Pear, Hazelnut and Nutella Cake

pear, hazelnut and nutella cake. The perfect autumn pudding //

Our travels are taking us north through Malaysia. We spent the weekend in a little wooden hut on the beach in the Perhentian Islands, sharing our temporary home with huge lizards and hundreds of mosquitos, falling asleep listening to the waves crashing onto the beach. Yesterday we swapped the sea for mountains and took a long bus ride up windy roads in the mountains of Malaysia’s interior. We’ve reached the Cameron Highlands, and suddenly it feels like it’s time to be thinking about autumny treats!

The air up here is much cooler, averaging between 10C and 21C. I’ve pulled my cosy jumper from the bottom of my rucksack, and I’m really looking forward to snuggling up into bed tonight, rather than trying desperately to stay cool under a fan. This afternoon we popped into a little cafe in what I think was once a church and ordered Malaysian coffees from their ‘hand warmer’ menu, and had them with buttery, crumbly scones.

The bus ride up took us up through green country, thick with palm trees. We wound further and further up into the hills, palms making way for ferns and mossy ground, then, from nowhere, the landscape filled with gardens, poly tunnels and rolling slopes covered with fresh green tea plantations. The climate here is perfectly suited to growing strawberries, tomatoes and tea and the areas motif seems to be the strawberry. Everywhere we look there are giant strawberry statues, pots of locally made strawberry jam, t-shirts emblazoned with strawberries, and plastic strawberries attached to any tacky souvenir item you could care to imagine.

You’d be forgiven for thinking, then, that today I’m going to bring you a strawberry recipe, but no. The cool, crisp, breathable air and the three layers I’ve pulled on to keep cosy are taking me to autumn.

pear, hazelnut and nutella cake, deliciously gooey and decadent //

This is a wonderful pudding to start autumn right. It’s chocolatey, fruity, nutty and so incredibly gooey.

I love the textures of the cake. The majority of moisture in the cake comes directly from the Nutella. The cake itself is made with Nutella in place of a large quantity of butter, and the only tweak I’ve made from the original BBC food recipe is to add additional spoons of Nutella in the middle of the cake. These spoons never quite bake into the cake, and will remain as deliciously chocolatly little pools even when the cake cools. You can never have too much Nutella.

In contrast to the smooth, moist cake you have the crisp bite of the pear, and a satisfying crunch from the hazelnuts.

pear, hazelnut and nutella cake, perfect for autumn //

Its delicious cooled completely, and served in thick slices alongside a cup of tea.

I love it straight from the oven too. You’ll have to scoop it out the tin with a spoon, but its beautiful served with a gently melting mound of vanilla ice cream. It would be perfect to finish off an autumnal Sunday roast, preferably after a good long walk in the cooling air.

pear, hazelnut and nutella cake - tuck in

Pear, Hazelnut and Nutella Cake

(adapted, slightly, from BBC food)


500g Nutella (or similar chocolate hazelnut spread)

50g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

3 large eggs

140g self-raising flour

25g cocoa powder

2 large ripe pears

2 tablespoons apricot jam

50g whole hazelnuts


Pre-heat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.

Grease and line a 23cm round, springform cake tin.

In a large bowl, beat together 400g Nutella, eggs and butter until the mixture is smooth and starting to turn a little frothy. Electric beaters will speed up the process.

Sift together the flour and cocoa powder, then gently fold into the Nutella batter.

Pour half the mixture into the tin. Spoon over the remaining 100g of Nutella, making sure it’s evenly distributed, then top with the rest of the batter.

Peel, core and quarter your pears.

Cut 4 slits into each quarter, slicing into the round, fat part of the pear. Press down to gently fan out the slices. Arrange in a circle on the top of the cake, with the point of the pear aiming into the centre of the cake, and the large section of the pears around the edge. You don’t need to push the pears into the mixture, they should be sitting on top of the chocolate batter.

Heat the apricot jam in a pan until warm and smooth. Pass through a sieve, then brush the top of your pears. Set aside any remaining jam for later.

Sprinkle over your hazelnuts.

Bake for about 40 minutes, until the cake is risen and has a thin delicate crust. The middle of the cake should remain slightly soft, so take it out of the oven while it still has some wobble to it.

Heat the remaining apricot jam until it softens again, and brush the tops of the pears.This will stop the pears from discolouring.

Serve warm, or cool completely and cut into generous slices.

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  1. I feel like the biggest stalker ever but me and my friend live in Penang and love love love your blog and chat about your recipes and adventures on our random walks in the jungle. I saw you were in Malaysia and wondered if your next stop was Penang. If so I would totally recommend china house as it has the biggest selection of cakes I have ever seen in Asia and think you would love it. Hope you have fun on your travels.


    Sent from my iPad


    • Hi Laura!
      I loved reading your comment 🙂 Yes, Penang was our next stop! We just left yesterday. Thank you so, so much for your tip, we went to china house and I absolutely LOVED it! It took me about 15 minutes to pick which cake to have. I went for the passion fruit and coconut butter cake in the end, but I wish I had room to sample at least a dozen others. I really wish we could have stayed longer to go back for more! We really loved Penang too, what a fantastic place to live, its defiantly gone straight on the list for places to go back to.
      Have a lovely weekend 🙂
      Jennie x

  2. Gorgeous flavour combination! Will have to give it a go.

  3. Love hearing about your travels. And this cake looks perfect for autumn! Makes me want to wear a thick woolly jumper and curl up with a good book.

  4. I love this combination of flavours! Nutella is always a hit, in everything, anywhere 😉 I remember Nigella Lawson had a recipe for a decadent hazelnut torte with nutella, I think you would love that one too! x

  5. looks awesome! Diabetes here I come!


  1. […] This Pear, Hazelnut and Nutella Cake is without a doubt one of my favourite cakes of the year. Its rich, gooey and decadent, stuffed with Nutella. The crisp, fresh bite of the pears offer the perfect contrast, completing the chocolate beautifully. The earthy crunch of hazelnuts finishes it off to perfection. […]

  2. […] This Pear, Hazelnut and Nutella Cake is without a doubt one of my favourite cakes of the year. Its rich, gooey and decadent, stuffed with Nutella. The crisp, fresh bite of the pears offer the perfect contrast, completing the chocolate beautifully. The earthy crunch of hazelnuts finishes it off to perfection. […]

  3. […] its own sauce, and its impossible to resist scraping from the bowl. From my own archives is this Pear, Hazelnut and Nutella Cake. A rich, chocolate cake, melting with nutella, and topped with the crunch of […]

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