown. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for five minutes.

2) Sieve the rhubarb, pressing to remove as much liquid as possible.

Sieved rhubarb

Return the liquid and ginger to the pan, bring back to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for a further 15 minutes. Mix back in with the rhubarb and leave to cool.

3) Melt 4oz of the sugar with 2oz of the butter over a low heat until the sugar is all dissolved and no longer grainy. Pour into a 20cm (8″)  square cake tin.

Butter sugar syrup

4) Peel and core the pears, then cut into 1cm chunks. Scatter some into the cake tin to cover the sugar mix in a single layer of pear chunks.  Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Scattered pear

5) Sift together flour, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. In a separate bowl whisk the egg with the remaining 2oz sugar until colour lightens. Add the rhubarb and rhubarb syrup, discarding the root ginger. Melt the remaining 1oz butter and stir this into the egg/sugar/rhubarb mix, along with the milk.

6) Pour the wet mix into the dry mix and stir to combine well. Fold in the remaining chunks of pear.

Batter mix

Spoon into cake tin and bake for 45-50 minutes until golden and cooked through.

Baked cake

Leave to cool in the tin for five minutes, then turn out onto a serving plate. If you don’t have a plate big enough then just use a baking sheet (that’s what I have to do!).

Turned out cake

7) Once cool, slice and enjoy! The outside slices are particularly nice as they have more of the sticky sugar coating down the sides.

Outside slice of cake


P.S. I am entering this into some blogger challenges…

First up is a new monthly recipe competition run by Rix, where their seasonal ingredient of the month is rhubarb.

Rix badge

Calendar Cakes cakes challenge run by the very lovely Rachel over at Dolly Bakes. The theme this month is Bank Holiday Bakes, especially those to share with friends or take on picnics. I shared my cake with my friends on a picnic – perfect!


Favourite Recipes challenge run by Sawthi over at Zesty South Indian Kitchen and this month hosted by Priya of My Kitchen Odyssey. The theme this month is snacks, desserts and sweets. My cake could be a snack or even a dessert, as it’d be lovely served with custard.

Favorite recipes May


Please do take a minute to share my Squidgy & Sticky Spiced Pear and Rhubarb Cake on your favourite social media channels…


  1. Cake looks so so yummy .Thanks for linking it to favourite recipes event

    • Thanks Sathya & my pleasure! 🙂

  2. I love the combination of the rhubard and pears, squidgy and sticky is the perfect description 🙂

    • Haha – squidgy and sticky it certainly is! 🙂

  3. I have rhubarb in the garden and do get a little bored with crumble or pie. Will surely give this a go. Thanks!

    • I was looking for something a little different myself Heather, which this certainly is! 🙂

    • Thanks Lorraine. I spotted that idea somewhere online ages ago and it seemed like a perfect topping to go with pears and rhubarb. 🙂

    • Thanks Kate! They really seem to work together. 🙂

  4. Mark Whittaker says:

    Looks fantastic , I am definitely going to try this .

    • Thank you Mark! Do come back and let us know how you got on. 🙂

  5. Love the look of this cake, Vohn! It looks proper moist with an indulgent texture; squidgy is always good in my book!

    • Thanks Anyonita! It is so moist that I first of all thought it was underdone but the more I ate the more I ate! Yum!

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