Pear Upside Down Spice Cake

Pear Upside Down Spice Cake

While everyone else is going gaga over apples, I’m into pears.  They’re sweeter, juicier, and2a.jpg there’s something alluring about the shape.  If you get them at just the right time, they’re one of the best fruits of all.  If they’re over or under ripe, even a little bit, they’re awful.  This cake is very moist –thanks to the juicy pears and the Greek yogurt.  I added vanilla bean paste, cardamom, and cinnamon for a deep, spicy flavor.  

The whole thing looks so pretty when it’s done, and it isn’t as hard as it looks.  Baking is not my strength, per se, but this was even pretty easy.  


Total Time:  90 Minutes

Serves: 6-8

Difficulty Level:  Intermediate



2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons cardamom

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon + ½ teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons + 3 tablespoons room temperature butter

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 fresh ripe pears, peeled, cored, and sliced thinly

¾ cup white sugar

2 eggs

2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste

1 cup milk (I used 2%)

½ cup plain Greek yogurt (I used fat free)



  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Butter an 8-inch cake pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon, and ½ teaspoon of the salt into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl, add 3 tablespoons of the room temperature butter, the brown sugar, and the remaining teaspoon of salt. Use a fork to mix them together into a paste consistency.  Spread the mixture evenly on the parchment paper in the cake pan.
  5. Arrange the pears on top of the brown sugar/butter mixture in the pan. Keep them close together, and remember this will be the top of the cake, so you want it to look pretty!
  6. In another large mixing bowl, add the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter and the white sugar. Use an electric hand mixer to beat them together until smooth.  Add the eggs, and beat until smooth.  Add the vanilla bean paste, and beat until smooth.
  7. Slowly add the milk and the Greek yogurt and continue to mix until it’s a smooth consistency.
  8. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in thirds, mixing between each addition.
  9. When the batter is fully incorporated, use a rubber spatula to spread it evenly over the pears. Do it gently so you don’t move the pears around.
  10. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the cake to see if it’s done.  (Don’t go down to the pears).  The toothpick should come out clean.
  11. Allow the cake to cool completely before inverting it onto a serving dish or cake stand.

(Recipe lightly adapted from Fix Feast Flair.)