Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake

Desserts & Baking, Holiday Dishes, Recipes

Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake

There are few things that define the holidays more than gingerbread. The smell and taste instantly take me back to my childhood and hours spent putting together (and eating) gingerbread houses. I’ve tried so many different versions of upside down cakes, but never one with gingerbread.  Of course pear and gingerbread seemed like a match made in heaven, and the first taste confirmed my assumption.

Gingerbread spice, vanilla and baking powder

This was my first time using a gingerbread spice that is pre-mixed, and I LOVE it!  The Epicure blend is BANG ON for a gingerbread spice, and meant that I didn’t have to go hunting for the gazillion different spices that are typically in gingerbread.  I’m a big fan of the Epicure line and use their products in most of my recipes.  They are the highest quality out of any products I’ve ever tried, and I love that they are local (from Vancouver Island).

Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake

Makes two 9″ cakes and serves 12-16.



  • 6 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar, divided (I used Rogers Best Brown)
  • 6 medium firm pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 2/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 c. fancy molasses
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder (I used Epicure)
  • 4 tsp. Epicure Gingerbread Spice


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Divide the 6 Tbsp. butter and the brown sugar evenly between two round 9″ baking pans.  Place each pan on a low setting on the stove and cook until the butter is melted.  Stir the brown sugar and butter together until combined and set aside.

Butter and brown sugar in metal baking pan2. Neatly arrange the pears in a circular pattern on the bottom of the pans with the thin or top side to the centre of the pan.  Set the pans aside to prepare the batter.

Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake3. In a small liquid measure combine the boiling water and the baking soda, mix and set aside.

4. In a large mixing bowl using a hand-held electric mixer or Kitchen Aid mixer on medium setting, beat the 1/2 c. butter and 2/3 c. brown sugar together until fluffy.  Add the vanilla and then the eggs one at a time, beating well in between until mixed.  Add in the molasses and salt and continue to mix.  Sift in the flour, baking powder and gingerbread spice and mix until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl to make sure that everything is incorporated.  Slowly add in the water and baking soda mixture and mix again until well combined.

5. Pour the batter, evenly divided, over each pan of prepared pears, gently spreading to even the batter out if needed using a spatula.

6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

7. Remove from the oven, allow to sit for 3-5 minutes, and carefully invert onto two plates or platters of your choice.  The easiest way to do this is to put the plate on top of the pan, and using oven mitts, flip over the pan and carefully remove the pan from the plate once you flip it over.

8. Cool and serve with ice cream or whipped cream if you wish!

Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake

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6 Comments on “Upside-Down Pear Gingerbread Cake”

  1. Janice Ott

    Looks delicious! Going to make for family dinner dessert a week before Christmas.
    Just put in an order with Victorian Epicure for a few items you’ve recommended lately.
    Thanks so much for the great recipes and recommendations.

  2. Janice Ott

    Hi Tori
    I made your cakes this past weekend. It was a hit! Love it! Already shared the recipe with one of my guests! I am NOT a baker…I usually buy a dessert from a local store.
    I enjoyed the experience of making a dessert myself for a change. Will definitely make this recipe again and again and again! Thank you SO much for sharing with your fans!

  3. Tara

    Would love to make this for Christmas dinner (dessert), how many days in advance could it be prepared or should it really be made the same day?

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