Spiced Pear Upside Down Cake

Yesterday marked the last day before the holiday hustle and bustle starts in our house. Every weekend between now and New Years Day is booked with parties and travel. As much as I love the holidays and seeing all of our family and friends, I am looking forward to a year where we don't have to travel all over the place and can stay home and enjoy the company of our kids. 

I am sure there will come a point in our lives after the kids are grown, we will feel the quiet around the holidays and welcome the travel. But for now, can I have just one laid back holiday?

This cake is my idea of laid back. It is so simple to make and little mess.  Upside down cakes may be the easiest way to present a beautiful homemade dessert, and the options are endless. Do not settle for the traditional canned pineapple and cherries, you can add almost any fresh fruit and have a cake that is practically a work of art with little effort.

Layers of sliced pears with a buttery maple sauce baked and topped with a moist spice cake.

Spiced Pear Upside Down Cake

  • 3 tbs melted butter
  • 3 tbs pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbs light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp water
  • one large pear (any variety, if using small pears, use 2), sliced as thin as possible, skin on seeds removed.
  • 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 2/3 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a small bowl mix melted butter, maple syrup,  brown sugar, water together until combined. 
  3. Spread maple mixture into the bottom of a greased bread loaf pan (or 8 inch round pan).
  4. Arrange sliced pears over the maple mixture.
  5. In a mixing bowl combine 2/3 cup sugar with 1/4 cup softened butter until light and fluffy. 
  6. Mix in egg, buttermilk, vanilla extract, and salt. 
  7. Mix in flour and nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger. 
  8. Spread batter evenly on top of the pears. 
  9. Bake for about 40 minutes (if using loaf pan) 30 for a 8 inch round pan, or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean. 
  10. Allow cake to cool for 5 minutes, run a knife around the edges, and flip on to serving dish.
  11. Serve warm, with whipped cream. (optional)


  1. I say that every year, and luckily we don't have far to travel. But I'd love one hour on Christmas morning alone with Mel and Jordan. Just one hour. #nevergonnahappen LOVE this cake, pinned!

  2. Wow! Every slice of this cake is so beautiful!

  3. I also say it every year, yet the busy weekends and days continue! I tell my hubby all the time I just want things to slow down - but I don't think it will anytime soon! This cake looks fantastic - and unique, thanks for sharing!

  4. This cake is a work of art for sure, so pretty!!!

  5. This looks awesome! My husband is allergic to apples so I'm always looking for desserts that mimic the warmth and spiciness of all those apple desserts. Can't wait to try this!