Pear-Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

Serve a scoop of spice ice cream alongside this upside-down cake for a delicious fall dessert.

Pear-Cranberry Upside-Down Cake


  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups firmly packed light-brown sugar
  • 3 firm but ripe pears, such as Anjou
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk, room temperature


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 6 tablespoons butter and 3/4 cup brown sugar in a medium skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until melted and thoroughly combined, about 6 minutes. Pour into a 10-by-2-inch professional round cake pan.

  2. Peel pears, core, and slice into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Coat with lemon juice, and arrange on top of brown-sugar mixture in a spiral pattern around edge of pan. Fan out slices in center. Sprinkle 1/2 cup cranberries over pears, and set aside.

  3. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger together in a medium bowl, and set aside. Combine remaining 6 tablespoons of butter with remaining cup brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer, and beat until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add milk alternately with flour mixture, beginning and ending with four; beat until smooth. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup cranberries; pour over fruit in pan. Bake until a tester inserted in the center of cake comes out clean, about 40 minutes.

  4. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around eggs and invert onto a serving platter. Serve with spice ice cream.


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