Bake

Pear & Cardamom Caramel Upside-Down Cake

September 22, 2021
5 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland Prop Stylist: Suzie Myers Food Stylist: Ericka Martins
Author Notes

The winds are changing and autumn is in the air, which means pears are now in season. This warming, comforting cake makes the most of these gems and is just right for this time of year. The pears get softened by the aromatic, cardamom-infused caramel sauce, and the almond-scented sponge with a hint of orange is the perfect partner for sweet fruit. This cake can be enjoyed warm with some cream or ice cream, making it a triumph of contrasts, but it is just as lovely when eaten fully cool.

This cake pan will fit 3½ pears, so buy 4 pears and save the leftover half for a snack!

Note: The recipe calls for superfine (aka caster) sugar, but if you can’t find it, granulated sugar should be a fine substitute. —Chetna Makan

Watch This Recipe
Pear & Cardamom Caramel Upside-Down Cake
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 55 minutes
  • makes One 9-inch cake
Ingredients
  • Caramel
  • 50 grams (3½ tablespoons) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 100 grams (heaping ½ cup) light brown or muscovado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3 1/2 medium Bosc pears, peeled, halved, seeds removed
  • Cake
  • 150 grams (¾ cup) superfine sugar
  • 200 grams (½ cup plus 6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 150 grams (1 cup plus 5 tablespoons) self-rising flour
  • 50 grams (½ cup) blanched, finely ground almonds or almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons orange zest (from 2 to 3 oranges)
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Use butter to grease a 9-inch round springform cake pan.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the 50 grams butter, sugar, and cardamom, swirling the pan until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. Cook for 2 minutes, until the mixture is very smooth, stirring it well with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Carefully pour this into the prepared cake pan and spread evenly with whichever tool you stirred with. Place the prepared pear halves, cut side down, into the caramel.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine all the cake ingredients and whisk for 2 minutes, until the batter is light and creamy. Spoon this mixture carefully over the pears, without disturbing them. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until the cake pulls away from the edges of the pan and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  4. Leave the cake in the pan and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before carefully removing the sides of the springform pan. Place a plate or cake stand on top of the cake, then carefully invert the cake. Enjoy it warm or cold. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • chefrockyrd
    chefrockyrd
  • Rebecca Ollice
    Rebecca Ollice
  • bwarriner
    bwarriner
  • zipper12
    zipper12

4 Reviews

Rebecca O. October 10, 2021
Delicious! I used Anjou pears because they were in my fruit bowl, used cake flour and regular granulated sugar and a tsp of elderflower and no orange zest (which I really truly yearned for but was too lazy to go to the market) and a Square pan. Still awesome! Just proves if you have the will and the basics you will surprise yourself! Thank you
 
chefrockyrd September 29, 2021
I loved seeing Chetna again. She did the same cake around 5 years ago on youtube and has longer hair in the video.
My question is why add more baking powder if the flour she is using is self rising?
 
bwarriner September 26, 2021
I watched the video on YouTube and wanted to make it. Had to buy cardamom and a 9" Springform cake pan. Also my grocer only had Bartlett pears. All that to say it turned out great. I loved it. My wife loved the cake but not the pears (something about the texture), my daughter loved the pears, but thought the cake was too sweet. I think it was perfect, but I'd like to make it again with bosc pears.
 
zipper12 September 29, 2021
Hello! I'm making this tonight and am glad it turned out well for you! Did you use All-purpose flour or self-rising flour? I only have all-purpose and am wondering if I should add some extra baking powder to compensate.