Spiced pear, gin and ginger upside-down cake is the sticky, sweet comfort pudding we need for autumn

Autumn is upon us, and as the sunshine mellows to a soft golden hue, the nights draw in and a new chill in the air has us reaching for our cosy blankets for the first time in months, all we start to crave is the comfort of a sticky, sweet pudding. Here, we’ve taken a classic autumn dessert recipe and upped the comfort factor by soaking juicy pears in a beautiful gin bath, along with a warming sticky ginger syrup, before baking into a fluffy, lightly spiced sponge cake, to create a deliciously boozy upside-down cake!

Our serving suggestion? Slice it while still slightly warm, with a dollop of double cream or crème fraîche, and a Spiced Pear Gin Cocktail to sip alongside it!

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Spiced Pear, Gin & Ginger Upside Down Cake

For the pears

100g light brown sugar
80g butter
2 tbsp gin
1 tbsp ginger syrup (syrup from a jar of stem ginger works here)
2 large pears, peeled, cored & quartered

For the cake mixture

2 large free-range eggs
125g softened butter
125g caster sugar
125g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves

Preheat the oven to 180c and line a 20cm cake tin with parchment - cut the parchment slightly larger than the base so that it comes a little way up the sides, to keep the caramel inside the tin.

Add the light brown sugar to a deep saucepan and heat slowly until it begins to melt, then add the butter and stir together to create a light caramel. Remove from the heat, and after 10 minutes stir in the gin and ginger syrup.

To make the cake batter, cream together the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then sift in the flour, spices and baking powder.

Once the caramel has cooled enough to coat the back of a spoon, pour it into the bottom of the lined cake tin. Arrange the pear slices over the caramel, then cover with cake batter.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the cake is golden and springy to touch, and a skewer comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then turn onto a serving plate.