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Upside-down spiced pear cake
Upside-down spiced pear cake


  • 185g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1½ cups caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 ripe pears, cored and cut into wedges
  • 4 eggs
  • 1¾ cups self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup milk

Upside-down spiced pear cake

Ross Dobson
  • Serving size: Serves 10 or more
  • Cooking time: More than 1 hour

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 24cm round cake tin.

Stir 85g butter, ½ cup sugar, vanilla and ginger in a frying pan on medium heat for 1 minute, until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until a light caramel colour. Pour into prepared tin, swirling to coat base. Arrange pear wedges over base of tin.

Using an electric mixer, beat remaining butter and sugar for 4-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Fold into butter mixture alternately with the milk.

Spoon batter over pears in cake tin and smooth surface. Bake for 50-55 minutes, until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Invert onto a cake stand or plate and slice to serve.

Cook's tip

The caramel mixture will set hard in the base of the pan before being baked, then it will soften as the pear and cake cook, giving a deliciously tender, golden result.

From Taste magazine, July 2011.

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