Prep 30 mins
Cook 40 mins
For this cake you will need a well-seasoned 10-inch cast iron skillet or a nonstick oven-proof skillet, with an oven-proof handle, I make all of my up-side down cakes in a cast iron skillet, and I would really suggest to use one if you have one. Although this may look like a lot of prep, it really takes little effort to make this oustanding moist cake, you will be making this all of the time, it is one of the best upside-down cakes I have made, and I have made many! This is a great cake to make ahead to serve to your guests after a fancy holiday dinner, although I would suggest to make two of these cakes if you are serving more than 6 people.
- 3 firm pears, peeled and cored and cut into 8 wedges (cut EACH pear into 8 wedges, you should have 24 wedges in all)
- 59.14 ml butter
- 177.44 ml light brown sugar
- 591.47 ml flour
- 7.39 ml baking soda
- 4.92 ml cinnamon
- 4.92 ml ginger powder
- 2.46 ml clove
- 1.23 ml salt
- 236.59 ml molasses (use a light coloured molasses)
- 236.59 ml boiling water
- 118.29 ml butter, softened
- 118.29 ml light brown sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Melt butter in a skillet (the same sillet you will be making the cake in) over medium heat; reduce to low, then sprinkle brown sugar over the bottom of the skillet and cook WITHOUT stirring for 3 minutes (not all of the sugar will be melted).
- Then arrange the pear slices decoratively over the sugar and cook without touching for 2 minutes; remove from heat.
- To make the cake: set oven to 350 degrees, and set oven rack to middle position.
- Mix together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt in a bowl.
- Whisk together molasses and boiling water in a small bowll.
- Beat together butter, brown sugar and egg in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy (about 2 minutes).
- Alternatley mix in flour mixture and molasses on low speed.
- Pour the batter over the pear topping in the skillet, spreading evenly (be careful not to disturb pears).
- Bake for about 40-50 minutes.
- Cool cake in skillet on a rack for 5 minutes.
- Run a thin knife around edge of skillet then invert a large plate with a "lip" over the skillet and press tightly together.
- Invert cake onto plate.
- Replace any pears that stick to skillet.
- Serve warm or room temperature.
I also found this recipe in a magazine long ago and kept it. I'm glad to see it here! I do double the spices, and typically use only 3/4 cup molasses. This recipe is delicious and beautiful to look at! I serve it with vanilla whipped cream. And I would recommend putting a sheet pan under it in the oven. It makes a very full pan!
I originally saw this recipe in a magazine years ago, and I make it all the time! Big favorite in my family. If you don't have a cast-iron skillet or don't fancy scraping cake bits off yours, a nonstick frying pan works beautifully. Just cover any plastic or otherwise non-ovenproof handle with a couple thicknesses of tinfoil to protect it in the oven.