Upside-Down Pear Cake

Total Time
1hr 30mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr

Delicious fall desert when pears and maple sugar are abundant. The original recipes (printed in Bon Appetit, October 1986) calls for granulated maple sugar, but I use brown sugar which is more readily available, and pure maple syrup.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Grease bottom and sides of 9-inch (3" high) round cake pan.
  3. Sprinkle with brown or maple sugar.
  4. Cream 5 tablespoons butter (or margarine) with brown and white sugar.
  5. Add maple syrup and salt.
  6. Spread topping mixture into prepared pan.
  7. Press pear slices into sugar mixture, arranging them in a spoke design.
  8. Set aside while preparing cake batter.
  9. Sift together dry ingredients (flour-cinnamon). Set aside.
  10. In a medium bowl, cream 6 tablespoons and 1 cup brown or maple sugar together until light.
  11. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well.
  12. Add sour cream, beating until smooth.
  13. Mix in maple syrup.
  14. Fold in flour mixture and then walnuts, if using.
  15. Pour batter into prepared pan (over pears).
  16. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  17. Cool 10 minutes.
  18. Run knife around cake and invert cake onto platter, leave pan on cake an additional 5 minutes before removing pan very carefully.
  19. Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream topping (recipe follows).
  20. To make whipped cream topping: Beat cream until soft peaks form.
  21. Add sugar and bourbon, if using.
  22. Continue beating until soft peaks form again.
Most Helpful

5 5

The brown sugar sprinkled in the pan and the topping combine to add a sweet "crunch" when you bite into this cake (when I was actually expecting only a bread-like texture). This cake surprised me with its wonderful flavor. I used Splenda for the white sugar, and ff plain yogurt for the sour cream. I wound up cutting each pear into 8 wedges, which makes a lot of pears! I did have trouble "spreading" the topping in the pan, and finally gave up and just let it be kind of gloppy, but the end result was perfect, regardless. Will definitely make this one again.

5 5

Very good. Shared with friends. Everyone enjoyed it. And made for a stunning presentation. Thank you very much for sharing! I will keep this on-hand for the future.

5 5

This is a very tasty cake. We really enjoyed it. Thanks for posting.