Gingerbread Caramel Pear Upside Down Cake

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I have to take a break from my Skinny Bitch recipes and tune you into my favorite category: BAKED GOODS! If I had a choice in my non-vegan days I would probably have a website like Daydreamer Desserts. Her site boasts beautiful recipes and pictures but I know I can never eat and bake like that! Well, I mean, I could, but it would all be vegan and I would not be focused on losing the weight I need to be losing. That is totally another story.

I enjoy making desserts as I have said before so when I found out we were having company over I immediately knew what I wanted to try. I have been really enjoying reading all the Project Food Blog posts because I have been exposed to lots of talent and people just like me who enjoy being in the kitchen and creating. One of my all-time favorite blogs is Angela’s at Oh She Glows. I feel like we are on the same wavelength and she enjoys veganizing and creating her own dishes like I do. Why not support another great cook?

When I saw Angela post her 4th entry for the food competition I knew I had to make the upside down pear cake. I do not think I have ever eaten a pear cake, that I can remember, but I have usually eaten cake with apples or pineapple. When I saw two large organic Bosc pears at my health store it was another given that I was going to be baking the cake.

The next question was, when was I going to bake this lovely cake? Between my day job, working out and other duties I decided to bake it before I started my job and after my early morning workout. How about 7am baking? I loved it actually. I love having dessert prepared before the main meal because it seems like the most important part of a meal. At least it is for me!

What is your favorite part of a meal? Dessert, main dish, sides?

The result?? This cake is SUPER moist and so delicious! Ryan gave me one look when I asked him how he liked it where I knew he was in spiced cake heaven. It goes perfect with your favorite hot glass beverage of choice. :) Enjoy!

Gingerbread Caramel Pear Upside Down Cake

Print recipe
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Baking time 50-60minutes depending on pan size

makes 10-12 slices

Inspired by Karen Bates via The New York Times
by Oh She Glows

Cascading Caramel
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
 6 Tablespoons Soy Free Earth Balance margarine
 1 teaspoon sea salt
 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
 1 Tablespoon coconut peanut butter
 2 pears, peeled, and sliced into 1/4-inch wedges

1/2 cup Soy Free Earth Balance margarine
1/2 cup vegan sugar
1/3 cup blackstrap molasses
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 cup almond milk (I used unsweetened chocolate almond milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 & 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a 10 inch cake pan with coconut spray and set aside. Wash, peel, and slice pears into ¼ inch wedges. Set aside. [Note: I only had a 9-inch pan which worked fine, I just baked it for 50-60min]

Cascading Caramel: In a sauce pan, add the Earth Balance and sugar and bring to a boil. Stir well and reduce heat to medium. Stir for a few minutes. Add in the salt, maple syrup, and peanut butter and stir well for another couple minutes. Pour into greased cake pan and quickly spread around with a spoon to coat the bottom as much as you can. Be sure to do this quickly as the caramel begins to harden up very fast. Set aside and make your cake batter.

Cake batter: With a mixer, beat the Earth Balance and sugar until fluffy. In a small bowl mix the wet ingredients together (molasses, maple syrup, almond milk, vanilla) and whisk. In a medium sized bowl mix the dry ingredients together (flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, ginger, and cinnamon) and whisk. Alternating the wet and dry mixtures, slowly add them into the butter/sugar mixture a bit at a time. Mix until fully incorporated. Dump mixture over the pears in the cake pan and smooth out with a large spatula.

Bake in the oven for approx. 50-60minutes at 325F if using a 9 or 10-inch cake pan. Allow to cool for around 20 minutes and then gently turn out onto a platter as shown in post, flipping the cake upside down.

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  • Brian

    to coin a friend, that looks “amazeballs”, as a kid, pineapple upside cake was my fav desert my mom made. i wonder if a glob (thats a technical term) of whip cream (non dairy, clearly) would be a nice adder. i just saved a link to vegangela’s chocolate truffle torte, but i think this is going to be first :)

  • Abby Bean

    Upside down cakes are the simplest way to make a WOW dessert & you have outdone yourself. I think I’ll try this in my cast iron pan with kiwi!

  • Abby Bean

    OMG, bananas. I was thinking bananas and inexplicably said kiwi. Who makes a kiwi cake?

  • Camala – CC Recipe

    This cake looks fabulous and by far hands down my favorite part of the meal is dessert, ugh, I have such a sweet tooth:)

  • HiHoRosie

    ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! holy moley!

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday

    I wasn’t aware that there is vegan sugar. How is it different from regular white sugar?

  • Spicie Foodie

    Your cake looks so perfect! I’m sure it tasted as good as it looks.

  • Emily @ Foodie/Nutritionist

    Aaaaahhh, I saw her post and I really wanted to make this as well!! Yours looks like it turned out sooo good! All the flavors in this just look so amazing. The pear, the ginger, the caramel… How did the caramel work out for you? I seem to remember her saying it was a bit troublesome 😛

  • Emily Malloy

    Absolutely beautiful!

  • Noelle

    @Brian-I think you have to make this first! :)

    @Abby-Nah, I got it. Kiwi cake sounds cool!

    @Camala-Yay! Dessert is the best!

    @HiHoRosie- Yep, indeeed!

    @Samantha-I hope you got my email! Check out my vegan substitutes tab for an explanation as well.

    @SPicieFoodie-It was delish!

    @Emily- The caramel was a bit trickyand did not quite turn out smoothly like her picture but it worked fine.

    @Emily Malloy-Thanks!

  • Conor @ Hold the Beef

    The goodness of gingerbread, caramel AND pears?! I would have thought it would be too much to ask from one cake, but I am clearly wrong.

    Not sure my housemate would be too impressed with early morning use of my mixer 😉

  • Amber Shea

    When I think about it, I realize I almost never cook with pears. This looks wonderful though!

  • Kelly

    Noelle! Great job on this amazing confection! This grabbed my attention the minute I saw the word, “upside down”–I love anything upside down! Yum and you are such a great vegan bake queen!


    lovely looking cake! i tried nearly the same thing with apples a year ago and it was nowhere near as beautiful. :)

  • Paula

    what a great blog!
    everything here looks so delicious!

    have a nice time!

  • Marly

    Oh, definitely dessert is the best part of the meal. It gets all the oohs and ahhs, that I really like! I’m sure there was a lot of ahhing around the table for this one!

  • Monet

    What a delicious cake. I love seeing all of these vegan desserts…keep them coming! I adore upside down cakes, but I’ve never made one with pears. Thank you for sharing this moist, flavorful, fall-inspired dish. And you know dessert is my favorite!

  • kirsten

    gingerbread is one of my favorite desserts! I am going to try this out around the holidays!:)

  • Daydreamer Desserts

    Great twist on Angela’s cake, I bet the gingerbread/pear combination tastes fantastic!

    I also wanted to thank you for the mention, it was very sweet of you. Hope all is well, have a great Holiday Season! :)