Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake Recipe

This upside-down pear gingerbread cake recipe is a delightful fusion of succulent pears, dark molasses, and warming spices. A modern take on the classic, this recipe is a true crowd-pleaser that promises a burst of flavors in every bite.

Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake Recipe
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While most ingredients for this recipe are standard pantry items, molasses and ground cloves may require a trip to the supermarket. Molasses, a thick, sweet syrup derived from sugarcane, gives the gingerbread its signature dark color and rich flavor. Ground cloves add a unique spicy, aromatic note that complements the other spices.

Ingredients for the Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake

Pears: A sweet and juicy fruit that adds natural sweetness and moisture to the cake.

Unsalted butter: Used in both the topping and the cake batter, it provides richness and depth of flavor.

Dark brown sugar: Has a deep, caramel-like flavor that sweetens the cake and the topping.

Ground cinnamon: A warm, sweet spice that enhances the flavor of both the pears and the cake.

All purpose flour: The base of the cake, providing structure.

Baking soda: A leavening agent that helps the cake rise.

Ground ginger: Gives the cake its distinctive spicy flavor.

Ground cloves: Adds a spicy, aromatic note to the cake.

Salt: Enhances the other flavors in the cake.

Molasses: Contributes moisture and the traditional dark color and rich flavor to the gingerbread.

Hot water: Thins the batter and activates the baking soda.

Large egg: Binds the ingredients together.

Pure vanilla extract: Adds a layer of flavor complexity to the cake.

Whipped cream: Served on top of the cake for an extra touch of indulgence.

One reader, Felipa Rohrer says:

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This upside-down pear gingerbread cake recipe is a game-changer! The combination of juicy pears and rich gingerbread is simply divine. The cake is moist, flavorful, and the perfect treat for any occasion. Plus, the presentation is stunning! I highly recommend giving this recipe a try. It's a definite crowd-pleaser!

Felipa Rohrer

Techniques Required for Making Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake

How to prepare the pears: Peel, core, and slice the pears into ⅛-inch thick slices.
How to layer the pears in the pan: Tightly layer the sliced pears in the prepared pan.
How to make the topping: Heat the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture comes together.
How to preheat the oven: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to prepare the gingerbread batter: Whisk together the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately, then combine them to form the gingerbread batter.
How to bake the cake: Bake the cake for around 35 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until it is baked through.
How to invert the cake: Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then invert it onto a serving plate.

How To Make Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake

Gingerbread cake spiced with cloves, cinnamon, and ginger are topped with a juicy concoction of pears and sugar for an irresistible holiday dessert.

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking: 40 minutes
Cool Time: 15 minutes
Total: 1 hour 20 minutes



For Topping:

  • 4firm medium pears
  • ½cupunsalted butter
  • ½cupdark brown sugar,or light brown sugar, packed
  • tspground cinnamon

For Gingerbread Cake:

  • 2cupsall purpose flour,spoon & leveled
  • 1tspbaking soda
  • tspground ginger
  • tspground cinnamon
  • ¼tspground cloves
  • ¼tspsalt
  • ¾cupdark molasses,or unsulphured molasses
  • ¾cuphot water,about 100 degrees F
  • ½cupunsalted butter,softened to room temperature
  • cupdark brown sugar,or light brown sugar, packed
  • 1largeegg,at room temperature
  • 1tsppure vanilla extract

For Serving:

  • whipped cream,or vanilla ice cream


  1. Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking pan. Peel, core, and slice pears into ⅛-inch thick slices.

  2. Tightly layer the pears in the prepared pan. Set aside.

  3. Whisking constantly, heat the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together in a small saucepan over medium heat.

  4. Once butter has melted, vigorously whisk to ensure the butter is not separating from the brown sugar. Once it comes together, pour evenly over pears.

  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  6. Whisk the flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt together. Set aside.

  7. Whisk the molasses and hot water together. Set aside.

  8. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together for about 1 minute on high speed until smooth and creamy.

  9. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract for about 1 minute on high speed until combined. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed.

  10. Turn the mixer off and add the dry ingredients and molasses/water. Turn the mixer on low and mix just until combined. The batter will be a little thick.

  11. Carefully pour/spread batter on top of pears. Bake for around 35 to 45 minutes or until the cake is baked through. 

  12. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then invert cake onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or ice cream.

