Pear and Raspberry Cake


By now you have probably figured out that I love baking with fruit. Apples, oranges, plums, bananas, berries, basically any fruit that I can get my hands on, it all ends up in my baked goods. Pear and raspberry is actually a great combo, which I'd never used before until I made this cake. It was a surprisingly good combo! The sweet pears and the sour raspberries work perfectly together with this buttery cake. Needless to say, this cake didn't last long, it was gone with 48 hours...

The cake in this recipe is a basic butter cake. The best thing about basic recipes like this is that it can easily be tweaked to suit your needs. You can change up the fruit, add some spice, or simply have it plain! I've made this recipe a few times now, mostly with the pear and raspberries but I recently used the same recipe to make a lemon blueberry cake instead. It was a very summery cake indeed. You can try other fruit combinations, peach and raspberry will be my next stop, but the options are endless. You can also add some spice to the mix, such as cinnamon or even ginger. Pear and ginger would work great too! Honestly the combinations are endless. Have fun with it I say!

Pear & Raspberry Cake (From Laced With Sugar)
Serves 8-10
125 grams butter, softened
160 grams sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
100g sour cream
150g standard flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 small can sliced pears, drained
1 cup frozen raspberries (do not defrost)

Preheat oven to 180˚C.
Grease and line your cake tin with baking paper (I used a 23cm round tin. Square tins work too)

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together until light and creamy. Add in eggs one at a time, beating until each one is incorporated into the batter. Add in the sour cream and mix until combined. Mix in the flour ensuring there are no air pockets in the mixture. Lastly fold through the raspberries. Pour batter into cake tin. Smooth out with a spatula. Arrange your pears on top of the cake. No need to push them down as the cake will rise around it.

Bake in your preheated oven for 50-60 minutes. Test for done-ness by inserting a skewer int he middle of the cake - it should come out clean.
Cool in tin. Dust with icing sugar if you wish. Cut and serve. It's lovely served warm with a scoop of ice cream!



Pumpkin Bread


I find the word bread often confuses people. We think of bread as something you make sandwiches with, which is true. But in the baking world, banana bread, or in this case pumpkin bread, isn't for sandwiches. It's simply a tea loaf you can enjoy with your cuppa in the afternoon.

I'm a big bread fan! I've been making banana bread for years and have since branched out to many more bread and loaf tea time treats. These loaves often contain fruit like, bananas, apple and now pumpkin. After making pumpkin waffles, it made perfect sense to use the leftover puree in a bread!

This pumpkin bread has that vibrant orange colour from the pumpkin and has a very slight pumpkin flavour. It's super moist due to the pumpkin, but also the apple sauce. I wanted this loaf to remain healthy so I have used an unrefined sweetener, maple syrup. You could also use honey, however this will change the flavour. I would recommend a honey that doesn't have too strong a flavour. Sticking with the unrefined theme, I have used whole wheat flour here. Standard flour will work too, but I urge you to try the whole wheat if you can. It adds a nutty flavour to the loaf.

The recipe is simple and healthy with just a few ingredients. The loaf cooks at a lower temp and for just 50 minutes. You really have no excuse left not to try it.

Healthy Pumpkin Bread (Adapted from Cookie and Kate)
Serves 10
⅓ cup vegetable oil (coconut oil and olive work too)
½ cup maple syrup (honey works too)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin purée (homemade or store bought)
¼ cup milk of choice (I used almond milk)
¼ cup apple sauce
1 ½ tsp pumpkin spice blend
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour (I use atta)
½ cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 160 C.
Grease and line a 9 inch loaf tin. Set aside

In a large bowl whisk together oil, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin puree, milk and apple sauce.
To the same bowl add your pumpkin spice, baking soda, salt, flour and walnuts. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix together until combined. Avoid over mixing as this will result in a tough bread. 
Once combined pour the batter into your lined loaf tin and bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes. To check if done place a skewer in the middle and it should come out clean.
Allow to cool in tin, then slice and enjoy!