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Spiced Pear Upside-Down Cake Recipe

Spiced Pear Upside-Down Cake Recipe

The flavors of fresh, sweet pears and gingerbread blend beautifully in this intriguing variation on pineapple upside-down cake. Leftovers—if there are any—taste great with coffee or tea the next day. —Lisa Varner Charleston, South Carolina
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 25 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling YIELD:9 servings


  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large pears, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • Ice cream, optional


  • 1. Pour melted butter into a 9-in. square baking pan; sprinkle with nuts and brown sugar. Arrange pears over nuts.
  • 2. In a large bowl, cream softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and molasses. Combine the flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda; add to creamed mixture alternately with water, beating well after each addition.
  • 3. Spread batter over pears. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Serve warm with ice cream if desired. Yield: 9 servings.

Nutritional Facts

1 piece: 419 calories, 25g fat (13g saturated fat), 77mg cholesterol, 347mg sodium, 47g carbohydrate (25g sugars, 3g fiber), 4g protein

Reviews for Spiced Pear Upside-Down Cake

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Reviewed Jan. 28, 2016

"Delicious, didn't change a thing!"

Reviewed Feb. 17, 2015

"There was too much juice using 2 pears (bosc), so the middle of the cake never cooked completely. I tried it again using only 1 pear and it turned out perfect, baking it for 40 minutes. Delicious!"

Reviewed Sep. 27, 2014

"Delicious gingerbread and pears. I used 1/2 light molasses and half dark because I ran out of light. It turned out quite dense."

Reviewed Apr. 16, 2014

"Delicious pear cake and easy to make!"

Reviewed Jan. 30, 2014

"I made this exactly as written except I left the nuts out (personal choice). My husband loved it. I agree with a previous review that I think I'll use another pear next time."

Reviewed Nov. 6, 2013

"I made this cake exactly as directed and while I really liked it, I didn't love it. I think the name is deceptive because to me it tasted like a plain gingerbread cake with just a hint of pear flavor. Perhaps I should have added more pears. I was very impressed with how well the cake came out of the pan (I used a non-stick pan). It looked beautiful...I only wish the taste matched the beauty of it."

Reviewed Oct. 28, 2013

"Yum! This cake is delicious warm out of the oven and at room temperature. It has a wonderful blend of spices. One of my friends who tasted it asked if there were graham crackers in it."

Reviewed Oct. 2, 2013

"I made this last night; it's delicious & great to celebrate the fall. The only thing I would do differently is add a little more of the topping (nuts, butter, sugar) because some can stick to the pan & I will make it in a 13"x9" dish & add a little more to the recipe because the cake went fast with several people in the house; leaving some to want more. **Could use apples instead of pears also**"

Reviewed Oct. 1, 2013


Reviewed Sep. 30, 2013

"I made this as written. Really good but I do prefer old fashion plain gingerbread. I do not understand substituting molasses and ginger in a recipe discribed as a gingerbread and pear combo--gingerbread is molasses and ginger. However, some of the substitutions sounded good."

Reviewed Sep. 30, 2013

"I haven't made this yet but sounds like a cake I had before and if so, I can taste it just thinking about it. Anxious to make it."

Reviewed Sep. 30, 2013

"Excellent cake; might suggest subbing pure maple syrup for the molasses which adds sweetness without the overpowering taste of the latter. You can also cut ginger to 1/4 teaspoon and add 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg to vary taste. 1/2 cup (1 stick of butter) seems excessive; I agree with another reviewer to use 1/4 instead."

Reviewed Apr. 27, 2012

"This was fairly quick and easy to make. I substituted applesauce for the molasses which seemed fine. I might try apples instead of pears sometime also."

Reviewed Feb. 3, 2012

"This is an excellent recipe!! Made it just as written, perfect combination of spices. I baked it for 40 minutes and it was done, not gooey as one reviewer said. Will definitely make it again."

Reviewed Jan. 28, 2012

"I was able to make this recipe gluten-free and egg-free. It turned out great!"

Reviewed Jan. 2, 2012

"WOW! I had never made an upside-down cake before this one. I did have to cook it an extra 5 minute. I was worried about the amount of spices, but it worked out perfectly. A definate keeper for when we want an "healthy" dessert, there's fruit, right!"

Reviewed Apr. 12, 2011


Reviewed Mar. 28, 2011

"Very good! I used 3 pears and no nuts, next time I will use 4 pears."

Reviewed Feb. 18, 2011

"The combination of the pears, molasses and spices were delicious. I served it warm with frozen yogurt and it was so good! I reduced the amount of butter for the topping to 1/4 cup and it wasn't missed. Great dessert - would definitely make it again!"

Reviewed Feb. 4, 2011

"I made this today for my Ladies' Bible Study group, and it received rave compliments! The pears and caramelly topping were absolutely delicious, and the cake was moist and yummy. Next time I make it, however, I will use baking spray to coat the side of the pan. The cake and topping stuck on two of the corners and when I flipped it over onto the serving platter it broke. Regardless, it was scrumptious. :)"

Reviewed Jan. 31, 2011

"The magazine came in the mail, and that very weekend had to make something for Mother in laws birthday dinner. Looking at this recipe I found I had all the ingredients necessary already on hand. (Doesn't usually happen) Put this together exactly as suggested and it was a big hit. Because of the molasses and ginger, little ones may not go for this but the adults in my family loved it. Will definitely keep this one for future use."

Reviewed Jan. 30, 2011

"I made this cake today and it was good, but the middle of the cake didn't completely cook, even after I added another 10 minutes . I thought it would be richer tasting, with all the butter in it, but it was just okay. I was hoping for a moist cake, but it was a bit gooey."

Reviewed Jan. 30, 2011

"I think the molasses and ginger combination is a bit strong. If I were to make it again I would definitely change the spices."

Reviewed Jan. 29, 2011 Edited Sep. 30, 2013

"I made two cakes today-I substituted apples for the pears! This recipe is a KEEPER and I plan to use it as much as possible! I admit that I did make some minor changes to the recipe-I used 2 cups all-purpose flour and I greased and floured the pans to allow for easier removal of the cakes! Lisa Varner, THANK YOU for submitting this recipe! I LOVE IT! Dawn E. Lowenstein"

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