Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Upside-Down Pear Cake

Growing up, I was very lucky because my mom decided to stay at home to raise her growing brood (I am one of seven children).  One fond memory that I have is when she would get together for coffee with her friends there would always be a delicious assortment of breakfast pastries and coffee cake piled high with crumb topping, this cake is a homage to those memories.  This cake is a hybrid though really, it combines a wonderfully moist white cake that is topped with Bosc pears that have been smothered in caramelized brown sugar.This cake is the perfect answer for either a delicious pastry to serve along brunch or for dessert, just add a dollop of whipped cream.  

Upside-Down Pear Cake
For the Topping
3 pears (Bosc, Anjou, Barlett), peeled and sliced thin
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
1/2 light brown sugar

For the Cake 
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoons salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, separated
1/2 whole milk
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  To make the topping, place brown sugar and butter into a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat.  Allow for sugar to dissolve.   Meanwhile, peel and cut pears, set aside.  Pour sugar mixture into a cake pan, arrange sliced pears in a circular pattern. Set aside.  Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl, set aside.  Using a mixer combine butter, sugar and vanilla extract beating until light and fluffy.  Add the egg yolks and milk and beat until combined. Sift in the flour mixture.  In a separate bowl with clean beaters, whip the egg whites and cream of tarter until stiff peaks form.  Fold into batter.  Gently pour cake batter over the pears making sure not to rearrange them.  Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife is inserted and comes out clean.  Let cool on a rack and then invert onto a plate.  Serve at room temperature.  

*Styling and Photographs by Alison


  1. My mom is one of seven kids too! This cake looks so delicious - I've never tried making an "upside down" cake before!

  2. OMG that first photo!! This looks amazing!! Your mom is the best.

  3. I've never been the biggest fan of pineapple upside down cake but I LOVE pears! I won't pretend that I have it in me to ever make this - but I'd definitely eat it if someone made it for me :)