Cardamom-Spiced Upside Down Pear Cake Recipe

This caramelised, fragrant cardamom-spiced upside down pear cake is just the thing for a chilly day, especially served hot.

This is a great cake to make if you want a quick but delicious dessert – the buttery, soft sponge and caramelised, cardamom-scented pears are a sublime combination. The sponge itself is lightly spiced with cardamom and a little cinnamon too, making this cardamom-spiced upside down pear cake extra-cosy in flavour.

This is one of the rare times I specify to not line your baking pan – just butter or oil it well and the cake will come right out. Just make sure you don't let the cake go completely cold before you turn the cake out, or the caramel could go solid and cause the cake to stick to the pan.

You can also watch me make this on YouTube:

Ready? Let's go.

Ingredients for Topping:

50g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
50g light muscovado sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom
4–6 small pears, peeled, halved and cored

Ingredients for Cake Batter:

115g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
115g caster sugar
2 eggs
115g self-raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, and grease an 8" round cake pan generously with vegetable oil or a little extra unsalted butter (no need to line with baking paper).

2. From the toppings ingredients, cream the butter and muscovado sugar together until well combined, and spread evenly on the bottom of the pan. Place the pears cut-side-down on top of the butter-sugar mixture, packing the pears in as closely as possible.

3. To make the sponge, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, and beat the eggs and vanilla in. Whisk in the flour, salt and spices until just combined, and spread evenly over the pears.

4. Place the cake pan on a lined baking sheet to catch drips, and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cake is puffy and golden.

5. Cool the cake a little for five minutes before flipping out onto a serving place while still hot. Slice and serve warm with cream or ice cream.

Enjoy, and have fun


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