1.Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Grease a deep 23cm-square cake pan; line base and sides with baking paper.
2.Drain pears over a small saucepan. Heat syrup with oats, remove from heat; stand 20 minutes.
3.Meanwhile, using electric mixer, beat spread, essence and sugar in a small bowl until combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until combined.
4.Add oat mixture and combined sifted remaining ingredients, including the husks left in the sieve; stir until well combined. Pour mixture into prepared pan; place pears on top, cut-side down.
5.Bake for about 55 minutes or until cooked through. Serve cake warm, cut into 16 pieces.
Cake best made on the day of serving.Note