Sticky Pear Caramel and Vanilla cake with Toasted Almonds and Vanilla Honey custard Recipe

Updated: Apr 16, 2020

I am not going to lie, I am not much of a baker – period. In fact, the only real desert recipe that I can claim to be a signature dish of mine is my sticky date pudding. And that’s not even a cake!

I’ve been watching old re-runs of Masterchef Australia Season 4 when this recipe came about. I am truly addicted to the show; nothing inspires me more than watching other cooks cook. So whilst I was watching reruns, this little cake cake, for some odd reason, engrained itself in my brain. Little did I know, it snuck it’s way into the cerebral lobe where ideas are generated and planted its spot in there. Yup, true Inception style where I actually thought I came up with the idea!

Nonetheless, it is approach summer season here in Australia and when that happens, you notice the influx of weekend BBQ parties as a good excuse to eat food, drink cider and hang out. So when my friend Chris asked a bunch of us to bring a salad, I said - "I'll make cake instead!". Mind you, I even shocked myself! Desert is usually the last thing I put my hand up to make.

This cake recipe is definitely the best cake I have ever made to date. I mean, I made it twice in one weekend and I am sure that says a lot. Whilst under no means can I claim this to be my own 'recipe', I have made a few tweaks to make sure the ultimate moist cake ever. And if you didn't know already, the secret ingredient to a moist cake is actually Olive oil. ;)

Sticky Pear Caramel and Vanilla cake with Toasted Almonds and Vanilla Honey custard Recipe Type: Desert Cuisine: Desert Author: Tish Tambakau



  • 150g butter, softened

  • 150g caster sugar

  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (bean reserved for custard)

  • 2 eggs

  • 150g self-raising flour

  • 1/3 cup full cream milkCaramel sauce:

  • ¼ cup caster sugar

  • 50g butter

  • 1/3 cup pure cream

  • 1/3 cup honey

  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

  • 4 large fresh figsVanilla custard:

  • 1 cup full cream milk, plus 1 tablespoon extra

  • ¼ cup pure cream

  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped, plus reserved bean

  • 1 egg

  • ¼ cup caster sugar

  • 1 teaspoon plain flour

  • 2 teaspoons honey

  • 300ml pure cream, whipped to soft peaks, to serve


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 20cm round spring form cake tin with foil then with baking paper.

  2. For cake, beat butter, sugar and vanilla seeds together until pale, add eggs one at a time until combined. Add flour alternately with milk.

  3. For caramel sauce, place all ingredients except figs into a medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar has melted. Bring to the boil and cook until mixture turns golden brown. Remove vanilla bean.

  4. Pour caramel into prepared tin. Cut figs in half and arrange in the pan cut-side down with tops pointing towards the centre. Cover gently with cake batter, spreading until even. Place cake on a baking tray and bake for 45-50 minutes until cooked through.

  5. For custard, pour milk and cream into a medium saucepan with vanilla and heat until scalding but not quite boiling. Meanwhile whisk egg with sugar until pale, slowly add warm mixture, whisking continuously. Mix flour with one tablespoon milk to a runny paste, add to mixture and stir to combine. Pour mixture into a clean saucepan, place over low heat and stir until mixture starts to thicken, 5-10 minutes. Once custard coats the back of a spoon, stir in honey. Cover custard closely with cling film.

  6. Serve cake warm with vanilla custard and whipped cream.