Pear Upside Down Cake


I’ve made this time several times over the years, and I think it is one of my top ten favorite cakes.  It has almond paste, pears, and dried cranberries.   I think this cake screams “Fall”, and I chose to bake it for my mother’s 65th birthday this year.

The almond paste is key. 

Recipe: Pear Upside-Down Cake

8 servings

Caramel fruit topping: 

– 3- tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
– ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
– ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
– 2 large, firm but ripe Bosc pears, peeled, cored and cut into ½-inch slices
– Optional: ½ cup dried cranberries (I used dried orange flavored cranberries)

Almond cake:

 – 1 cup all-purpose flour
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– ¼ teaspoon salt
– ½ teaspoon ground ginger
– ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1 can (8 ounces) almond paste
– ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
– ½ cup granulated sugar
– 2 large eggs, room temperature
– ¼ teaspoon almond extract
– 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
– ¼ cup milk
– Sweetened whipped cream

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. To prepare the topping:  In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir in brown sugar and ginger. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour caramel into a 9-inch ungreased cake pan, spreading with a spatula.

3.  Arrange the pears in concentric circles on top of caramel. Sprinkle with cranberries and set aside.

4. To prepare the cake:  Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream almond paste, butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 4 to 5 minutes. (A well-beaten mixture will help make the cake lighter.) Add eggs, one at a time, beating a minute after each addition. Beat in almond and vanilla extracts. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

5.  On low speed, add dry ingredients alternately with the milk just until incorporated. Don’t overmix at this stage. Spread batter evenly over topping.

6.  Bake on center oven rack 45 to 50 minutes, or until top springs back when lightly touched. (If top of the cake becomes too brown, cover loosely with aluminum foil.) Let cool on a rack 5 minutes. Run a small knife around the edge of the cake to release it. Place a round, flat serving plate over the pan and invert it. Slowly lift off cake pan. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving with whipped cream.

From “Caramel: Recipes for Deliciously Gooey Desserts” by Peggy Cullen. 




9 thoughts on “Pear Upside Down Cake

  1. OMG girl, you out-did yourself on this one. That is gorgeous and my kind of cake. You hit it out of the park with this one. I can’t wait to try this for my 89 year old grandmother who “Still”, if nothing else, has a sweet tooth. Well, she has a tooth for gin and tonic everyday too. lol WoW, just Wow!

  2. Hi Angelnina. I’ve been lurking on your site for months now. I think I originally saw you on the local chicken lovers meetup group. I also keep chickens, and have a large garden, and love to cook, and can, and shop in the thrift stores. So we have a lot in common.

    I’ve tried many of your recipes … most recently I took the Muffaletta to the cider pressing weekend at Grandpa’s house. It was a BIG hit. This pear upside down cake looks fabulous and I plan to make it for my own mother’s birthday (Dec.11th).

    I’ve yearned to emulate you, and have actually made the skeleton of a wordpress page (Leigh13), but I can’t seem to get rolling on actually posting.

    Thanks for your efforts. Such a fun treat to log on and find a new post from you.

    XOXO Leigh

  3. CINDEE: Thank you! You will love this cake, and your 89 year old grandmother sounds like a lot of fun 🙂 I hope she enjoys this one. Let me know!

    WEEZY: I wanted to make something special for you. I just hope I didn’t raise your LDL 😦

    LEIGH: Thanks for reading my blog! If you saw me on the Chicken Meetup, that means we are probably in the same area.
    A cider pressing sounds like a good time. I’m so happy you liked the Muffaletta. I think that is one of my favorite sandwiches. The men in family request it often.
    You’re a chicken and garden lover too? We MUST get together. If you have any questions about the WordPress blog, let me know. I’m learning as I go too.
    Nice to “meet” you. Keep in touch.

  4. Pingback: Italian EASTER EGG BREAD RING and More Easter Dinner Ideas « Angelnina’s Cottage

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