This recipe was a sort of spur-of-the-moment, thanks to a few over-riped pears lying around. Too mushy to slice into a salad (yes, I was trying to be good), I could only think of a baked good that would do me right.

I have usually steered clear of cupcakes and muffins, for no good reason. The only excuse I can come up with is that filling up cupcake liners are tedious and I don’t always get the proportions equal and end up with very odd shaped funny-duddys (yes, I make up words). Another one of my excuses is that, although they look so beautiful and eye-appealing, cupcakes are an utter waste at parties – people don’t usually eat an entire cupcake – they always leave bits and pieces and the remaining goes to waste. With a cake, loaf, bundt or whatever, you can cut exactly the amount you will eat and leave the rest for other appreciative and deserving eaters (like me).

This recipe is incredibly easy, with a hint of Christmas spices – cinnamon, vanilla and allspice, along with fresh orange zest. These don’t need any dressing up and taste amazingly well by themselves. However, a thin fresh strawberry glaze works well and also looks fabulous!

The Recipe
Serves 12


  • 1 cup Pears, finely chopped or mashed
  • 1/4 cup Oil
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Ground allspice
  • 1 tsp Orange zest
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 cup Icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp Fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 pod Vanilla Bean
  • 1-2 tsp Milk
  • 2 tsp Orange zest


  • Heat the oven to 180°C.
  • With a hand whisk, beat the sugar and oil together. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
  • Then add the orange zest, cinnamon, allspice, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
  • Then with a wooden spoon, fold in the flour.
  • Scoop 2 scoops of the batter into each cupcake liner.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack before drizzling.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the glaze by simply whisking all the ingredients together until you get your desired consistency.

Up Next

The recipes are tried and tested, some are adapted from various places, and a few are passed down; but every one of them comes straight from the heart.