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Caramel Fig & Pear Loaf – Bookmarked Recipes

The original recipe that this Caramel Fig & Pear Loaf is based on had been bookmarked for years but I never seemed to have the time, ingredients or inclination to get it made. It’s physically bookmarked with a little tab of paper that pre-dates virtual bookmarking. My ‘to review’ board on Pinterest tells a similar story, as do the saved lists of recipes on the bookmark toolbar that I hope to make ‘one day’. I have come back to the recipe many times over the years but it has never made it into my repertoire. Until now.

Never Let A Recipe Get In The Way

When the chips were down and I needed to make a dessert at the last minute to take to my Brother’s house, I bit the bullet. As I was baking on the day before I was heading overseas, I did what I so often do attempting to use what was left in the fridge. The recipe is based on a cake in Donna Hay’s Off The Shelf but I have freely adapted it to the point where you could say that it’s my own recipe. To say I love this book is an understatement. Even now as I flip through the pages, I can see splashes and feel a light dusting of flour on some of the pages. I have cooked so many items from it and still there is a mountain to climb!

The pears (not in the original recipe) used the first time were fairly unyielding but still worked well. I have since used riper pears with similar success. I also seemed to have an excess of fig jam, which I substituted for the golden syrup. In my experience, the addition of some crystalised or naked ginger is always a good thing and you can’t go wrong with pecans. When I make this style of loaf cake, I always try to add at least some wholemeal flour but not necessarily the whole amount as I don’t want it to be too heavy.

I enjoy this Caramel Fig & Pear Loaf best when it is sliced thickly and toasted. It also transports well so is good for picnics or as a lunchbox treat. Not only is it quick to make, it’s the type of mixture that can be adapted to muffins. Perfect for a contribution to a work morning tea or to bribe the neighbours as a thanks for their patience over our long renovation. Since I first made this a couple of months ago, I have made it several times since and wonder why I took so long to make it in the first place. That’s one recipe ticked off of the list, dozens if not hundreds more to go.

Caramel Fig & Pear loaf sliced, sitting on a cake cooler

What recipe have you bookmarked but have yet to get around to making?

Caramel Fig & Pear Loaf



  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup x raw or caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 x cup plain flour, white
  • ½ x cup plain flour, wholemeal
  • 1 x tspn baking powder
  • 1 x tspn cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup x fig jam (or substitute golden syrup)
  • 1 x large or 2 x small firm-ripe pears, cored and diced
  • 6 – 8 pieces of glace or crystalised ginger, chopped
  • pecan nuts to decorate
a basket of caramel fig & pear muffins topped with pieces of pecan nut

Method Loaf

  1. Place butter and sugar in a bowl and cream together until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time and mix in well.
  3. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, jam (or syrup), crystalised ginger and diced pears (I don’t bother peeling them). Mix gently with a wooden spoon until combined.
  4. Pour into a large lined loaf tin (20cm x 10cm). Decorate top of batter with pecans if you are using them.
  5. Bake in an oven pre-heated to 160c and cook for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool the Caramel Fig & Pear Loaf in the tin for several minutes and then turn out onto wire rack.
  6. Great served toasted with butter and also nice warmed with a scoop of ice cream!

Method Muffins

  1. Follow steps 1 – 3 above
  2. Spoon mixture into lined muffin tins (spray and use papers as this is a sticky mix)
  3. Bake in an oven pre-heated to 180c and cook for 25 – 30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

Makes 1 large loaf or approx 18 muffins (depending on size of muffin tin)

Caramel & Fig Loaf - uncut and cooling on a wire rack

*This post contains an affiliate link to 100% Australian owned and operated Dymocks Booksellers, should you wish to purchase Donna Hay’s Off The Shelf. I will receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) from any purchases made via the link.

8 comments… add one
  • Beck @ Goldenpudding June 18, 2016, 9:20 am

    I have so, so many bookmarked recipes to make! The very oldest are probably not actually ‘bookmarked’ but pasted in a recipe scrapbook I started keeping in my late teens, and include Jane Grigson’s Tomato Tart.
    There are so many challenge months out there, perhaps we should have a ‘cook your oldest saved recipe’ month! 😉

    • Fiona Ryan June 26, 2016, 5:46 pm

      I have plenty that I have ripped out too. Once they are made, sometimes I toss them out as I have a record on the blog but sometimes I keep them ; )

  • Tandy | Lavender and Lime June 18, 2016, 3:02 pm

    I’m slowly but surely making my way through my book marked recipes to clear my fridge of all the pieces of paper before we move it into the scullery 😀

    • Fiona Ryan June 26, 2016, 5:45 pm

      Now I’ve taken to photographing recipes in books in bookshops! (shhh…)

  • Sherry m June 19, 2016, 9:40 pm

    Oh my I have so many recipes awaiting their turn to be made. Some have been sitting patiently in my folders for years ! I like the look of the muffins.

    • Fiona Ryan June 26, 2016, 5:44 pm

      The goof old muffin – so adaptable! Stop buying magazines and start making those recipes Sherry.

  • Liz Posmyk (Good Things) June 20, 2016, 4:55 pm

    So many recipes, so little time!

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