Pear Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake

With sweet pears and spicy gingerbread, this Pear Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake is a perfect holiday treat.  Even better with ice cream and caramel sauce!  With sweet pears and spicy gingerbread, this Pear Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake is a perfect holiday treat. Even better with ice cream and caramel sauce!

Life has been crazy.  In some ways bad, in some good. Like this pear gingerbread upside-down cake.  Absolutely delicious.

And I so needed the indulgence. 

With sweet pears and spicy gingerbread, this Pear Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake is a perfect holiday treat. Even better with ice cream and caramel sauce!

Out of the Oven

The backstory

You see, November was a killer month for my family.  It revolved around my mother who had been living independently in a senior residence under a life care contract.  Under this arrangement we expected that if she someday needed additional care she would get extra services there at a reduced rate

There had been a large entry fee. And high “rent” for years. A big investment, all right. But no problem if it made her happy and financially secure!  So, when she started forgetting things, we figured she would simply move to a higher level of care.  What good planning!

Um… nuh-uh.

What they did, instead, was kick her out.  Saying they couldn’t care for her.  What?  You do “life care” but can’t handle my mother’s dementia?   

So the entire month of November was spent emptying her two-bedroom apartment and dealing with “stuff” (physical stuff and not).  Not the best start to the holidays.  (And yes, more to come.)

But as things wound down the past week, the beauty of the season started to push through.  Gift shopping, the beauty of decorating, a couple of lovely Christmas parties…

And then there’s nothing like taking your frustrations out in the kitchen. 

With sweet pears and spicy gingerbread, this Pear Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake is a perfect holiday treat. Even better with ice cream and caramel sauce!

Served!

The Pear Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake

Enter the pear gingerbread upside-down cake.  I first made it last year, too late to post, and was afraid my perfect first experience wouldn’t be repeated.  But it turned out great again.  Popped right out of the pan and looked beautiful.  Both times.

With sweet pears and spicy gingerbread, this Pear Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake is a perfect holiday treat. Even better with ice cream and caramel sauce!

Cook butter and sugar

With sweet pears and spicy gingerbread, this Pear Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake is a perfect holiday treat. Even better with ice cream and caramel sauce!

Add pears

With sweet pears and spicy gingerbread, this Pear Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake is a perfect holiday treat. Even better with ice cream and caramel sauce!

Top with gingerbread cake batter

With sweet pears and spicy gingerbread, this Pear Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake is a perfect holiday treat. Even better with ice cream and caramel sauce!

Bake, cool briefly, then flip

I slightly modified the original post and cut it in half to fit an 8-inch cast iron skillet.  Per that, double the amounts should work in a 10 or 12-inch pan—in case you want a larger cake.  I should note that even this smaller cake cuts nicely into 8 pieces.  And the pear slices fit into a perfect 8 inch circle. 

If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, Lodge is a well-rated and reasonably priced brand, currently under $20.  They aren’t sponsoring this post–I just remember being a cast iron newbie myself not too long ago 🙂 . 

With sweet pears and spicy gingerbread, this Pear Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake is a perfect holiday treat. Even better with ice cream and caramel sauce!

Even better with ice cream and caramel

The cake is rich and flavorful, just as is, and you don’t need to do more than serve.  But with ice cream and my recent easy caramel syrup, it is over the top!

Yup, when life is tough, it’s nice when something goes right! With sweet pears and spicy gingerbread, this Pear Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake is a perfect holiday treat. Even better with ice cream and caramel sauce!

Pear Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake
Serves 8
With sweet pears and spicy gingerbread, this Pear Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake is a perfect holiday treat. Even better with ice cream and caramel sauce!
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
35 min
Total Time
1 hr
306 calories
50 g
50 g
11 g
3 g
6 g
114 g
226 g
30 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
114g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 306
Calories from Fat 94
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
16%
Saturated Fat 6g
32%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 50mg
17%
Sodium 226mg
9%
Total Carbohydrates 50g
17%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 30g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
7%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
7%
Iron
8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
For topping
  1. 1 firm pear (I used a Bosc)
  2. 2 Tablespoons butter
  3. 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
For cake
  1. 1 ¼ cups white whole wheat flour (or all purpose)
  2. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  4. 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  5. ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  6. 1/8 teaspoon salt.
  7. 1/3 cup molasses (preferably mild)
  8. 1/3 cup boiling water
  9. ¼ cup butter, softened
  10. ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
  11. 1 egg, lightly beaten
  12. Optional accompaniment: ice cream, caramel syrup, whipped cream
Make topping
  1. Core pear and cut into 10-12 wedges. Peeling isn't needed.
  2. Melt butter in well-seasoned cast iron skillet over moderate heat and cook until foam subsides. Reduce heat to low, then sprinkle brown sugar over bottom of skillet. Cook, undisturbed, 3 minutes. Arrange pears evenly over sugar and cook, undisturbed, 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Make cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk together molasses and boiling water in another small bowl.
  3. Beat together butter, brown sugar, and egg in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes. Alternately mix in flour mixture and molasses in 3 batches at low speed until smooth.
  4. Pour batter over topping in skillet, spreading evenly and being careful not to disturb pears. Bake until a tester comes out clean, 30-40 minutes. (40-50 if you double recipe).
  5. Cool cake in skillet on a rack 5 minutes. Run a thin knife around edge of skillet. Place a large plate over skillet and, using pot holders to hold skillet and plate tightly together, invert cake onto plate. Replace any pears that stick to skillet. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Notes
  1. I haven't tested it, but the original recipe was made with (approximately) double the ingredients in a 10 or 12-inch skillet.
beta
calories
306
fat
11g
protein
3g
carbs
50g
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Art of Natural Living https://artofnaturalliving.com/

4 thoughts on “Pear Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake

  1. Juliana

    Oh Inger, I am sorry to hear about the issues your mom is having…it is very hard as our parents get older…
    I am glad that you found comfort in the kitchen as this cake looks delicious, pear and all the spices…and yes, 1 scoop of ice cream for me with the cake.
    I hope things get better for you…

  2. grace

    so sorry for your troubles! that would be hard any time of year, but especially during the holidays. prayers for you!
    on a happy note, this cake is magnificent. i love upside down cakes and this one is perfect for the season.

  3. David

    Well, needless to say, I think the life care’s actions are unethical. I hope you were able to get back the money she invested. Getting older is not easy in our country. I will keep you and your mother in my thoughts…

    The gingerbread? Yum! Pears and ginger are like apples and cinnamon. They just go together. Holding to make this for the holidays!

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