Desserts Recipes

Pear Upside-Down Spice Cake #SundaySupper

Pear Upside-Down Spice Cake #Sunday Supper
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If you like ginger, cinnamon and spice – then this is a treat for you! I am all about anything ginger, and this spice cake is steeped with the hot tangy flavor of ginger. This is not a sweet dessert – yes, is has a layer of cooked pear and caramel which is the perfect topper to the dense spice cake – but the overall flavor is spicy.  All together this is the perfect accompaniment to a nice cup of coffee. This Pear Upside-Down Spice Cake is wonderful ending to a winter dinner.

Pear Upside-Down Spice Cake #Sunday Supper

I made this this last week for my Book Club Holiday Party. With the party on a Friday night after a week of work I knew that I needed to make my desert ahead of time. I made the Pear Upside-Down Spice Cake on Thursday night for our Friday night gathering. Whenever, I think of a make-ahead dinner menu recipe – I first think of desert. Desserts can almost always be made ahead of time, and are the perfect menu item to get done before your gathering. One thing done and ready to go for guests a day ahead. How perfect is that?

Now before I share the total recipe for this Pear Upside-Down Spice Cake – I have a few disclaimers. I plan on making this again and tweaking the recipe and instructions a bit from what I made here. First you need more pears than I put in. I layered my pear slices side-by-side, but I should have really overlapped them and used two whole pears. Second, I am going to make this in a cast iron pan next time. I used a springform pan lined with foil, and much of the caramel sauce leaked out. This can be fixed by lining the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan with one piece of foil, but I think the cast iron pan will even make the caramel sauce even better.

Pear Upside-Down Spice Cake Recipe


  • 6 tablespoons and 1/2 cup butter divided
  • 1/1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar, divided
  • 2 ripe but firm pears, peeled, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 1/12/cups cake flour
  • 1 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Either fully line a 10-inch springform pan with foil on the bottom and up the sides to prevent leaking and grease the foil, or grease a cast iron pan. Set aside.
  3. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a small sauce pan over low heat. Add 3/4 cup of brown sugar and stir until well blended. 
  4. Pour brown sugar and butter mixture into foil lined springform pan or cast iron skillet.
  5. Arrange pear slices on top of the syrup in the pan. Layer the pears so that they are fanned around the pan completing filling the bottom. Cutting to fill in the middle if necessary. I laid mine side-by-side, you need more pears! Fill it up with them laying over each other as your fan them around the entire pan.  
  6. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger, cloves, and salt into a bowl and set aside.b
  7. Combine the milk and vanilla in a small bowl and set aside.
  8. In a large mixing bowl, beat together 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes.
  9. Add the egg and beat until well blended.
  10. Add the molasses and orange zest until fully combined.
  11. Mix the dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the mil mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
  12. Fold in the crystallized ginger by hand with a rubber spatula. 
  13. Carefully pour the batter over the pear, being carful not to disturb the pears. 
  14. Bake for 50 – 55 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  15. Transfer to a wire rack and coo for about five minutes. 
  16. Loosen cake from side os pan by running a knife along the edge.
  17. Turn the cake upside down on to a rack. Cool for another 30 minutes.
  18. Once completely cooled, store under a cake dome.
  19. Serve at room temperature or re-heat and serve warm.

Pear Upside-Down Spice Cake #SundaySupper

My friends at Sunday Supper are sharing some of their favorite make ahead recipes with us today. This is the season of entraining, and anything we can make ahead for our gatherings and parties – helps make entertaining easier. Check them all out. Thank you to Christie of A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventure for hosting this event!

Make Ahead Dinner Party Recipes #SundaySupper

Ahead of Schedule Starters

Earlier the Better Entrees

Prepared Ahead Postre

The Sunday Supper Movement is committed to bringing our readers delicious recipes that encourage them to gather and eat together around the family table. Search for your favorite ingredients on our Sunday Supper website. Also check out the Sunday Supper Pinterest boards for plenty more ideas and inspiration.

(12) Comments

  1. Bob DeSantis says:

    My wife made this with a few minor alterations. It was absolutely fabulous. A definite keeper! 👍

  2. Oh gosh, you had me at caramel AND pear. YUM.

  3. The pears are just fabulous and I just love the ginger in this!

  4. I love pear and ginger together! This dessert sounds amazing!

  5. That pear topping looks amazing! What a wonderful holiday dessert!

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  8. I have made a similar cake before and loved it. It’s so perfect for the holiday table.

  9. […] Pear Upside-Down Spice Cake by Positively Stacey […]

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