Gingerbread Pear Upside Down Cake

3:42 PM

Warm gingerbread cake baked in a skillet on top of a sweet mixture of caramelized pears and flipped over to a stunning presentation, fancy enough for a Thanksgiving dessert.



Gingerbread Pear Upside Down Cake


The pairing of gingerbread and pears brings this cake to the forefront for the fall.   The pears hold up really well and play nicely with the cake's warm spices.



Upside down cakes are famous here in the south, pineapple being the most traditional.   This Gingerbread Pear Upside Down Cake tastes and looks impressive and is made using a simple shortcut to save time and effort in the kitchen.

The cake is moist and dense, just like I like it.  Usually, gingerbread cakes get better with age, but you will want to eat this cake in a day or two since the pears begin to soften.  The structure of the pears changes when cooked more than other fruits used in upside down cakes, such as pineapple, peaches, and apples.

Serve thick slices of cake at a dinner party dessert or as an indulgent brunch dish with a cup of coffee. 


Warm gingerbread cake baked in a skillet on top of a sweet mixture of caramelized pears and flipped over to a stunning presentation, fancy enough for a Thanksgiving dessert.


WHERE CAN I FIND THE RECIPE?  TAKE ME TO THE RECIPE FOR GINGERBREAD PEAR UPSIDE DOWN CAKE.


Below under the next heading, I give a list of preferred ingredients, tips, and cooking instructions for the Ginger Pear Upside Down Cake and similar recipe ideas you can have.



Or you can scroll down to the bottom, where you will find a full printable recipe card with amounts of the ingredients and complete instructions with notes.


GINGERBREAD PEAR UPSIDE DOWN CAKE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


What pears are best for baking?  I like to use Bartlett's or Bosc pears.  I usually buy my pears at SAMS.

Do I have to peel pears for baking?  No, it is not necessary to peel the pears.  The skin on the variety I mentioned above is thin and softens when baked.

Can I use white sugar instead of brown sugar?  I recommend using brown sugar for this recipe.  It adds to the caramelizing of the pears while baking and makes them more delicious.

Can I make this upside down cake gluten free?  I have not made this gluten free, but I do not see why not.  Use a quality brand of gluten free cake mix such as Pillsbury.



Warm gingerbread cake baked in a skillet on top of a sweet mixture of caramelized pears and flipped over to a stunning presentation, fancy enough for a Thanksgiving dessert.


WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE GINGERBREAD PEAR UPSIDE DOWN CAKE 


  • Large 10" Cast Iron Skillet or Ovenproof Skillet.  Cast iron skillet retains good heat to ensure a more even caramelization while baking.
  • Butter.  As the butter melts with the brown sugar, it produces delicious buttery pears.
  • Brown Sugar.  It is sprinkled over the melted butter.  The combination creates an irresistible caramelization.
  • Pears.  Use ripe pears that will not smash when pressed with the thumb but hold the shape.  The skin is soft enough to leave on for this recipe.
  • Spice Cake Mix.  Use any 15.5 oz. box cake mix.  The cake mix I used will have all the added spices to make the cake delectable.
  • Ground Ginger and Cardamom (optional).  I added a 1/2 teaspoon of each to enhance the gingerbread flavor profile.
  • Molasses.  I wanted to provide more of a gingerbread profile, so I added the molasses.
  • Water.  I used hot water but not boiling it to thin out the molasses and deliver an easier mixing of all the ingredients.
  • Whole Eggs.  Three at room temperature is what the cake mix calls for. 

Warm gingerbread cake baked in a skillet on top of a sweet mixture of caramelized pears and flipped over to a stunning presentation, fancy enough for a Thanksgiving dessert.


HOW TO MAKE GINGERBREAD PEAR UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

  


  • Heat the oven to 350 degrees. F.  Place the butter in a large cast iron skillet and heat in the oven until the butter is melted.
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the butter.
  • Cut the pears in half and remove the core.  Cut pears lengthwise into thin slices.
  • Arrange pear slices over the brown sugar, slightly overlapping them in a circle around the skillet; set aside.
  • Prepare the batter.  Add the cake mix, ground ginger, and cardamom to a large bowl.  Whisk with a large whisk until the ingredients are incorporated into the cake mix.
  • Add the oil and eggs and mix well.  The batter will be thick.
  • Add the molasses to the hot water and stir until well mixed.
  • Add the molasses mixture to the cake mix batter.  Stirring slowly at first until all is well combined.
  • Stir rapidly and pour immediately over the pears in the skillet.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.  A few crumbs on the toothpick are ok but not wet.
  • Let rest for 10-15 minutes and invert on a serving platter.  Do not let the cake sit in the skillet any longer.  If the pears do not release, use a thin spatula and arrange on the cake where they go.


Warm gingerbread cake baked in a skillet on top of a sweet mixture of caramelized pears and flipped over to a stunning presentation, fancy enough for a Thanksgiving dessert.


GINGERBREAD PEAR UPSIDE DOWN CAKE TIPS AND TIDBITS 


  • Inverting the cake.  It is easy, but timing is essential.  If the cake is hot out of the oven, the pear slices are too juicy to flip.  And if the cake is too cool, the pear slices begin to get sticky and stick to the skillet.  Cool the cake for 10-15 minutes, and the cake will invert easily.
  • Brown sugar is a must.  It's what gives the pears that caramelized flavor.  Do not substitute with any other sugar.
  • Toppings are optional.  Truly this cake can stand alone on its own.  But there is no judging here to pair this cake with a scoop of ice cream, whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce, or a dusting of powdered sugar to make it even more decadent.
  • Leftovers.  I recommend storing the cake under a cake dome.  If you want that taste just out of the oven, the cake warms nicely in the microwave for 20 seconds.

Warm gingerbread cake baked in a skillet on top of a sweet mixture of caramelized pears and flipped over to a stunning presentation, fancy enough for a Thanksgiving dessert.

 

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Kay Little
Kay Little

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