Pear Upside Down Cake puts a seasonal twist on a traditional favorite. Swapping pineapple for sweet and juicy pears delivers lots of festive flavor. Not to mention a stunning presentation that is perfect for your holiday table. This post has been sponsored by National Pear Month by USAPears, however all opinions are 100% my own.
Whenever I bake an upside down cake, it feels like I'm performing a magic trick. Flipping the pan over to reveal the beautifully arranged sliced fruit is one of those "oooooh, ahhhhhh" moments for me. And I know I'm not alone. Dating back to the 1930s, when cakes were mostly baked in cast iron skillets, the upside down cake has long been a beloved dessert.
This Pear Upside Down cake is moist and sweet, with cozy and comforting flavor of cinnamon and Chinese Five Spice. And the caramelization of the pear is truly delectable. So pretty and so tasty, this is one sweet treat you'll be coming back to again and again, all season long.
Different Varieties of Pears for Baking
There are many different pear varieties available, it can be difficult to know which types work best for baking. Here are my recommendations for which varieties to use when making Pear Upside Down Cake.
- The Anjou pear is great all-purpose pear. Equally great for eating or using for baking.
- Asian pears are crunchy and firm, similar to an apple. They are excellent choice for baking.
- Probably the most well-known variety, Bartlett pears are sweet, soft and delicious. However, they tend to bruise and get mushy fairly easily. If you want to bake with them use them when they are not fully ripe.
- Bosc pears have a distinctive look and hold up well when poached or baked.
- The Comice pear is also known as the Christmas pear since their peak season is during the holiday months. Creamy and juicy, they are often included in holiday gift baskets.
How Can You Tell if a Pear is Ripe?
To see if a pear is ripe, simply push gently on the flesh near the stem (also referred to as the neck of the pear) with your thumb. If it yields to pressure and feels slightly soft, it is ripe and ready to eat.
Store your unripe pears at room temperature so that they can fully ripen. To speed up the ripening process, place your pears in a paper bag.
More Delicious Cake Recipes
If you love this Pear Upside Down Cake, you'll want to check out this Gingerbread House Cake, my recipe for Apple Cake, and this Red Velvet Christmas Cake.
For more information about pears, visit USAPears.com.
- ¼ cup butter melted
- ½ cup brown sugar firmly packed
- 1 large pear peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- ½ cup butter softened to room temperature
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs room temperature preferred
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
- ½ cup buttermilk
Heat oven to 350°F. In an 8 or 9-inch round cake pan, melt butter in oven. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over butter. Arrange pear slices on brown sugar.
To make the cake base, cream butter and brown sugar until soft and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl in between. Beat on medium high speed until eggs are fully incorporated.
Beat in vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and Chinese five spice.
Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, while alternately adding buttermilk. Beat on low until just combined.
Spread batter evenly over pears.
Bake for 22-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately run knife around side of pan to loosen cake. Place heatproof serving plate upside down onto pan; turn plate and pan over. Cool 30 minutes. Serve warm or cool. Store covered in refrigerator.
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