Crumbly Olive Oil, Rosemary and Pear Cake

I made this cake for Christmas with Ben’s uncle Pete in mind, as he is not too keen on desserts. I picked a more savoury dessert to see how he’d go with it 🙂 I think he liked it.

It is quite a dense cake, you really don’t need more than a small slice. I quite like it warmed up with a dollop of mascarpone to accompany it.

I used currants, but I reckon you could put any dried fruit in it, or even fresh cherries. Probably just choose one fruit though, because there’s a lot of pear in this recipe. If you can’t find 4 small pears, use 2 large pears.

This recipe is an interesting one – you have to be a little intuitive with it. If in doubt, add more Brandy. It won’t taste alcoholic, odd considering how much Brandy I put into it.

Hope you enjoy!

Serves: 8-10 people

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 55 minutes

Cooling time: 10 minutes


1.5 cups (225g) plain flour

3/4 cup (120g) wholemeal or spelt flour

3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar

1.5 tsp baking powder

3 eggs

1.25 cups (1 1/4 cups or 310 ml) fruity extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

4 small pears, peeled, cored, cut into 1 cm cube pieces (to give 2 cups)

2 tsp chopped rosemary leaves

1/4 cup (35g) currants (or any other fruit)

Enough brandy to submerge currants, plus extra to loosen

Mascarpone, to serve


  1. Soak currants in brandy overnight.
  2. Pre heat oven to 180ºC.
  3. Grease and line a 26cm, 3cm deep loose bottom cake/tart tin.
  4. Sift together plain flour into a bowl. Add wholemeal flour, sugar and baking powder.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, olive oil and vanilla.
  6. Add wet mixture to flour mixture, stirring to combine. At this point, you may feel the consistency has turned more to a cookie dough. Don’t panic.
  7. Gently fold through pear, rosemary and currants with the brandy. Add more brandy gradually to loosen the mixture. You don’t want it too runny, just loose enough that you can easily fold all the ingredients together.
  8. Spoon batter into cake tin, then bake for 55 minutes or until cake is golden and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake.
  9. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Serve warm or at room temperature with mascarpone.

3 thoughts on “Crumbly Olive Oil, Rosemary and Pear Cake

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