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Upside-Down Pear And Almond Cake Recipe

upside down pear cake on plate
upside down pear cake on plate - Tanika Douglas/Mashed

Picture this: perfectly caramelized pears adorning the top of a moist, almond-rich cake — achieved with minimal effort. This upside-down pear and almond cake by recipe developer Tanika Douglas is the result. Whether served as a birthday cake, at a dinner party, or as a simple morning snack with a cup of tea, this cake is truly versatile. Plus, the theater of flipping the baked cake out of the pan and onto the serving plate is also a great way to impress a hungry crowd. "I absolutely adore this beautiful upside-down pear and almond cake," says Douglas. "It's incredibly delicious, and the warmth of the cinnamon adds a unique depth to the sweet pears."

This impressive yet simple cake starts with homemade caramel, which you'll pour into a cake pan and top with fresh pear slices. A fluffy, easy-to-make batter is spooned on top of the pears before baking, during which the rich caramel envelops the pears and creates an eye-catching, sticky-sweet topping. While many cake recipes use flour as the primary ingredient, this one has a different star: "I love using almond meal in this, as it gives a wonderfully nutty richness and moist texture to the cake," Douglas says.

Read more: 12 Popular Ice Cream Brands, Ranked Worst To Best

Gather The Ingredients For Upside-Down Pear And Almond Cake

ingredients for the recipe
ingredients for the recipe - Tanika Douglas/Mashed

In this upside-down pear and almond cake, ripe pears — any variety you like — take center stage, infusing the cake with a natural sweetness that complements the hearty almonds. "Sometimes I have old pears in the fridge that are scratched or rough around the edges, and this recipe is my favorite way to use them up," Douglas says. "The caramelization of the pears softens them beautifully, and they become velvety and moreish."

In addition to the pears, you will also need basic baking ingredients including sugar, unsalted butter, eggs, milk, all-purpose flour, baking powder, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Almond meal adds nuttiness and bulk to the batter. It's generally available in the baking or health food aisle of the supermarket, or it can be made at home. To make this cake vegan, the butter can be substituted with margarine, and the milk for a plant-based variety like oat milk.

Step 1: Preheat The Oven

stainless steel oven turned on
stainless steel oven turned on - Tanika Douglas/Mashed

Preheat oven to 360 F.

Step 2: Grease And Line A Cake Pan

springform cake pan lined with parchment paper
springform cake pan lined with parchment paper - Tanika Douglas/Mashed

Grease a 9-inch springform cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Step 3: Slice The Pears

sliced pears on wood cutting board
sliced pears on wood cutting board - Tanika Douglas/Mashed

Slice 2 pears lengthwise into 8 wedges each, removing and discarding the cores.

Step 4: Cut A Circle From The Third Pear

circle shaped cut of pear in hand
circle shaped cut of pear in hand - Tanika Douglas/Mashed

Slice the other pear in half, remove the core, and cut out a circular shape. Set all the pear pieces aside.

Step 5: Add The Sugar And Water To A Saucepan

hand pouring sugar into saucepan
hand pouring sugar into saucepan - Tanika Douglas/Mashed

Add ¾ cup sugar and ¾ cup water to a medium saucepan and place over medium-high heat.

Step 6: Cook The Caramel

caramel bubbling in saucepan
caramel bubbling in saucepan - Tanika Douglas/Mashed

Bring to a boil and cook, without stirring, for 15 minutes, or until a dark golden caramel forms.

Step 7: Pour The Caramel Into The Cake Pan

caramel sauce in lined cake pan
caramel sauce in lined cake pan - Tanika Douglas/Mashed

Immediately pour caramel into the prepared cake pan.

Step 8: Arrange The Pear Slices On Top

pear slices in cake pan
pear slices in cake pan - Tanika Douglas/Mashed

Arrange pear slices on top of the caramel around the perimeter of the pan, adding the round piece to the center. Set aside.

Step 9: Beat The Sugar And Butter

creamed butter and sugar in bowl
creamed butter and sugar in bowl - Tanika Douglas/Mashed

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment, combine butter and remaining ¾ cup sugar until light and fluffy.

Step 10: Add Eggs, Milk, And Vanilla Extract

stand-mixer beating cake batter
stand-mixer beating cake batter - Tanika Douglas/Mashed

Add eggs 1 at a time, beating between each addition, followed by the milk and vanilla extract.

Step 11: Combine The Dry Ingredients

dry flour mixture in bowl with fork
dry flour mixture in bowl with fork - Tanika Douglas/Mashed

In a separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and almond meal.

