Saturday, November 17, 2007

Warm Pear Ginger Upside Down Cake

I knew I wanted to try this recipe when I saw it on Peabody's blog. (Yes, another recipe from my favorite blog!) I love pears and the idea of combining that flavor with ginger sounded wonderful. I've also had my eye on this caramelized pear upside-down gingerbread recipe from Williams Sonoma on Katie's blog, but I did not have any cardamom or molasses in my pantry.

You can easily save some time by chopping up the pears like Peabody did, but I decided to peel and slice mine for presentation.

The cake is super moist, and the little bits of candied ginger give it wonderful bursts of flavor as you savor the cake. I had my first slice with caramel sauce (recipe here), but all the rest without it; I honestly felt the cake was better plain. The caramel sauce just obscures the magnificent pear and ginger flavors.

Warm Pear Ginger Upside Down Cake
from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody


½ cup salted butter
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 ripe pears (I used Anjou)
2 tbsp finely chopped candied ginger

To make the topping:
Chop pears into a dice, leaving the skins on; set aside. (I peeled and cut mine into 1/8" slices.)

In a medium saucepan combine butter and sugar and bring to a boil. Take off of heat and whisk just to combine and pour into prepared pan. (This recipe calls for a 9 or 10-inch cake pan with sides that are at least 2 inches tall.) Sprinkle pears all over the pan and then followed by candied ginger. (I arranged my pear slices in a spiral, starting from the center and working my way out.) Set aside.

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp kosher salt
½ cup milk
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp finely chopped candied ginger

To make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350F.

Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and beat for another 30 seconds.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. To the butter mixture, add the flour mixture in 3 increments, the milk in two, starting and ending with the flour, beating on low speed between each addition. Stir in the vanilla and candied ginger. Pour the batter evenly over the pears. Bake for about 45 minutes if using a 10-inch pan and about 55 minutes for a 9-inch. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and immediately invert onto a large cake plate. Let cool for about 15 minutes.


  1. Oh my gosh YUM!!! That looks so good. The goey juices running down the side of the cake are making me drool!!

  2. Looks delicious. I can't wait to make one of these. Your photography is great too.

  3. Looks delicious. I can't wait to make one of these. Your photography is great too.

  4. I'm glad you took the time to fan out the pears instead of being lazy like looks lovely that way.