  13. Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


  • Calories: 353.34kcal
  • Fat: 16.07g
  • Saturated Fat: 9.91g
  • Trans Fat: 0.62g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 4.21g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.81g
  • Carbohydrates: 51.11g
  • Fiber: 2.64g
  • Sugar: 31.44g
  • Protein: 3.10g
  • Cholesterol: 56.17mg
  • Sodium: 173.79mg
  • Calcium: 71.45mg
  • Potassium: 428.62mg
  • Iron: 2.30mg
  • Vitamin A: 136.71µg
  • Vitamin C: 2.57mg

Helpful Technique for Making Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake

When preparing the pears for the topping, make sure to choose firm ones as they hold their shape better during baking. Overripe pears may become too soft and mushy, which can affect the overall texture of the cake. Also, when layering the pear slices in the pan, arrange them tightly and neatly. This will not only make the cake look more appealing when it's inverted, but also ensure an even distribution of pears in every slice.

Time-Saving Tips for Making This Recipe

Prep ahead: Prepare the gingerbread cake batter and topping the night before, then assemble and bake the cake the next day for a time-saving solution.

Use ripe pears: Select ripe pears to reduce the time needed for them to soften during baking, ensuring a quicker overall baking process.

Thinly slice pears: Thinly slicing the pears will reduce the baking time and ensure they are tender and caramelized by the time the cake is done.

Room temperature ingredients: Bring the butter, egg, and molasses to room temperature before starting to save time during the mixing process.

Even layer: Arrange the pear slices in an even layer to ensure they cook uniformly and create a beautiful presentation when the cake is inverted.

Check for doneness: Use a toothpick to check for doneness to avoid overbaking, ensuring the cake is perfectly moist and tender.

Substitute Ingredients For Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake Recipe

  • pears - Substitute with apples: Apples can be used as a substitute for pears in this recipe as they also provide a sweet and slightly tart flavor, and hold up well when baked.

  • dark brown sugar - Substitute with light brown sugar: Light brown sugar can be used as a substitute for dark brown sugar to provide a similar caramel-like flavor, although it may be slightly less intense.

  • ground ginger - Substitute with freshly grated ginger: Freshly grated ginger can be used as a substitute for ground ginger to provide a more intense and fresher ginger flavor in the cake.

  • dark molasses - Substitute with honey: Honey can be used as a substitute for dark molasses to provide a similar level of sweetness and moisture to the cake, although it may have a slightly different flavor profile.

  • whipped cream - Substitute with vanilla ice cream: Vanilla ice cream can be used as a substitute for whipped cream to provide a creamy and sweet accompaniment to the gingerbread cake.

Presenting the Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake

  1. Elevate the plating: When presenting the upside-down pear gingerbread cake, ensure that the plating is elegant and refined. Use edible flowers or gold leaf to add a touch of sophistication to the dish.

  2. Incorporate a sauce design: Create a beautiful sauce design on the plate using caramel sauce or chocolate ganache. This will not only enhance the visual appeal but also add a complementary flavor element to the dessert.

  3. Garnish with precision: Carefully place thinly sliced candied ginger or pear crisps on top of the cake for a delicate and precise garnish that adds texture and visual interest.

  4. Utilize negative space: Embrace the concept of negative space on the plate to allow the dessert to stand out. Ensure that the cake is the focal point while using minimalistic elements to enhance its appeal.

  5. Consider plate shape and color: Choose a plate that complements the colors of the dessert, such as a white porcelain plate to showcase the rich tones of the gingerbread cake and pears.

  6. Balance the elements: Pay attention to the balance of the components on the plate, ensuring that the cake, pears, and any additional elements are arranged harmoniously for a visually striking presentation.

Essential Tools for Making Pear Gingerbread Cake

  • Peeler: A peeler is used to remove the skin from fruits and vegetables, such as pears, in order to prepare them for cooking or eating.

  • Saucepan: A saucepan is a deep cooking vessel with a handle and often a lid, used for heating and cooking ingredients such as butter, sugar, and spices to make the topping for the gingerbread cake.

  • Whisk: A whisk is a kitchen tool used for blending, whipping, and beating ingredients together. It is essential for mixing the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon for the topping, as well as for combining the dry and wet ingredients for the gingerbread cake.

  • 9-inch square baking pan: This baking pan is used to bake the gingerbread cake and is essential for creating the upside-down presentation of the pear gingerbread cake.

  • Handheld or stand mixer: A handheld or stand mixer is used to cream the butter and sugar, beat in the egg and vanilla extract, and mix the batter for the gingerbread cake.