Step 12: Mix The Wet And Dry Ingredients

adding flour mixture to bowl of stand mixer
adding flour mixture to bowl of stand mixer - Tanika Douglas/Mashed

Add almond meal mixture to the egg mixture and beat until well combined.

Step 13: Transfer The Cake Batter To The Pan

unbaked cake batter in cake pan
unbaked cake batter in cake pan - Tanika Douglas/Mashed

Spoon cake batter on top of the pears, smoothing it over with a spatula.

Step 14: Bake The Cake Until Golden Brown

golden brown cake in cake pan
golden brown cake in cake pan - Tanika Douglas/Mashed

Place cake into the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

Step 15: Flip The Cooled Cake Onto A Serving Plate, And Enjoy

upside down pear cake on plate
upside down pear cake on plate - Tanika Douglas/Mashed

Allow cake to rest at room temperature in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping onto a plate and serving.

Can I Make Almond Meal From Scratch?

upside down pear cake on plate cut open
upside down pear cake on plate cut open - Tanika Douglas/Mashed

You can absolutely make almond meal at home. "Almond meal is one of my favorite ingredients, but sometimes I run out. Luckily, I usually have whole almonds, which means I can blend up some almond meal without having to leave the house," Douglas says. Begin by gathering raw almonds. To remove the skins, blanch the almonds in boiling water for about a minute, then drain and cool. Once cooled, peel off the skins and thoroughly dry the peeled almonds using a clean kitchen towel, making sure they are completely dry to avoid a pasty consistency in the end product. Next, pulse the peeled and dried almonds in a food processor until they reach a fine, powdery texture. Be cautious not to over-process, as this can turn the almond meal into almond flour, then into almond butter.

Making almond meal from scratch is a straightforward process, requiring just one ingredient. As simple as it may be, almond meal adds a distinctively wholesome nuttiness and hearty, moist consistency to many recipes. Store your homemade almond meal in an airtight container in the refrigerator to maintain its quality.

Can I Use Gluten-Free Flour Instead Of Regular Flour For Almond Cake?

upside down pear cake on plate
upside down pear cake on plate - Tanika Douglas/Mashed

Douglas confirms that this cake works just as well when made with gluten-free flour instead of wheat flour. "My celiac and gluten-free friends absolutely adore this cake, so I often make it for birthdays and special occasions," she shares. "It's also brilliant when served with a side, like gingerbread ice cream."

To convert this recipe, simply substitute the all-purpose flour with a 1:1 ratio of gluten-free all-purpose flour. Buckwheat flour can also be used, though it will give more of an earthy, deeply nutty flavor to the cake. If neither of those options are available, the flour can be swapped for more almond meal. It's important to ensure that your baking powder is also gluten-free; most brands are these days, but that's not always the case. You can make your own gluten-free baking powder by combining baking soda, cream of tartar, and a starch, such as arrowroot or cornstarch.

Upside-Down Pear And Almond Cake Recipe

upside down pear cake slice on plate
upside down pear cake slice on plate - Tanika Douglas/Mashed

Prep Time: 15mCook Time: 1hYield: 8 servingsIngredients

  • 3 pears

  • 1 ½ cups sugar, divided

  • 11 tablespoons (1 stick + 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter

  • 3 eggs

  • ⅓ cup milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 3 teaspoons baking powder

  • 2 cups almond meal

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 360 F.

  2. Grease a 9-inch springform cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

  3. Slice 2 pears lengthwise into 8 wedges each, removing and discarding the cores.

  4. Slice the other pear in half, remove the core, and cut out a circular shape. Set all the pear pieces aside.

  5. Add ¾ cup sugar and ¾ cup water to a medium saucepan and place over medium-high heat.

  6. Bring to a boil and cook, without stirring, for 15 minutes, or until a dark golden caramel forms.

  7. Immediately pour caramel into the prepared cake pan.

  8. Arrange pear slices on top of the caramel around the perimeter of the pan, adding the round piece to the center. Set aside.

  9. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment, combine butter and remaining ¾ cup sugar until light and fluffy.

  10. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating between each addition, followed by the milk and vanilla extract.

  11. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and almond meal.

  12. Add almond meal mixture to the egg mixture and beat until well combined.

  13. Spoon cake batter on top of the pears, smoothing it over with a spatula.

  14. Place cake into the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

  15. Allow cake to rest at room temperature in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping onto a plate and serving.

Read the original article on Mashed.