Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

PEAR UPSIDE-DOWN CAKEI love the way gingerbread—with its delicious combination of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and molasses—makes the kitchen smell festive during the holidays, so I came up with another reason to bake it. Here, I added pears, which makes this cake super moist, while the cast-iron skillet gives it a chewy edge that’s to die for.

  • Yield: 4 to 6 Servings


  • ½ cup (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 0.175 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 4 Anjou or Bartlett pears, peeled, halved, and cored (it’s best if all of
  • the pears are about the same size)
  • 2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 1 cup boiling water
How to Make It
  1. Prepare the pears: Melt the butter in a cast-iron skillet set over medium heat. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the melted butter. Without stirring, allow the sugar to partially melt, 3 minutes. Place the pears, cut-side down, in the skillet and let cook for 3 minutes. Carefully turn the pears over so the cut side is facing up and arrange them evenly in a spoke design with the thinner stem end toward the middle of the skillet and the fatter end facing the outside. Cook until the pears start to sizzle, 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. Make the cake: In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the butter, egg, and molasses on high speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and around the bottom of the bowl. Beat on high speed for 1 more minute. Add the sifted flour mixture along with the boiling water. Beat on low speed just to combine. Scrape down the sides and around the bottom of the bowl. Beat on high speed for 30 seconds. Carefully pour the batter over the pears, keeping them in the spoke pattern.
  5. Bake until a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Let the cake cool on a rack for 15 minutes before loosening the edges and turning it out onto a rimmed cake plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Comments are closed.