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Pierre Roelofs' Pear and Treacle Cake


Today we farewell our resident dessert expert Pierre Roelofs! For his final recipe, Pierre shares with us his popular pear and treacle cake. Giving this dessert a Persian twist, Pierre adds vanilla labneh, topped with frosted pistachio and rose and pistachio raahat (turkish delight).

This November, Pierre is hosting his popular ‘Dessert Evenings’, featuring his famous dessert degustation, in collaboration with local creative and weaver Maryanne Moodie! Bookings can be made here.

29th November, 2016
Pierre Roelofs
Tuesday 29th November 2016

This dessert is always a winner. I always make it for celebrations, and it’s become tradition that there’s only ever a few crumbs left on the plate. This cake is moist, rich and satisfying, a real winner!

While we love treacle, it can at times be a little sweet, so to counter this flavour I add a dollop of homemade vanilla labneh to each serve. The labne offers a refreshing accompaniment and the the acidity helps cut through the richness of the cake. To finish off, I add a few textural elements from Pariya, a range of exotice Persian ingredients. For this recipe I use Pariya’s range of frosted pistachios and rose and pistachio rahaat.


Pear and Treacle Cake

  • 225g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 250g dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 3g salt
  • 370g treacle
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 450g flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 250 ml buttermilk
  • 4 poached pears- cut into small pieces

For the vanilla labneh

  • 1kg greek yoghurt
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 2 vanilla pods (scraped seeds only)

Additional toppings

  • Pariya frosted pistachios
  • Pariya rose and pistachio raahat (turkish delight)


For the pear and treacle cake

Line a 30cm x 30cm tin with baking paper and preheat a fan-forced oven to 150C.

Whisk the butter, salt, sugar and spices until light and fluffy. Slowly drizzle in the eggs and treacle, then continue to whisk intensely. Fold in the flour, baking soda and buttermilk. Fold the poached pear pieces gently through the cake batter then pour into a lined baking tray.

Bake for approximately 50 minutes.

Leave to cool at room temperature before serving.

Notes: Don’t worry if you end up with leftover cake, it freezes really well. You can also always use tinned pears if you don’t have time to poach your own.

For the vanilla labneh

Mix all of the ingredients together. Hang the mixture in muslin cloth (or a paper coffee filter) and leave in the fridge for 12 hours to drain and thicken.

To assemble

Cut the pear and treacle cake into square pieces. Garnish with a dollop of vanilla labneh. Then top with the Pariya frosted pistachios and raahat.

Pierre Roelofs in his Brunswick kitchen HQ. Photo by Eve Wilson for The Design Files.

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email