Pear Upside Down Spice Cake

Pear Upside Down Spice Cake
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These pear upside down spice cakes are super soft and moist. The warm spices in the cake are the perfect match for the sweet pears on top.

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These cakes were born of a failed attempt to make caramel 😎. I (Riss) was making caramel one day and it turned into a grainy, weird, crumbly mess. Not wanting to throw it away I put some in the bottom of a ramekin, added chopped pears and poured spice cake over the top. It was actually super yummy! Fast forward to a year later, I was thinking about them and decided to make a recipe and realized I hadn’t written anything down, bummer. So I had to recreate them from memory. If I could figure out how to make failed caramel again I would include a recipe for it LOL! It made epic pear cakes.

This is a small recipe and makes four individual cakes. They are best enjoyed freshly baked and warm with vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream. Like all our desserts these cakes are not overly sweet but will still satisfy your sweet tooth!

what you need to make pear upside down spice cake

ingredients for pear upside down spice cake
  • Pears
  • Whole white wheat flour
  • Cane sugar
  • Light brown sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • Buttermilk
  • Salted butter
  • Egg
  • Caramel sauce (optional) for plating

helpful tools for this recipe

Other tips for this recipe

serving

These are best served freshly baked and warm.

When we plate these fancy we like to use whipped cream because we also use caramel sauce on the plate and using the whipped cream allows us to have more control of the sweetness of the dish. If we’re just eating them casually we like vanilla ice cream and no caramel.

What is a quenelle?

A quenelle is kind of a football shaped scoop of ice cream, whipped cream, sorbet etc. that is usually used for desserts in higher end restaurants. They make you look all smart and professional 😉.

how to make pear upside down spice cake

Step by step instructions below or scroll down for printable version

If you are making caramel for plating do that first. There is a recipe in this dessert post.

Prepare the ramekins

1. Cut 1 tablespoon of salted butter into 4 equal pieces. Put 1 piece of the butter and 2 teaspoons of light brown sugar into the bottom of four 6 ounce ramekins.

2. Preheat the oven to 350° Put the ramekins on a tray and place into the oven while it preheats until the butter is melted. Remove from the oven and stir the butter and sugar together in each ramekin until combined then spread evenly over the bottoms.

3. Peel core and dice 1 pear into roughly 1/4 inch pieces. Divide between the ramekins (it should be about 1/4 cup each). Press them into the bottom but don’t mash them.

make the spice cake batter

1. In a small bowl combine (dry ingredients)

  • 2/3 cup whole white wheat flour (scooped and leveled)
  • 1/3 cup cane sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (we used sea salt)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves

2. To the dry ingredients add

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup oil (we used safflower)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix until combined.

3. Pour over the pears dividing evenly between the ramekins. Bake on the rack just above center for 27-32 minutes (30 is the sweet spot for us) or until a toothpick inserted into the centers come out clean.

4. Let rest for 5 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edges and then invert onto your serving plates or onto a cooling rack if you’re going to plate them fancy (see instructions below).

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.

pear upside down cakes on a cooling rack

how to plate fancy 😀

Tip: Make the quenelles ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator/freezer until you are ready to use them. See videos links in the helpful tools section to make a quenelle.

Put a spoonful of caramel sauce toward the edge 1/3 of your plate. Smear it across 2/3 of the plate with the spoon. Place a cake on the end of the caramel smear. Put a quenelle or scoop of whipped cream or ice cream on the outer edge of the plate half way between the cake and the other end of the caramel. Hope that makes sense! You can refer to the picture below for a visual.

Tip: We like using cold caramel sauce because it keeps its shape better.

plated pear upside down spice cake

other pear recipes you might enjoy

Salted Caramel Mascarpone Pear Tart

three plates of plated pear upside down cakes

Pear Upside Down Spice Cake

Warm spice cake baked over sweet fresh pears with brown sugar and butter. Invert and serve warm with vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream. These cakes are baked individually so they are perfect for plating all fancy or eating while lounging on the couch watching your favorite show!
Prep Time 12 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Resting time 5 mins
Total Time 47 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 4 cakes
Calories 368 kcal

Ingredients
  

Topping

  • 1 Tablespoon Butter salted
  • 8 teaspoons Light brown sugar
  • 1 medium Pear

Spice cake

  • cup Whole white wheat flour
  • cup Cane sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon Baking powder
  • teaspoon Sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Ginger
  • teaspoon Nutmeg
  • teaspoon Cloves
  • 1 large Egg
  • ½ cup Buttermilk
  • ¼ cup Cooking oil
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract

Garnishes

  • Sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
  • Caramel sauce (optional) see notes

Instructions
 

For the topping

  • Cut the butter into four equal pieces. Put one piece of butter and 2 teaspoons of brown sugar into four 6 ounce ramekins. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Put the ramekins on a tray and place into the oven while it preheats until the butter is melted. Remove from the oven and stir each one together then spread evenly over the bottoms.
  • Peel core and dice the pear into roughly ¼ inch pieces. Divide between the ramekins (it should be about ¼ cup each) press them into the bottoms but don't mash them.

For the spice cake

  • Combine the first 8 ingredients in a small bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix until combined. Pour over the pears dividing evenly between the four ramekins.
  • Bake for 27-32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let rest five minutes and then invert onto serving plates or a cooling rack if you plan to plate them all fancy (see direction below). Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

To plate

  • Put a spoonful of caramel toward the edge ⅓ of your plate. Smear it across ⅔ of the plate with the spoon. Place a cake on the end of the caramel smear. Put a quenelle or scoop of whipped cream or ice cream on the outer edge of the plate half way between the cake and the other end of the caramel. Hope that makes sense! You can refer to the picture for a visual.

Notes

If you are going to use caramel sauce and want to make your own we have a recipe for it in our Pear Tart recipe.
 
Keyword cake, pears

Note: These nutrition facts are for the cakes only

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Thanks for reading and as always have fun in the kitchen!



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