Cakes and Cupcakes/ Recipes

Pear Gingerbread Upside Down Cake

Tender pears and brown sugar  top a moist molasses spice cake in this Pear Gingerbread Upside Down Cake.pear gingerbread upside down cake

Ahhhhh……gingerbread. It is on my list of “Foods that Make the House Smell Amazing When They Are Cooking”. The list also includes things like bread baking; chocolate chip cookies in the oven; bacon frying; and fresh-brewed coffee; plus a number of others. But gingerbread is definitely near the top of the list. 

Gingerbread is one of those things that come in a variety of forms. I like making a small gingerbread snacking cake for nibbling as an afternoon treat. A lemon-glazed gingerbread loaf makes an excellent accompaniment for your morning coffee. And a moist gingerbread bundt cake with a maple or rum icing creates a wonderful ending for a winter supper.  With this Pear Gingerbread Upside Down Cake, we’ve changed it up a bit by combining all that’s delicious about gingerbread with juicy pears to create a perfect wintertime dessert. It’s just as easy as making plain gingerbread, but seems a little more special with it’s pretty fruit topping.

pear gingerbread upside down cakr

Looks how fancy that top looks…but it’s SO easy! You simply peel, core, and thinly slice a couple of pears. Bosc pears are the best type to use for baking. They are the ones in the produce section that are more golden brown color and have the long skinny necks. If they aren’t available, you can certainly use another variety, just be sure they aren’t overripe or they will be mushy after baking.

Once the pears are prepped, you just put a little melted butter in the bottom of a round cake pan and sprinkle it with brown sugar. Then arrange the pears over the brown sugar. Next, it’s just mixing up the gingerbread batter. This all goes together in one bowl, so there’s less clean up. (You’re welcome.).

This batter uses buttermilk, which gives the cake a REALLY moist texture and a slight tang to the flavor. And the gingerbread flavor is oh-so-good! There are four spices: cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg, which creates a perfectly-spiced molasses cake.

pear gingerbread upside down cake

You pour the batter on top of the pears and when it comes out of the oven you invert it onto a serving plate to reveal the beautiful top. It’s like a pineapple upside down cake…only winterized with pears and gingerbread.

And now for the best part? This cake tastes best when you serve it warm from the oven. Which means that after smelling it baking for so long,  you don’t have to wait for it to cool! Serve it with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Happy Baking!

Serves 8 servings

Pear Gingerbread Upside Down Cake
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  • Topping:
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 pear (preferably Bosc) peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • Cake:
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • -whipped cream or ice cream, if desired


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9-inch round baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Pour melted butter in bottom of prepared pan, coating bottom of pan evenly.
  3. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup brown sugar. Arrange pear slices evenly over brown sugar; set aside.
  4. In medium mixing bowl, combine buttermilk, egg, 1/2 cup brown sugar, molasses and softened butter. Mix on medium speed, 2 minutes, until well blended.
  5. Add flour, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger,nutmeg and cloves. Blend on low speed 1 minute. Increase speed to medium and mix 2 minutes, scraping bowl often.
  6. Carefully pour batter over pears in pan, spreading evenly in pan.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30-40 minutes, until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Loosen edges of cake from pan and invert cake onto serving plate.
  8. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.


If buttermilk isn't available, combine 1/2 cup regular milk with 2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice; let stand 3 minutes.





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