I’ve just discovered the BEST dessert! It’s adapted from a recipe sent to me by a friend. It was the image that caught me.

The look of the whole pears sticking up out of the cake was just so fun. I had to figure out how to make it gluten and dairy free so that I could enjoy it too – and I did it!

This version is so successful I surprised even myself – this one is a keeper.


INGREDIENTS  (serves 8)


Poached pears cooling …

  • 2-3 ripe pears
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon (or 1 stick)
  • 1 tsp star anise
  • 2 tsp cardamom (or bulbs)
  • Water to cover pears



  • 1/3 c coconut flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp of ground nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup ground almonds
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 1/3 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Pinch of salt (use only if the butter is unsalted)


WALNUT Topping:

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar or coconut palm sugar
  • large pinch of Himalayan Rock salt

Pre-heat the oven to 350°f.

Line a glass loaf dish with parchment paper.

Cut the pears in half, lengthwise. Take a little slice off the bottom of each piece to help it stand vertically. Add the pear pieces to a pan with the cinnamon stick, star anise and cardamom then cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 8-12 minutes or until the pears are just cooked. Remove from the liquid and set aside. It works best if the pears are just barely cool enough to handle when setting them in the batter.

Next, sift the coconut flour, ground almonds and spices for the loaf into a bowl and stir together.

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs. Fold in the ground almonds and flour. Pour the batter into the lined loaf tin. Gently press the pear halves down into the batter until they touch the bottom and are standing upright. Space them along the length of the loaf pan with the stalks pointing upwards.

Prepare the crumb topping by mixing the walnuts together with the sugar, melted butter and salt in a small bowl and toss together well. Sprinkle the mixture over the top of the cake.

Ready for the oven …


Bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer placed into the centre comes out clean.

Set aside to cool before slicing and enjoying with a dollop of organic coconut ice cream, or simply as is.


If you would like to access more great recipes like this one, check out my Celebrations cookbook.