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Dandelion & Burdock Poached Pear Cake

Dandelion & Burdock Poached Pear Cake

Brown sugar cake with spices, topped with pears poached in dandelion and burdock
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Keyword Cake
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 323kcal
Author thebakingexplorer


For the poached pears

  • 3 Pears peeled, cored and cut in half (I used Conference pears)
  • 1 litre Hooper's Alcoholic Dandelion & Burdock (two bottles)
  • 50 g Light brown soft sugar
  • ½ Orange, zest only (or use 1 tsp orange extract)

For the cake

  • 200 g Dark brown soft sugar
  • 150 g Butter or baking spread
  • 2 Eggs large
  • 150 g Natural yoghurt (full fat)
  • 50 g Black treacle (also known as molasses)
  • 200 g Plain flour
  • 1 ½ tsp Baking powder
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ground ginger
  • ½ tsp Ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp Ground nutmeg


  • Put the Hooper's Alcoholic Dandelion & Burdock, light brown soft sugar and orange into a medium size saucepan on a medium heat
  • Prepare the pears, then add them to the pan. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, and simmer for 15 minutes or until a sharp knife inserted into the pears meets no resistance
  • Remove the pears from the poaching liquid using a slotted spoon, place them on a plate or in a dish to cool down
  • Bring the poaching liquid to the boil, and allow to boil for 20-30 minutes until it starts to thicken. Place into a bowl or container to cool fully, it will thicken more as it cools (if it doesn't, you can put it back on the heat)
  • Pre-heat the oven to 150C Fan/325F/Gas Mark 3, and grease and line a 8" cake tin (that is at least 2" deep)
  • To make the cake, mix the butter or baking spread, and dark brown soft sugar together until well combined, ideally using an electric mixer
  • Mix in the eggs, natural yoghurt and black treacle
  • Then gently mix in the plain flour, baking powder, and all of the spices (cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and nutmeg)
  • Put the cake mixture into the tin and smooth it out to an even layer
  • Slice up the pears and arrange them on top of the cake batter. You may need to omit the odd slice if the pears are very long to make them fit. (Any pears that don't fit can be snacked on while you wait for the cake to cook!)
  • Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, (I would recommend checking it after 1 hour as all ovens are different) once a thin skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean, it is done
  • Slice and drizzle the syrup over the cake to serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days


  • Make sure all your ingredients (particularly the butter, yoghurt and eggs) are at room temperature before you start baking.
  • I used a baking spread for the cake, but you can use softened unsalted butter too.
  • Instead of the blend of spices I have used in the cake, you can use 2 ½ tsp mixed spice instead.
  • I really recommend using dark brown sugar if you can, as it gives the cake a lovely caramel flavour and a golden colour. But if you can't get hold of it, you can use light brown soft sugar or regular caster sugar (superfine sugar) instead.
  • I used a melon baller to core the pears, but a teaspoon will work well too.
  • Although I provide cup measurements, I highly recommend weighing your ingredients out using digital kitchen scales*. It is the most accurate way to measure ingredients and will ensure the best results. Digital scales are very low cost and can be purchased for around £12 ($16.50) .
  • For teaspoon (tsp) and tablespoon (tbsp) measurements, please use measuring spoons* and not the type of spoons you eat with. Again this will ensure accuracy and provide the best results.


Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 166mg | Potassium: 196mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 376IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 2mg