Recipe: Sticky Date, Ginger and Pecan Cake with Pears

Columnist Mercy Fenton shares her recipe for Sticky Date, Ginger and Pecan Cake with Pears
Recipe: Sticky Date, Ginger and Pecan Cake with Pears
Sticky Date, Ginger & Peacan & Pears by Mercy Fenton.Picture: Jim Coughlan.

This really easy cake would be perfect for a Sunday lunch, it is sticky and delicious and warming because of all the ginger. The fresh pears on top save it from being too sweet and rich, and it is delicious with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce. It will keep for a day or two and can be reheated in the microwave — definitely best served hot.

Sticky Date, Ginger and Pecan Cake with Pears


250gr stones dates finely chopped

300ml milk

100gr butter

50 gr stem ginger finely diced

50gr syrup from stem ginger

50gr jam (gooseberry, fig or plum)

140gr dark brown sugar

3 or 4 large pears (firm but ripe)

175gr self raising flour

50gr lightly toasted pecan nuts roughly chopped

1 tsp. bread soda

2 tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. mixed spice

2 free-range eggs

A few tablespoons of brandy.


  • Put the chopped dates in a pan with the milk, butter, and ginger syrup, stem ginger, jam and dark brown sugar.
  • Heat gently until the butter has melted, and the mixture just comes to the boil.
  • Stir well and set aside for 1 hr to cool.
  • Heat oven to 175 C. Line the base of a buttered 23cm springform tin with baking parchment.
  • Peel and chop the pears into large chunks.
  • Sift the flour, bread soda spices, then add the pecans.
  • Stir the flour into the cooled date mixture with the eggs.
  • Pour into the tin and scatter the pears over the top.
  • Bake for 40 mins, then check, continue cooking (reducing the heat slightly) until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with just sticky crumbs — the cake may still look a little wet around the pears.
  • As it cools in the tin sprinkle with the brandy.

Fudge Sauce

2 oz. butter

5 to 6 oz. soft light brown sugar

1 oz. golden syrup

12 ½ fl oz cream

10 fl oz. cream

Vanilla essence


  • Melt the butter in a heavy based medium sized pot over medium heat.
  • Add the sugar and allow to cook until it starts to become molten looking.
  • Next add the golden syrup and cook a little until smooth — stir a little if necessary.
  • Now add the first lot of cream and allow to mixture to bubble away and reduce for four to five minutes it until it starts to look thickened. Stir occasionally.
  • Then add the next 10 fl oz. of cream and repeat.
  • The fudge sauce will be golden brown when ready and a light coating consistency.
  • This can be made well in advance and reheated gently when needed.

If you want to contact Mercy, email

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