This simple Pear Upside Down Cake combines sweet and tender pears with so many rich and robust flavors!

Molasses and gingerbread spice make this upside-down cake into an unforgettably delicious treat! So moist and delicious, this pear cake is the perfect treat for company, or any special occasion, and one that is sure to impress. Anyone who loves to bake, and enjoys something unique for dessert, will be sure to enjoy creating this recipe. With delicious caramelized fruit on the top, it’s a treat that is always enjoyed by anyone who is lucky enough to try it!

taking a slice from Pear Upside Down Cake

Pear Upside Down Cake!

  • Decidedly retro, upside-down cakes are baked with the fruit on the bottom and then they’re flipped over, showcasing the caramelized fruit on the top.
  • This quick and easy pear cake recipe makes anyone look like a professional baker since the topping is baked into the cake, no need for frosting!
  • Pear upside-down cake is dense and rich. Delicious served as a coffee cake, snack cake, or an elegant dessert. This recipe is perfect for last-minute company or a weekend brunch get-together!

pears , flour , molasses , butter , sugar , spices and eggs with other ingredients to make Pear Upside Down Cake with labels

Ingredients & Variations

PEARS: D’Anjou pears are more firm than Bartletts, but any variety will do. Other fruits to sub in for, or use in combination with, pears are apples, peaches, or plums. Arrange fruit with chopped walnuts, pecans, or sliced almonds, if desired.

CAKE BATTER: This cake has deep and robust flavors from the molasses and gingerbread spice that accent the sweet pears. For a lighter version, use maple syrup as a substitute for molasses. And if a gluten-free cake is called for, use any gluten-free blend and adapt the baking powder and baking soda accordingly.

SEASONINGS: Experiment with other robust seasoning blends like apple pie spice, pumpkin spice, gingerbread spice or freshly grated ginger, if desired.

adding slices pears to pan to make Pear Upside Down Cake

How to Make Pear Cake


  1. Melt butter and brown sugar in pans, slice pears and arrange over butter mixture.
  2. Set aside.


  1. Prepare cake batter as directed in the recipe below.
  2. Divide batter evenly over pans and bake.
  3. Cool, cover with a plate, and flip each cake over.
  4. Dust the top of cooled cakes with powdered sugar. Or serve with a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream, or a drizzle of caramel or chocolate sauce, if desired.

Bundt Cake Option:

  1. Generously grease and flour bundt pan (or use pan release). Layer pear slices along the bottom with parts coming up the sides.
  2. Prepare batter, as directed in the recipe below, and pour it into the Bundt cake pan.
  3. Bake and cool as directed.

NOTE: Depending on the size of pan, not all batter may be needed. Simply bake a few cupcakes with the extra!

adding batter to cake pan to make Pear Upside Down Cake

Tips & Tricks for Perfect Pear Cake

  • Start with room temperature butter and eggs.
  • Be sure baking powder and baking soda are still fresh so the cake rises properly. When in doubt, start with a brand new box.
  • Use a generous amount of butter as this will help the pears caramelize and keep them from sticking to the pan.

cooked Pear Upside Down Cake on a plate

Storing Pear Cake

Keep leftover pear upside-down cake in a covered container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for about 3 to 4 days. Serve chilled or heat slices in the microwave.

This easy recipe makes one cake to enjoy and one to freeze for future desserts! Simply wrap the chilled cake in plastic, and again with foil, then freeze for up to 4 weeks. Allow it to thaw at room temperature before slicing.

Pear Upside Down Cake slice with a bite taken out

Other Easy Cake Recipes To Try!

taking a slice from Pear Upside Down Cake
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Pear Upside Down Cake

For a unique and delicious dessert, give this pear cake recipe a try!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cool 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 16 servings
Author Candace



  • 6 Tablespoons butter divided
  • ½ cup brown sugar packed, divided
  • 6 ripe pears *, peeled, cored, and sliced ¼" thick



  • Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  • Add 3 Tablespoons butter and ¼ cup brown sugar to each of two 9 inch round baking pans.
  • Place pans in the oven until butter melts, then remove and stir sugar and butter together.
  • Arrange the pear slices in a circular pattern on top of the sugar butter mixture, with the bottom end of the pear on the outside of the pan. Pears will overlap. Set aside.

To Make The Cake

  • In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix boiling water and baking soda together. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, gingerbread spice, and baking powder. Set aside.
  • Using a stand mixer and bowl**, add ½ cup butter, ⅔ cup brown sugar, and mix on medium until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add vanilla, then one egg at a time. Beat after each egg until well combined. Add molasses and salt, and mix until well combined.
  • Reduce to low speed and slowly add flour mixture until combined, scraping the bowl.
  • Keep mixer on low speed and slowly add water and baking soda mixture. Mix well.
  • Distribute batter evenly and carefully over the pears in each pan. Spread if needed.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until a or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool for about 5 minutes. Run a knife around cake to release from the pan. Place a plate or platter upside down on top of each pan. Use oven mitts to hold the plate and pan together, then flip over. Gently lift pan to release the cake.
  • Serve warm, or room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream if desired.


*Bartlett pears or any variety will work
**A hand mixer can also be used with a large mixing bowl.
  • Use room temperature butter and eggs, as well as fresh baking powder and baking soda for best results.
  • Refrigerate cake, or store at room temperature, in a covered container for about 3 to 4 days. Freeze cooled cake wrapped in plastic, and then in a zippered bag or with foil, for up to 4 weeks.
  • Thaw frozen cake before slicing and serve chilled, or reheat covered with foil, in the oven or the microwave.
5 from 6 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 333 | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 329mg | Potassium: 446mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 358IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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Pear Upside Down Cake and a slice plated with writing

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Recipe from Fraiche Living



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About the author

I am a wife, mother of two, and professional accountant. I love fantastic food, and it is so often the center of our lives, from everyday dinner, to family gatherings, and special evenings at fabulous restaurants. I have always loved cooking and baking, with my mom and grandma, and now, with my daughter and son. I love trying new recipes while enjoying my favorites too. I’m so happy to share them with you.
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