Maple Pear Upside Down Cake

This Pear Upside Down Cake is an incredibly moist and tender cake with amazing fall-inspired flavors of maple, cinnamon, and cardamom. It’s a simple cake with a delicious flavor you’ll love during pear season.

Upside Down Cakes

Upside down cakes became popular in the 1920s… and have origins in my neck of the woods.

The first recorded recipe for a pineapple upside-down cake was published in a 1924 Seattle charity cookbook. It was then called Pineapple Glacé.

By 1925, Gold Medal Flour was publishing the recipe nationwide.

Since the early days of upside-down cakes, home bakers began experimenting with fruits other than pineapple. Today, there are a wide variety of upside-down cake recipes like peaches, apples, berries of all kinds, figs, and even bananas.

One of my favorites is an Upside Down Pear Cake. But most especially when you pair it with maple, butter, cinnamon, and cardamom. It’s utterly delicious!

Bosc pears on a wood stand

Upside Down Pear Cake Ingredients

  • Butter
  • Maple syrup
  • Brown sugar
  • Ripe pears (1 to 2)
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vanilla
  • Large eggs
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder + baking soda + salt
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Milk
  • Sour cream

Choosing Pears for an Upside Down Cake

Both Bartlett pears and Bosq pears work equally well with this upside-down cake recipe. However, bosc pears hold their shape better in baking.

While I’ve used a single layer of thinly sliced pears in this upside-down cake, adding another layer of overlapping pear slices is delicious too!

Baked Pear Upside Down Cake on a Stand

Equipment Needed for Upside Down Pear Cake

This pear cake is a simple, flavorful cake that requires very little equipment to make. Here’s what you need:

  • 9-inch cake pan (I prefer nonstick and round)
  • Parchment paper
  • Mixing bowls
  • Electric mixer (handheld or stand mixer)
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
Top view of Pear Upside Down Cake

How to Make an Upside Down Pear Cake

Preheat the oven to 350° and line a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment or coat with cooking spray.

Step 1: Make Maple Butter Sauce

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a small pan over medium heat; add maple syrup and brown sugar and cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until it has reduced slightly. Remove from the heat and let cool while peeling and slicing the pears.

Pour the maple mixture into the prepared 9-inch baking pan and arrange pear slices over the top.

Fresh sliced pears over maple butter sauce in cake pan

Step 2: Make the Pear Cake Batter

In a large bowl, beat granulated sugar and remaining ½ cup butter until fluffy; 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated, and then stir in the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and cardamom. With the mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in sour cream and carefully spread the batter over the pears.

Step 3: Bake the Pear Cake

Bake until the top is golden brown and the edges pull away slightly from the pan; 45 to 50 minutes. Or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cake and then carefully invert onto a plate, and let cool completely.

When inverting the cake, there will be additional maple sauce that runs over the sides of the cake. As the cake cools, the maple sauce will permeate the crumb make this pear cake even more delicious.

Slice of Pear Upside Down Cake on a White Plate

More Dessert Recipes You’ll Love

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Slice of Pear Upside Down Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream

Pear Upside Down Cake Recipe

Yield: 8 - 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes 45 seconds
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes 45 seconds

This Pear Upside Down Cake is an incredibly moist and tender cake with amazing fall-inspired flavors of maple, cinnamon, and cardamom. It's a simple cake with a delicious flavor you'll love during pear season.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 to 2 pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment or coat with cooking spray.
  2. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a small pan over medium heat; add maple syrup and brown sugar and cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until it has reduced slightly. Remove from the heat and let cool while preparing the pears.
  3. Pour the maple mixture into the prepared 9-inch baking pan and arrange pear slices over the top.
  4. In a large bowl, beat granulated sugar and remaining ½ cup butter until fluffy; 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated, and then stir in the vanilla.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and cardamom. With the mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternating with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in sour cream and carefully spread the batter over the pears.
  6. Bake until the top is golden brown and the edges pull away slightly from the pan; 45 to 50 minutes. Or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the cake and then carefully invert onto a plate, and let cool completely. Cover and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 377Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 79mgSodium: 434mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 2gSugar: 33gProtein: 5g

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2 thoughts on “Maple Pear Upside Down Cake

  1. Steve

    Stupid recipe if you’re not going to list the proportions of ingredients

    1. Specific measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

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