Ginger and pear cake with toffee sauce

Is it OK to have cake for breakfast? I’m not sure, but I just did it anyway, because I’m a grown-up and I can.

"Cake for breakfast"


The cake in question was the Whitworths’ ‘Scrummy Ginger and Pear Cake with Toffee Sauce’. I made it last night, so if tomorrow you want to be having cake for breakfast, here’s what you need to do:


  • 150g ready to eat dates
  • 250ml boiling water
  • 1tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 150g Whitworths for baking fine caster sugar
  • 50g Whitworths for baking dark soft brown sugar
  • 125g butter at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp ground ginger
  • 3 ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into 2cm pieces

For the toffee sauce:

  • 100g Whitworths for baking light soft brown sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 150ml double cream
  • Whitworths for baking twist and sprinkle icing sugar


Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Line a round 22cm cake tin with non-stick baking paper. (Or if like me you realise you don’t have any, greasing the pan and then covering it with flour works well.)

Coarsley chop the dates, place in a heatproof bowl and add the boiling water and bicarbonate of soda. Set aside to cool and then coarsley mash with a fork.

Beat the caster sugar and dark soft brown sugar and butter in a large bowl until pale and creamy. NB This takes longer if you can only find one of the whisks:

"Pear and ginger cake"

Add the egg and continue to beat for one minute.

Sift the flour and ground ginger into the bowl with the date mixture and pears. Using a large metal spoon fold until well-combined.

"Pear and ginger cake"

Pour into the tin and bake for one hour ten minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Check the cake after 50 minutes and if the top is browning too quickly cover with a piece of foil and continue to cook.

"Pear and ginger cake"

For the toffee sauce:

Place the cream, light soft brown sugar and butter into a small saucepan over a medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve the warm cake with a drizzle of toffee sauce and decorate with icing sugar. Or simply on a plate with a cup of tea at 9am.



  1. Mandy Cochrane 15 November, 2012 / 9:16 am

    Dates and pears, there’s your fibre and vitamins. Boiled water: you’re hydrated AND germ-free. Butter, eggs and cream: there’s your calcium and a valuable source of fat. What’s not healthy? (OK, let’s overlook the sugar!)

  2. EmmaK 15 November, 2012 / 6:41 pm

    Sounds amazing and I will get cracking on this.

  3. Single With Kids 20 November, 2012 / 3:12 pm

    I’ve tried to sneak past this post but it just keeps calling me…it sounds a great combination and will definitely make our next baking list.

    Diet? What diet?…..

  4. jomiddleton 20 November, 2012 / 3:15 pm

    A little update…

    Boyfriend has declared this cake ‘the best cake he has ever tasted’. Seriously. We had it for a few days afterwards without the sauce but with double cream and it was DELICIOUS.

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