Conference Pear & Cardamon Loaf Cake

“With it’s hint of exotic spice, this is as good served warm with cream for dessert as it is with a cup of tea.”

An unusual but beautifully warming blend of winter fruits and zing-zingy flavour.

Serves up to 10


175g unsalted butter

2 tsp cardamon pods, split open and seeds removed

175g light brown soft sugar

3 conference pears, cored and cut lengthways into eights

Zest of 1 lemon

2 eggs, beaten

175g self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

1.5 Tbs flaked almonds or shaved brazil nuts

Icing sugar, for dusting, if desired


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas 4. Line a 900g loaf tin. Crush the cardamom seeds in a pestle & mortar.
  2. Melt 25g butter in a frying pan with 25g of the sugar until bubbling, then ad pear wedges and cook for 5 minutes, turning regularly, until lightly soft. Remove & set aside, pouring butter into a bowl.
  3. Add cardamom to melted butter with the lemon zest, remaining sugar and butter. Beat until smooth then slowly beat in the eggs. Fold in the flour and baking powder.
  4. Roughly chop half the pears and fold into the mix gently.
  5. Spoon into the prepared tin and top with remaining pear wedges, laying ‘top-to-tail’. Scatter with almonds.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes, covering with foil after 45 minutes if too much colour is developing.
  7. Leave to cool in the tin for at least 20 minutes.
  8. Eat warm with cream, or cool on a wire rack and dust with icing sugar.

Recipe from My Waitrose Magazine, (Nov ’15).

Ornamental Pear Tree Blossom at The Oaks
Ornamental Pear Tree blossom: Spring at The Oaks


Interesting facts about this perhaps lesser used spice:

  1. Cardamom is one of the Worlds oldest spices, having been used for over 4,000 years. It is related to ginger in origin, and similarly, works well in both sweet and savoury dishes.
  2. There are 2 key types of Cardamom: Green – mainly used for culinary purposes, including Indian foods like biryani, kheer – and Black, which is less fragrant & most commonly used for medicinal purposes.
  3. Cardamom is said to be one of the most expensive spices in the world – after saffron, and vanilla.
  4. First used in Ancient Egypt for rituals including embalming, then as a spice by the Greeks & Romans, Cardamom is now commonly used to fragrance perfume blends.
  5. Worldwide commercial production of Cardamom is around 36,000 tonnes per year. Around two thirds of that is exported by Guatemala, with India, Sri Lanca and Tanzania also being key producers.
  6. The largest importers of this versatile spice are Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Japan and USA.

  • could aid digestion
  • appears to be an antioxidant,
  • could help to lower blood pressure and promote metabolism,
  • could contain enzymes to help against cancer, and inhibit growth of cancerous and other non native tumour cells,
  • could help with the prevention of several gastrointestinal problems, including ulcers
  • could help reduce the risk of diabetes, particularly type 1; some claim that Cardamom tea helps with diabetes management.

To make your own cardamom tea,

just put some loose tea, or tea bags and cardamom pods into a sealed tea caddy

& let the flavour infuse before using.

13 thoughts on “Conference Pear & Cardamon Loaf Cake

  1. Interesting what ou write about cardamom. Thanks for all the infos.
    Have a happy weekend
    The Fab Four of Cley
    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. … thank you, and a Happy Weekend to you, too! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love baking; it’s my therapy! I particularly like loaf cakes, so this one’s a winner for me 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great – I love making loaf cakes too – I always do a big batch and they fit in the freezer really well for later occasions!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This looks really good. Cardamom is one of my favourite spices

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Definitely pairs well with Earl Grey tea, if you ask me. β˜•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good idea – Earl Grey is always a winner! πŸ‘

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds fab. Sorry for giggling at shaved Brazil nuts πŸ˜²πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ooh yes, I’ll make this. I didn’t notice it in the magazine. I might give the tea a whirl too, though I’m not big on tea.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It will be interesting to try the tea too, then! I love different teas – and this is such an easy twist… it could be said to be a bit of a ‘marmite’ thing, though! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m a cardamom fan though, so half way there at least.

        Liked by 1 person

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