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pear upside down cake sq

Caramelized Pear Upside Down Cake

This seasonal upside down cake is rustic and delicious. The beautiful pear pattern when the cake is turned out of the pan is always an eye catching delight!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 295kcal
Author Toni Dash


  • 3 tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Water
  • 2-3 medium-large Pears (like Red Bartlett) peeled, cored and sliced vertically into 1/8-1/4 inch thick slices
  • 1 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour regular or gluten-free measure-for-measure flour blend
  • 1/4 cup Almond meal or Almond Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) Unsalted Butter softened
  • 2/3 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2/3 cup Whole Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Add 3 tablespoons butter into a 9 inch by 2 inch round layer cake pan and place in the oven to melt, approximately 3 minutes. Do not let butter brown.
  • Remove pan from oven. Add brown sugar and water; whisk until sugar is dissolved and butter is incorporated. 
  • Layer pear slices overlapped each other, with the larger end of the pear toward the outside of the pan (refer to photos). Form a circular pattern allowing the pears to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl of a free standing mixer, whisk together the flour, almond meal/flour, baking powder, salt and spices
  • In the bowl of a standing mixer (or using a handheld mixer) cream the butter. Add the sugar and cream together.  Add milk, eggs and vanilla and mix together (do not over mix). 
  • Spoon in dry ingredients and beat until fully combined.  Spoon batter evenly on top of pears in the cake pan. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes when toothpick should come out clean and the cake should begin to brown.
  • Allow cake to cool in pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of the cake pan to free up cake. Place the serving plate upside down on the top of the cake pan, carefully turn the plate and cake over so the cake comes out onto the serving tray revealing the pear top. Be careful as the cake pan will still be hot.  NOTE:  if allowed to over cool in the pan the cake will not release fully.  Allow to cool for 30-45 additional minutes; serve warm.



Calories: 295kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 83mg | Potassium: 129mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 460IU | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 1mg