Recipe: Maple Pear Upside Down Cake

Maple Pear Upside Down Cake

I know what your thinking, She burnt the cake. I thought I did too. I was overdoing the multi-tasking this morning and smelled the sugar burning from the third floor of my house. I ran downstairs and thought I totally screwed the cake up. I pulled it out of the oven annoyed at myself that I didn’t just make the cake when I had more time. I took a few photos for whatever reason. Made some whip cream that I also overwhipped. Again, answering e-mails from the third floor with the Kitchen Aid mixer on full blast in the kitchen. I know better but I was having one those, I just have to get it done moments.

I sampled a slice with my butter like whip cream and to my surprise it was delicious. Not burnt at all. How can a cake that looks burnt not be burnt you ask? Maybe the top is so dark because of the maple syrup grade and the dark brown sugar I used. Who cares anyway, it’s delicious. I should have layered the pears more but besides that it’s awesome. All my favorite flavors of fall: maple, brown sugar, vanilla, and pears.

Recipe adapted from Mark Bittman. Watch a how to video on the

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

11 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 to 4 pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a small pan over medium heat; add maple syrup and brown sugar and cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil and cook for another 2 minutes; remove from heat and set aside. When mixture has cooled a bit, pour it into a 9-inch baking pan and arrange pear slices in an overlapping circle on top.

2. With a handheld or standing mixer, beat remaining 8 tablespoons butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, one egg at a time, continuing to mix until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in three batches, alternating with milk; do not overmix. Carefully spread batter over pears, using a spatula to make sure it is evenly distributed. Bake until top of cake is golden brown and edges begin to pull away from sides of pan, about 45 to 50 minutes; a toothpick inserted into center should come out clean. Let cake cool for 5 minutes.

4. Run a knife around edge of pan; put a plate on top of cake and carefully flip it so plate is on bottom and pan is on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pears in Bottom of Pan

Cake Batter On Top Of Pears

Maple Pear Upside Down Cake

Related Posts:
Recipe: Homemade Apple Cider Doughnuts
Recipe: Real Maine Whoopie Pies

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

You may also like


  1. I made this cake today after seeing it on your blog. It was delicious! I realized too late that the way to fan out the pear slices is by starting in the middle (but now I know!). So I just put my three pears worth of slices haphazardly in a big pile. It was delicious and moist (and a very light golden color). I used a silicon pan and it popped right out. Thanks for sharing the recipe — everyone loved it over here :)


  2. This looks delicious, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the haphazard placement of the pears…it’s nice, actually.
    I have a decorating on a budget question for you, but each attempt to email you has gone nowhere because I don’t it takes me directly to the mac mail application, which I don’t have set up on my computer. Would you mind to let me know your address, so that I can be in touch? You can reach me at Thanks!


  3. Yay, I see white space! Much easier on the eyes. Thanks so much. Now I can focus on baking that cake! ;-)


  4. I had forgotten this recipe…it used to be part of my best loved deserts. In my recipe you cut the pears in half not slices so that you end up with those hollows(where the core was) full of all the good goop…yes… we used to fight over those middles!…and btw…did you ever try using those flexible rubbery pans …they work GREAT for upside down cakes.


  5. This looks wonderful… it’s going on my “to do” list.

    Off-topic: I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog for a while now. Are you happy with the new format? Because I’m still finding it hard to adjust to the complete lack of ‘margin’ on the left side… or is that just a fault of my computer screen? I don’t get that effect elsewhere, so was wondering if/how it could be changed (?)