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Upside Down Pear Cake

pear cake
We are always looking for new and exciting dessert recipes around our house, and this one really takes the cake; the upside down pear cake, that is. The sweet but not too sweet pear slices are accompanied by a rich, buttery cake and smothered in a caramelized cinnamon glaze. What’s not to love?

This cake may look fancy, but everything really comes together in a snap. It’s all about the layers. Pour in the cinnamon glaze, arrange the pear slices, pour the batter in, and bake! Upside down cakes are so simple, yet so satisfying. No need to cool and frost, just serve this dessert up hot, and keep it coming!

Caramelized Pear Upside Down Cake

1 hour to prepare serves 8


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 3 pears, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9-inch cake pan with butter or non-stick spray.
  2. In a small saucepan, mix together sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and 4 tablespoons butter. Bring mixture to a boil.
  3. Remove saucepan from burner and pour caramelized sauce evenly on the bottom of prepared cake pan.
  4. Press pear slices into the sauce, arranging them in a spiral pattern that covers the bottom of the pan.This will be the top of your cake.
  5. In a large bowl or mixer, cream together 6 tablespoons butter and sugar until smooth. One by one, add eggs and vanilla, beating until light and fluffy.
  6. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. In small batches, add in milk while still beating the mixture. Continue beating until everything is evenly moistened.
  7. Carefully pour batter over the pears. Lift up and tap the pan on the counter a few times to release air bubbles.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Loosen cake from pan by running a knife along the edges. Place a plate over cake dish and carefully flip it over, inverting it onto serving plate.

Recipe adapted from Living Well Spending Less