This spiced pear and blueberry semolina cake is deliciously sweet with a hint of spice and lovely soft bites of pear and blueberries. Dairy free and with vegan option included.
The first time I made this cake it was a bit of an experiment. I was in need of a bake and cobbled this semolina cake together from ingredients that I happened to have in the cupboard. These included a packet of semolina that was almost out of date and some very hard pears from a friend's tree.
I was so pleased with the result. I've now updated this recipe to include a vegan version and to adjust the flavours a little after some reader feedback. It's now a real favourite with the Sneaky Veg kids.
Free from dairy
This recipe is free from refined sugar and is also dairy free. I have included an egg free version, which is what I now make as I'm vegan now.
Unfortunately, it's not gluten free as semolina is made from wheat.
WHAT IS SEMOLINA?
Semolina is a flour made from durum wheat. It's light yellow in colour and can be used to make pasta and gnocchi as well as in baking.
To me it brings back memories of eating semolina pudding as a child. The milk based pudding was usually served with a spoonful of jam stirred through it.
Check out this post by The Baking Explorer if you're looking for ways to use semolina.
BAKING WITH SEMOLINA
Before making this cake for the first time I hadn't baked with semolina before.
It's really useful to have a semolina cake recipe up your sleeve for those occasions when it's difficult to get hold of regular flour.
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How to make this spiced semolina cake recipe
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Spiced pear and blueberry semolina cake
For the spiced pears
- 4 pears
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 4 cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
For the semolina cake
- 2 large eggs beaten, or use flax eggs if vegan*
- 350 g semolina
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 150 ml maple syrup, agave syrup or honey
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white wine viengar
- 60 ml sunflower oil
- 100 g blueberries fresh or frozen
To make the spiced pears
- Peel your four pears, remove the core and chop into small pieces.
- Place in a saucepan, add a dash of cold water add a cinnamon stick, a star anise, 4 cloves and 1 teaspoon ground ginger.
- Heat gently for around 15 minutes until soft and most of the water has evaporated. Remove the whole spices, mash gently and set aside.
To make the cake
- Preheat the oven to 180°C(fan)/200°C/gas mark 6. Grease and base line a 20cm square cake tin.
- If using flax eggs prepare these now by mixing 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds with 4 tablespoons cold water. Stir and set aside.
- Put 350g semolina into a large mixing bowl with 2 teaspoons baking powder and ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda.
- Add 150ml maple syrup, or other sweetener, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 60ml sunflower oil and the eggs or flax eggs.
- Stir well then gently fold in the cooked spiced pears and 100g blueberries.
- Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes until golden brown and firm to touch.
- Allow to cool for ten minutes in the tin then turn out carefully onto a wire rack. Delicious warm or cold.
- *To make 2 flax eggs mix 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds (linseeds) with 4 tablespoons cold water and set aside to thicken.
- Nutritional information is approximate and is intended as a guide.
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