Shane Smith's upside down sticky pear & date cake.


Serves: 10

Prep: 35 minutes

Bake: 40 minutes

Poached pears

  • 4 medium sized pears
  • 600ml water
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ lemon zest
  • 5 cloves

Cake batter

  • 240g chopped dates
  • 1.5 tbsp linseed/flaxseed powder
  • 320ml almond milk
  • 200ml oil
  • 185g brown sugar
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1tsp bicarb soda/bread soda
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • ¼ tsp ground clove
  • Dash vanilla

Caramel Sauce

  • 240g coconut cream
  • 165g dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour


  1. For the pears, add the water, sugar, lemon and spices to a medium pot and heat to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Peel the pears and add to the warm syrup.
  3. Bring to a boil for 10-15minutes or until the pears are soft.
  4. Cut in half and allow to cool in the fridge.
  5. For the cake, preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan.
  6. Line a 9" round loose bottom cake tin with parchment paper and set aside.
  7. Firstly, add the dates, almond milk and linseed to a pot and cook for 5 minutes or until the dates are soft, set aside to cool slightly.
  8. Once cooled, add the oil and mix through.
  9. Into another bowl, add the flour, sugar, spices and bread soda, mix to combine.
  10. To this add the date mixture and mix.
  11. Taking the pears from the fridge, remove the seeds and slice each pear half in half again.
  12. Arrange the pear slices around the base of the tin and spoon the cake batter on top.
  13. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 35-40minutes.
  14. Remove and allow to cool slightly and carefully turn over onto your serving place.
  15. To make the caramel sauce, simply, heat the coconut cream, cornflour and brown sugar in a pot and cook for a few minutes until the sauce thickens up. Serve warm drizzled over the top.