  • Rubber spatula: A rubber spatula is used for scraping down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl to ensure all ingredients are fully incorporated.

  • Oven: The oven is used for baking the pear gingerbread cake at the specified temperature until it is fully cooked.

  • Mixing bowl: A mixing bowl is used for combining and whisking the dry ingredients, as well as for mixing the wet ingredients to make the gingerbread cake batter.

  • 9-inch square baking pan: This baking pan is used to bake the gingerbread cake and is essential for creating the upside-down presentation of the pear gingerbread cake.

  • Small saucepan: A small saucepan is used for heating the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon to make the topping for the pear gingerbread cake.

Storing and Freezing Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake

  • Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The pears will release some liquid as the cake sits, so it's best enjoyed within the first couple days.
  • To freeze, wrap the cake tightly with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place in a heavy-duty freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
  • If you're freezing the cake, it's best to freeze without the whipped cream topping. When ready to serve, defrost the cake and top with freshly whipped cream.
  • Individual slices of the cake can also be frozen. Wrap each slice tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place in a freezer-safe container or bag. Thaw individual slices in the refrigerator or at room temperature before serving.
  • If you have leftover pears, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days. Use them to top oatmeal, yogurt, or ice cream, or blend them into a smoothie.

How To Reheat Leftover Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake

  • To reheat leftover upside-down pear gingerbread cake, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the cake on a baking sheet and cover it loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cake is heated through and the pears are warm and tender. This method helps to preserve the moisture and texture of the cake while reheating.

  • Another option is to reheat individual slices of the cake in the microwave. Place a slice on a microwave-safe plate and heat it on high power for 20-30 seconds, or until warm. Be careful not to overheat the cake, as it may become rubbery or dry. If you prefer a softer texture, place a damp paper towel over the slice before microwaving to help retain moisture.

  • For a quick and easy reheating method, use a toaster oven. Set the toaster oven to 350°F (175°C) and place a slice of the cake on the rack. Heat for 3-5 minutes, or until the cake is warmed through and the pears are slightly caramelized. This method is perfect for achieving a crispy top layer while keeping the interior moist and flavorful.

  • If you have an air fryer, you can use it to reheat your leftover upside-down pear gingerbread cake. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F (175°C) and place a slice of the cake in the basket. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the cake is heated through and the edges are slightly crispy. This method is ideal for those who enjoy a crispy exterior and a soft, warm interior.

  • For a more indulgent reheating experience, warm a slice of the cake in a skillet with a pat of butter. Melt the butter over medium heat and place the slice of cake in the skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until the cake is heated through and the pears are caramelized. This method adds a rich, buttery flavor to the cake and creates a deliciously crispy exterior.

Interesting Fact About Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake

The gingerbread cake is a delightful dessert that combines the warm flavors of ginger and molasses with the sweet juiciness of pears. It's a perfect treat for the fall and winter seasons, and the upside-down presentation adds a touch of elegance to the dish. This dessert is a great way to showcase seasonal fruits and is sure to impress your guests with its beautiful appearance and delicious taste.

Is Making Pear Gingerbread Cake at Home Cost-Effective?

This upside-down pear gingerbread cake recipe offers a moderate cost-effectiveness for a household. The use of common pantry staples and seasonal pears makes it budget-friendly. The warm spices and rich molasses create a delightful flavor profile, making it a worthwhile investment. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $10-$15, depending on the availability and quality of ingredients. The overall verdict rates this recipe at 8 out of 10 for its balance of cost, flavor, and ease of preparation.

Is This Pear Gingerbread Cake Healthy or Unhealthy?

The upside-down pear gingerbread cake recipe, while undeniably delicious, is not the healthiest dessert option. The recipe contains a significant amount of butter, sugar, and molasses, which are all high in calories and can contribute to weight gain and other health issues if consumed in excess. Additionally, the recipe uses all-purpose flour, which is refined and lacks the nutritional benefits of whole grain flours.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Replace half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour or almond flour to increase the fiber and nutrient content
  • Reduce the amount of butter and sugar used in both the topping and the cake batter, or substitute a portion of the butter with unsweetened applesauce or Greek yogurt
  • Use a sugar substitute like stevia or erythritol in place of some of the brown sugar to lower the overall sugar content
  • Incorporate more spices like ginger, cinnamon, and cloves, which have anti-inflammatory properties and can help boost the immune system
  • Serve the cake with a dollop of Greek yogurt instead of whipped cream to add protein and reduce the amount of saturated fat and sugar in each serving

By making these adjustments, you can create a more balanced and nutritious dessert that still satisfies your sweet tooth. Remember, moderation is key, and it's perfectly fine to indulge in a slice of this delicious cake on occasion as part of a well-rounded diet.

