It’s a dark, wintery night and you’re cozied up on the couch, hands wrapped around a steaming mug of tea, listening to the crackling fire and the pitter-patter of gentle rain on the roof, but there’s something missing…until you pull this Caramelised Pear and Ginger Upside Down Cake out of the oven! I firmly believe that one slice of this soft, sweet, sticky cake will solve a significant number of your problems, and will be gladly received by whoever you choose to share it with. This recipe has become a favourite of mine, and I’ve experimented with it over the years to produce this fool-proof version.
The caramelised pears are perfectly offset by the light, fluffy cake, laced with ginger, cinnamon and mixed spice. The method is very straightforward, but the presentation is wonderfully impressive. Serve the cake warm, on its own or accompanied by a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and let your worries melt away in a mouthful of butter, pear, sugar and spice…you’ll thank me later.
Caramelised Pear and Ginger Upside Down Cake
Preparation Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 1/2 hours
- 175 g unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
- 220 g dark brown sugar
- 2 large fresh eggs
- 350 g golden syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 300 g plain flour
- 45 g almond meal
- 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 200 g no/low fat Greek yoghurt
Caramelised Pear Topping
- 75 g melted butter
- 80 g dark brown sugar
- 300 g peeled, 5 mm sliced pears (about 3 pears/750 g whole pears, Bosc pears work best)
- Preheat the oven to 140°C/285°F fan forced. Grease and line a 25cm/10inch round cake tin with baking paper.
- In a large electric mixing bowl, beat the cubed butter and brown sugar for 10 minutes, until pale and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl every 2 minutes with a spatula. Keep beating until the mixture has a pale brown colour and the consistency of soft whipped cream. Meanwhile, pour the melted butter into the base of the cake tin, and sprinkle with the 80 g dark brown sugar for the topping. Lay the pears on top, slightly overlapping each other, starting with a small inner circle and then creating a large outer circle.
- Add the eggs to the creamed butter and sugar, one by one, beating well between each addition. Add the vanilla and golden syrup and beat just to combine.
- Sift all of the dry ingredients into clean mixing bowl. With the electric beater on low speed, alternate between adding the dry ingredients and the yoghurt, spoonful and dollop at a time, until combined. Dollop large spoonfuls of the cake batter over the pears, evenly filling the tin, and then smooth the surface with an offset spatula or butter knife.
- Bake the cake on the oven’s centre rack for 1 hour 10 minutes-1 hour 30 minutes. Check it at the 1 hour mark. The cake is ready when the surface is a dark golden brown but still very soft, and when a metal skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean but moist.
- Leave the cake to cool slightly on a metal cooling rack for 25 minutes. Gently remove the baking paper from the sides. Place a large serving plate face down over the top of the cake, then quickly flip the cake upside down, give it a jiggle, and slide the tin up off the plate. Voila! Serve warm.
Store the cake covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days.