Spiced Pear Sticky Toffee Cake with Rum and Maple Drizzle | DonalSkehan.com
  • christmas

Spiced Pear Sticky Toffee Cake with Rum and Maple Drizzle

December 18

Wait for your kitchen to fill with irresistible aromas whilst you bake this cake for your festive spread. If you like a darker flavour to your sticky toffee, use dark muscovado sugar for an extra richness.

  • serves Serves 12
  • time 2 hours + cooling


  1. 1. To poach the pears, peel them and place them into a pan with the water, sugar, spices and lemon zest. Bring slowly to the boil to dissolve the sugar, before reducing to a bare simmer and cooking for 15 minutes until just tender. Leave to cool in the liquid.
  2. 2. For the cake, grease and line a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin. Halve the pears and use a small spoon to scoop out the core. Place the halves in the bottom of the cake tin, cut side down. Set aside the remaining poaching liquid for the drizzle later.
  3. 3. Peat the oven to 180ºC/fan 160ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4.
  4. 4. Soak the dates in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes.
  5. 5. Beat the softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the golden syrup. Gradually beat in the eggs one at a time before folding in the self raising flour and mixed spice.
  6. 6. Mash the dates with their water and the bicarbonate of soda and add to the batter. Pour the batter over the pears in the tin and bake in the oven for 1 hour.
  7. 7. To make the drizzle, heat the maple syrup and reserved poaching liquid from the pears together in a small pan over a medium heat. Bubble for 10 minutes then reduce the heat.
  8. 8. Once the cake is baked, allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a plate. You can leave it now for as long as you like but I recommend serving it warm, with the syrup drizzled over.
  9. 9. Warm the rum in a small pan, over a medium heat. Once ready to serve, scoop out a large ladleful, light on fire and pour over the cake.


For the spiced pears:

4 pears, firm & just ripe 

850ml water

250g caster sugar

1 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

Pared zest of a lemon

For the cake:

150g dates, pitted and chopped

150ml boiling water

150g unsalted butter, softened

180g light or dark brown muscovado sugar

2 tbsp golden syrup 

3 large free range eggs

250g self raising flour

1 tsp mixed spice

2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

To serve:

120ml maple syrup

120ml dark rum