Pears are ideal to use in these mini cakes as their girth can fit snugly in your muffin tins. I have doubled Donna Hay's recipe from Modern Baking (Fourth Estate, 2018).

Makes 12

4 small pears

1/2 c maple syrup (or honey or brown rice syrup)

2 1/2 c flour of choice

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 c sugar of choice 

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 c milk of choice

1/2 c neutral vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 12-cup muffin tray.

Cut the bottom half of the pears into 12 slices 1cm thick.  You don't have to peel them but if the pear rounds are too large trim the slices to fit the base of your tins. Drizzle the maple syrup equally over the pears and bake for 10 minutes or until the pear is tender. Remove from oven.

Peel the rest of the pears and grate or finely chop and place in a bowl. Sift in flour, baking powder, spices and sugar and mix to combine. 

In a bowl lightly whisk the eggs, vanilla, milk and oil then pour into the dry ingredients. Mix gently until just combined. Divide batter equally between the pear-lined tins and bake for 13-15 minutes or until cooked through.

Invert the tray onto a wire rack or dislodge muffins manually and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving warm. Add a drizzle of maple syrup or a dollop of whipped cream.