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Gingerbread pear upside down cake
5 from 3 votes

Gingerbread Pear Upside Down Cake

This Gingerbread Pear Upside Down Cake is perfectly spiced for the holidays!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Baking, Cake, Gingerbread, Pear, Upside Down
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 9" cakes
Author Fraiche


For the pear base

  • 6 tablespoons butter (divided)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (lightly packed)
  • 6 ripe Bartlett pears* (peeled, cored and sliced 1/4" thick)

For the Cake

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter or vegan butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 cup fancy molasses
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 teaspoons gingerbread spice


Make the pear base

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Divide the 6 tablespoons butter and the brown sugar evenly between two round 9" baking pans.  Place each pan on a low setting on the stove and cook until the butter is melted.  Stir the brown sugar and butter together until combined and set aside.

  2. Neatly arrange the pears in a circular pattern on the bottom of the pans with the thin or top side to the centre of the pan.  Set the pans aside to prepare the batter.

Make the Cake

  1. In a small liquid measuring cup combine the boiling water and the baking soda, mix and set aside.

  2. In a large mixing bowl using a hand-held electric mixer or Kitchen Aid mixer on medium setting, beat the 1/2 cup of butter and 2/3 cup of brown sugar together until fluffy.  Add the vanilla and then the eggs one at a time, beating well after the addition of each until mixed.  Add in the molasses and salt and continue to mix.  Sift in the flour, baking powder and gingerbread spice and mix until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl to make sure that everything is incorporated.  Slowly add in the water and baking soda mixture and mix again until combined.

  3. Divide the batter evenly between each pan of the prepared pans, gently spreading to even the batter out over the pears if needed using a spatula.

  4. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  5. Remove from the oven, allow to sit cool slightly, and carefully invert onto two separate serving plates or platters of your choice.  The easiest way to do this is to put the plate upside down on top of the pan, and using oven mitts, flip over the pan and carefully remove the pan from the plate once you flip it over.

  6. Cool and serve with ice cream or whipped cream if you wish!

Recipe Notes

*a slightly firmer pear will slice best