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Poached Pear Gingerbread Cake

Poached Pear Gingerbread Cake

Nisha Vora
An elegant sunken pear cake meets a warming gingerbread cake in this vegan Poached Pear Gingerbread Cake. It’s an absolute showstopper that will wow your friends and family at the holidays!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Baking
Servings 8 to 10
Calories 443 kcal


Poached Pears

  • 3 small or 2 medium pears, firm but ripe
  • 2 strips of lemon peel
  • 3- inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 3 cups water

Gingerbread Cake

  • 1 cup unsweetened plant milk (such as oat milk, almond milk, or soy milk)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup blackstrap molasses (see notes above for substitution)
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil or light-tasting olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt

Orange Icing

  • 1 1/4 cups organic powdered sugar
  • Juice of 1 medium orange


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (or 175°C) and line a standard 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper.
  • Make the Poached Pears: Peel the pears but leave the stalks attached. Slice the bottom off of each pear so they can stand upright with falling over.
  • In a large saucepan, add the lemon peel, fresh ginger, and maple syrup. Place the peeled pears in the pan so they stand upright and then add 3 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover for 6-8 minutes, until the pears are just starting to soften. Carefully pick up the pears by the stem and set aside.
  • Make the Gingerbread Cake: Mix together the almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Stir and set aside for 5 minutes until it is slightly curdled.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the applesauce, brown sugar, molasses, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and the almond milk mixture until smooth and well incorporated.
  • a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and sea salt.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and beat with an electric mixture on low speed until the batter is just combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Gently submerge the poached pears into the batter so that they are standing upright in the pan, surrounded by the batter.
  • Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, then cover the cake pan lightly with aluminum foil and bake another 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Transfer cake to a wire rack to cool for a bit, then drizzle with the Orange Icing and serve warm.
  • Make the Orange Icing: Add the powdered sugar to a medium bowl and add 2 tablespoons of the orange juice, whisking until smooth. Add more juice as needed until you have a smooth and thick but pourable icing.