Editor's Opinion on This Pear Gingerbread Cake Recipe

This upside-down pear gingerbread cake recipe is a delightful combination of warm spices and sweet pears. The caramelized topping adds a rich, indulgent flavor that perfectly complements the moist gingerbread cake. The use of molasses and a blend of spices creates a depth of flavor that is both comforting and satisfying. The presentation of the upside-down cake adds a touch of elegance to any table. This recipe is a wonderful choice for a cozy dessert or a special occasion. Enjoy it with a dollop of whipped cream for a truly decadent treat.

Enhance Your Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Butternut Squash: Try serving the gingerbread cake with a side of roasted butternut squash, seasoned with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg for a perfect fall flavor.
Balsamic Glazed Brussels Sprouts: For a savory and tangy side, whip up some balsamic glazed Brussels sprouts to complement the sweetness of the gingerbread cake.
Honey Glazed Carrots: Add a touch of sweetness to your meal with honey glazed carrots, providing a colorful and flavorful addition to the upside-down pear gingerbread cake.

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Butternut Squash Risotto: Creamy and comforting, this butternut squash risotto is a delicious way to enjoy the flavors of fall.
Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken: Juicy and flavorful, this roasted chicken is infused with the bright flavors of lemon and garlic, making it a perfect weeknight dinner option.
Pumpkin Spice Latte: Skip the coffee shop and make your own pumpkin spice latte at home with this easy and delicious recipe.
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup: Warm up with a bowl of this creamy tomato basil soup, perfect for a cozy night in during the colder months.

Appetizers and Main Courses to Complement Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake

Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a savory and indulgent appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a flavorful mixture of cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs. The earthy flavor of the mushrooms pairs perfectly with the rich and creamy filling, making it a crowd-pleasing option for any gathering.
Bruschetta: Elevate your appetizer game with a classic bruschetta featuring ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. The combination of juicy tomatoes and aromatic herbs on crispy bread creates a burst of flavor in every bite, making it a refreshing and satisfying starter for any meal.
Main Courses:
Grilled Salmon with Citrus Salsa: Grilled salmon is a delicious and healthy main course option. The combination of the smoky flavor from the grill and the bright, tangy citrus salsa creates a perfect balance of flavors. The salmon is seasoned with a simple blend of herbs and spices to enhance its natural taste, while the citrus salsa adds a refreshing and zesty element to the dish. This dish is perfect for a light and flavorful meal that is sure to impress your guests.
Mushroom Risotto with Truffle Oil: Mushroom risotto is a classic Italian dish that is both creamy and comforting. The earthy flavor of the mushrooms pairs perfectly with the rich and savory risotto, creating a dish that is full of depth and complexity. Drizzling truffle oil over the risotto adds a luxurious and aromatic touch, elevating the dish to a whole new level. This main course is perfect for a cozy night in or a special dinner party, and is sure to leave everyone feeling satisfied and content.

Why trust this Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake Recipe:

This recipe guarantees a delectable dessert experience, combining the sweetness of pears with the warmth of gingerbread. The careful layering of pears and the rich, moist gingerbread cake create a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. The use of dark molasses and a perfect balance of spices ensures a depth of flavor that will delight the taste buds. Trust in the expertise of this recipe to deliver a stunning and memorable dessert that will surely impress your guests.

Share your thoughts and experiences with making the Baking and Desserts Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake Recipe in our forum. We'd love to hear how your cake turned out and any creative twists you might have added to the recipe!
Can I use other fruits instead of pears for this recipe?
Yes, you can definitely use other fruits such as apples, peaches, or even pineapple to create your own unique twist on this gingerbread cake.
Can I substitute molasses with something else?
If you don't have molasses, you can use a combination of dark corn syrup and a small amount of brown sugar as a substitute. This will provide a similar depth of flavor to the cake.
Can I make this cake in advance?
Absolutely! This cake actually tastes even better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld together. You can make it a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator. Just warm it up before serving.
Can I freeze the gingerbread cake?
Yes, you can freeze the gingerbread cake for up to 3 months. Just make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.
Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter?
You can use salted butter, but you may want to reduce the amount of additional salt in the recipe to balance the overall saltiness of the cake.

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