July 6, 2022


food magazine South Africa

by chef Sophie Gordon


3 ripe pears, 2 sliced into approx. eighths, 1 diced

240 g buckwheat flour

120 g coconut flour

2 t baking powder

165 g brown sugar (coconut sugar will also work)

2 heaped t either cinnamon or mixed spices (nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, etc.), plus a little extra for dusting

pinch of salt

125 g coconut oil

approx. 500 ml unsweetened plant-based milk of choice (I love to use coconut milk here)

2 t vanilla extract


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C fan.
  2. Line a round cake tin (approx. 20cm) with some coconut oil or greaseproof paper.
  3. Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon and brown sugar evenly over the base of the tin.
  4. Place the slices from two of your pears around the bottom of the tin, arranging them relatively neatly in a fan shape. You can overlap here too. Put the tin to one side.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine the buckwheat flour, coconut flour and baking powder. Add the rest of the brown sugar, the cinnamon/mixed spices and salt and mix well.
  6. Slowly pour in the coconut oil, plant-based milk and vanilla extract. Stir until you have a smooth batter, making sure not to over-beat. You want a ‘dropping consistency’, so if the batter is a little stiff, add a dribble more liquid.
  7. Mix the diced pear into the batter and pour it into the lined tin, spreading it evenly.
  8. Remove any air pockets by carefully banging the tin a few times on a surface, then bake in the oven for about 50 – 55 minutes.
  9. When done, the cake will be relatively spongy to touch and a lovely golden brown on top. Test the inside by using a sharp knife or skewer. It can be a little tricky if you hit a pear when testing, but you’ll be able to tell if the batter is done.
  10. Set aside to cool for 5 – 10 minutes. Once cool enough, turn the tin upside down on a cooling rack. Carefully remove the tin and greaseproof paper, if used.
  11. To serve, dust with a little extra spice.
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