Pear Upside-Down Cake

This fruity dessert is traditionally made in a cast-iron skillet--ideal for caramelizing the pears into a lush sweetness that complements the spicy cake. Kids love the fact that the cake is turned upside down for serving.

Pear Upside-Down Cake
8 to 10
40 mins
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  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 medium fresh pears, peeled, halved, and cored
  • 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup full-flavored molasses
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • Chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
Preheat the oven to 35 degree F. In a 10-inch cast iron or oven-going skillet melt the 1/4 cup butter over medium heat.* Stir in 1/2 cup brown sugar, stirring until sugar is no longer grainy; remove from heat. Arrange the pear halves, cut side up, in the skillet. Sprinkle with the 1/4 crystallized ginger; set aside.
In a medium bowl combine the flour, ground ginger, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; set side.
In a large bowl beat 2/3 cup butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in 1/2 cup brown sugar until well combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in molasses and fresh ginger. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to beaten mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Spread the batter evenly over the pears in the skillet.
Bake about 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes. Loosen cake from pan; invert onto a large serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature. If desired, garnish with chopped crystallized ginger. Makes 8 to 10 servings.


  • *

    If you dont have a cast iron or oven-going skillet, prepare brown sugar-butter mixture in a small saucepan; pour into a 2-quart rectangular baking dish, spreading evenly. Arrange pears, cut side up, in dish. Prepare cake batter as above and pour over pears. Bake in 350 degrees F oven for 45 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in baking dish on wire rack for 5 minutes. Loosen cake from dish and invert onto serving plate. Serve as above.

nutrition information

Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 567, Fat, total (g) 24, chol. (mg) 113, sat. fat (g) 12, carb. (g) 85, Monounsaturated fat (g) 10, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 1, fiber (g) 4, sugar (g) 53, pro. (g) 6, vit. A (IU) 777, vit. C (mg) 4, sodium (mg) 483, calcium (mg) 131, iron (mg) 3, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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