Upside-Down Pear Spice Cake Recipe

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Our recipe specialists infuse spice cake with cocoa for a deliciously different flavor. The nutty, caramel-pear topping is the crowning touch.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. Bake: 50 min. + cooling
MAKES:8 servings
Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. Bake: 50 min. + cooling
MAKES: 8 servings


  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 medium ripe pears, peeled and thinly sliced
  • CAKE:
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

Nutritional Facts

1 slice equals 620 calories, 30 g fat (15 g saturated fat), 140 mg cholesterol, 594 mg sodium, 83 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 9 g protein.


  1. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Stir in the walnuts, brown sugar, maple syrup and cinnamon until blended. Pour into a greased 9-in. round baking pan. Arrange pear slices in a single layer over walnut mixture.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks; beat well. Stir in vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a small bowl with clean beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually fold into batter. Spoon over pears. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate. Serve warm. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Upside-Down Pear Spice Cake in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2010, p146

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