Gingerbread Loaf with Poached Pears

This is your favorite gingerbread with a surprise in the center—whole spiced poached pears! The absorbent fruits are soaked in a hot bath of apple cider, red wine, cinnamon, and cloves to infuse them with all the best holiday flavors. Homemade Aquafaba Whipped Cream creates a silky smooth topping that perfectly complements the sweet cake. Sprinkle everything with a little extra cinnamon and voilà, you have a restaurant-quality dessert for your winter feast!

By Nancy Macklin, RDN,


  • 1 cup apple cider or juice
  • 1 cup red wine or apple cider
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 4 small fresh Bartlett pears (5 to 6 oz. each), peeled with stems left intact
  • ⅓ cup blackstrap molasses
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 1¼ cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons pure cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons regular or sodium-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 recipe Aquafaba Whipped Cream


  • In a large saucepan combine the first four ingredients (through cloves) and 1 cup water. Add pears. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until pears are nearly tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pears to a paper-towel-lined plate. Let cool and blot away any excess moisture.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper or use a silicone loaf pan. In a small bowl stir together molasses, applesauce, flaxseed meal, and ⅔ cup water. Let rest 5 minutes. In a large bowl combine the next eight ingredients (through cloves). Add molasses mixture to flour mixture and stir just until moistened.
  • Place pears, stem ends up, evenly distributed down center of loaf pan. Carefully spoon gingerbread batter around pears, keeping pears in center of pan.
  • Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in loaf comes out clean. Transfer pan to a wire rack; cool 15 minutes. Carefully remove loaf from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
  • Cut loaf so each piece will have a slice of pear. If desired, serve with Aquafaba Whipped Cream and sprinkle with additional ground cinnamon.

Comments (4)

(4 from 2 votes)

Recipe Rating

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Guess I should add, if I substitute the dates I will put those ingredients in the blender or food processor to smooth it out, not planning on putting whole chunks of date in the recipe, although I guess that could be interesting too LOL! Date paste would work very well for those who bother to make it. Maybe 1/3 cup date paste and two tablespoons of molasses would be about right.


I also don't like the use of cane sugar in these recipes. If I try it, I will substitute a few pitted dates and reduce the amount of molasses.


Pure cane sugar? Any substitute that will work?

Kim Burnett

What are the calories and protein

About the Author

Headshot of Nancy Macklin

About the Author

Nancy Macklin, RDN

Nancy Macklin has a bachelor of science in dietetics from Iowa State University and a Master of Science in health services administration from the University of Saint Francis. Macklin worked as a hospital-based clinical dietitian, providing counseling for diabetes, heart disease, and weight loss and as a food service director in health care dining sites. She now serves as a test kitchen dietitian, developing 500+ recipes per year. She is a member of the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics and International Association of Culinary Professionals. Find her on LinkedIn.
See More from this Author

Free Download

Free 5-day meal plan!

Get a taste for healthy, fuss-free meal planning with this free five-day meal plan from Forks Meal Planner!

By providing your email address, you consent to receive newsletter emails from Forks Over Knives. We value your privacy and will keep your email address safe. You may unsubscribe from our emails at any time.

Placeholder image

Join our mailing list

Get free recipes and the latest info on living a happy, healthy plant-based lifestyle.

By providing your email address, you consent to receive newsletter emails from Forks Over Knives. We value your privacy and will keep your email address safe. You may unsubscribe from our emails at any time.