Pear and Chocolate Layer Cake

This is a gorgeously rich, mega-chocolaty treat. It’s what many would call decadent. If that’s right then I say, “Bring on the decadence.”

Makes: 10 – 12 slices

Time: Around an hour for the basic cake then another 20 minutes to layer and decorate

Level: Easy

Equipment: An 18cm (7”) round tin with a loose bottom and tall sides

Credits: Adapted from a recipe in “Everyday Easy Cakes and Cupcakes”



  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 125g self-raising wholemeal flour
  • 125g white self-raising flour
  • 150ml milk
  • 2 tsp coffee powder or granules
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 50g dark chocolate chips
  • 2 pears, peeled, cored and chopped


  • 200g Full fat cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 100g Icing sugar
  • 100ml double cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

Ganache topping

  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 150g chocolate (milk or dark)
  • Sprinkles or other decorations


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/350F/Gas 4. Line the base of the tin and grease the sides with butter.

2. Beat the butter on its own for a few minutes until soft then add the sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs gradually with a little of the flour each time.

3. Warm 25ml of the milk and stir in the coffee powder. Top up with the rest of the milk. Set aside for the moment.

4. Gently sift and stir the cocoa powder into the main mixture then add the chocolate chips and pears. Pour in the coffee flavoured milk and mix gently until just combined. Take care not to overmix.

5. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and bake for about 30 – 35 minutes. Check by inserting a thin metal skewer into the middle of the cake. If it comes out dry then the cake is ready.

6. Let the cake cool in the tin for about 5 minutes then remove from the tin and cool fully on a wire rack.

7. With a long serrated knife or a specialist cake cutting tool, slice the cake in half horizontally.

8. For the filling – whip the cream cheese until smooth. Sieve the icing sugar into the cream cheese, then beat them both together. Add the cream and flavouring then beat again until it makes a suitable consistency.

9. Spread or pipe the filling between the cakes then combine. Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

10. For the topping, melt the butter and chocolate gently in a saucepan or use a bain marie or the micro wave. Stir the mixture until it’s cool and thick, but still runny enough to pour on the cake. Pour it over and, if desired, encourage some to run down the sides.

11. Before the ganache has cooled and set, add chosen sprinkles.

11a. An alternative decoration that I considered, but haven’t yet done, would be to caramelise a few pear slices. Here’s the untested method. (let me know if it works):

  • Heat about 30g butter in a frying pan then add 30g sugar.
  • Cook and stir for a few minutes then add pear slices.
  • Cook until soft and golden.
  • Pour in 20g honey and continue cooking for a few minutes.
  • Place on a wire rack until cool.