This traditional moist Pear Upside Down Cake has sweet ripe pears and a caramel sauce at the heart of its flavour, along with a buttery vanilla sponge.
I'm confident that you will love this Pear Cake recipe and will want to make it many times. It works well as a pudding served with cream or custard.
I've adapted the recipe from the Date and Pineapple Upside Down which I also love.
I baked this recipe using an 18cm/7ins round cake tin or Tarte Tatin tin. But you can also use an 8" tin, as long as it is deep enough to allow the sponge to rise a little. A shallow tin will not be suitable.
DO NOT use a loose-bottomed cake tin or you will lose all the lovely Toffee Sauce during baking.
How to make Caramel Sauce
Melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir continuously until all the butter and sugar have dissolved. When it starts to bubble, simmer for a few minutes.
Take off the heat to cool a little, pour the sauce into the cake tin ensuring the base is evenly coated.
It's a good idea to line the base of the cake tin with a disc of baking parchment before you pour in the sauce. It will make it much easier for you to turn your upside down cake out of the tin.
Peel and slice the pears thinly and arrange them evenly over the top of the Caramel Sauce.
Once I'd peeled the pears, I found it best to slice them in half lengthways, cutting out the core. Then continue to slice them thinly. If you add them to a bowl of cold water it will stop the oxidation setting in and prevent them from turning brown.
Slicing the pears lengthways means that you can arrange the slices in a lovely symmetrical order over the top of the caramel sauce before you add the cake batter.
Make the awesome Sponge Cake batter
Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and creamy, this may take about 5 mins. Add the eggs one at a time, adding a little flour between each one to help prevent curdling. Mix until well combined.
Add the vanilla and honey and fold in or very gently mix in the remaining flour, until everything is well combined.
Spoon the mixture evenly over the pear and caramel sauce that you have already arranged in the tin.
Bake for 50 mins in the centre of the oven until baked. Testing the centre of the cake with a skewer until it comes out clean. The sponge will have a nice deep golden colour. But do make sure the centre of the cake is baked. If needed pop it back in the oven for a few minutes more.
You can if you wish, place a baking tray underneath to catch any Toffee Sauce that may ooze out over the tin and onto your oven.
Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool a little before turning out onto a large serving plate. Taking care not to splash any residual caramel sauce that may remain from splashing onto you as it could still be very hot.
Why this recipe works.
Like many upside down cakes, their beauty can only be seen once you turn them out of their tins. Revealing beautifully arranged fruit underneath, often with a buttery caramel topping.
I used a British Conference Pear, not only because of their length but because of their firmness. Making it much easier to slice thinly without them breaking up or going mushy during baking.
After buying them, I left them a few days to ripen and sweeten.
This cake will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.
You can freeze an upside down cake, make sure it’s completely cooled first. Wrap in cling film or suitable freezer bag before placing it in the freezer. When ready to eat, remove the wrapping and place it on a plate, in the fridge to defrost.
Pear Upside Down Cake
For the Caramel Sauce and Topping
- 60 grams unsalted butter
- 60 grams light brown sugar demorara sugar is fine
- 2 pears Conference pears or similar
- 2 tablespoons honey runny or set
For the Cake
- 125 grams unsalted butter softened
- 125 grams caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs medium sized
- 125 grams self raising flour
- 1 tablespoons honey runny or set
- Pre heat the oven to 170C conventional. Grease an 18cm/7ins round cake tin or Tarte Tatin tin. An 8" tin is also fine. DO NOT use a loose-bottomed cake tin or you will lose all the lovely Toffee Sauce during baking. If you wish, line the base of the tin with a circular disc of baking parchment. This will make it easier to turn the cake out once it's baked and cooled.
Make the Caramel Sauce
- Melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir continuously until all the butter and sugar have dissolved. When it starts to bubble, simmer for a few minutes. Then take off the heat to cool a little.
- Pour the sauce into the cake tin ensuring the base is evenly coated. Peel and slice the pears thinly and arrange them evenly over the top of the Caramel Sauce.
Make the Sponge Cake.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, add a little flour between each egg to help prevent curdling. Mix until well combined.
- Add the vanilla and honey and fold in the remaining flour, ensuring everythin is mixed until well combined.
- Spoon the mixture evenly over the pear and caramel topping.
- Bake for 50 mins in the centre of the oven, or until baked. Testing the centre of the cake until it comes out clean. The sopnge should have a nice deep golden colour. If needed. Place a baking tray underneath to catch any Toffee Sauce that may ooze out over the tin.
- Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool a little before turning out onto a large serving plate.
- Serve with Cream, custard or a drizzle of honey if you wish.
A big hit with everyone!
stunning cake, best my partner has tasted, which is saying something as he always compares my cakes to his mothers
Lovely tasty cake. The caramel mixes beautifully with the pears and the long cooking time makes the crust golden and toffee like around the edges. I've made the recipe twice now. 2nd time I made it dairy free (by substituting the butter for a non dairy spread). I also added a star anise, a couple of cardamon and clove buds when making the caramel (then took them out once cool) and this added subtle spice to the caramelised pear based. Also added a little cinnamon into the flour mix. As I didn't have a round cake tin the I used a rectangular tin which also turned out well.
Delicious and easy to make. Enjoyed by the whole family tonight for dessert.
Such an easy recipe and SO tasty!
Thanks Lisa. I’m glad you like it.