Mini Pear and Blueberry Spice Cakes


These individual upside-down cakes are baked -- and can be transported -- in a muffin tin.


  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for tin

  • 6 tablespoons light corn syrup

  • 12 teaspoons packed light-brown sugar

  • ¾ cup fresh blueberries, picked over and rinsed

  • 1 ripe Bartlett pear, halved lengthwise, cored, and cut into thin wedges

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

  • teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice

  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

  • cup granulated sugar

  • 1 large whole egg, plus 1 large egg yolk

  • ¾ cup buttermilk

  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter the cups and top of a muffin tin with six 8-ounce cups. Place 1 teaspoon butter in each muffin cup. Top each with 1 tablespoon corn syrup; sprinkle with 2 teaspoons light-brown sugar. Arrange 7 or 8 blueberries in each cup. Cut pear slices to fit the shape of muffin cups; place 4 or 5 pieces on top of the berries, spreading slices to cover berries. Arrange remaining berries over the pears, and set tin aside.

  2. Into a small bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat granulated sugar and remaining 5 tablespoons butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add egg and egg yolk; beat until smooth.

  3. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture to butter mixture in two batches, alternating with buttermilk, and beginning and ending with flour. Stir in vanilla.

  4. Pour 1/3 cup batter over fruit in each muffin cup. Gently tap bottom of tin against counter several times to evenly distribute the batter.

  5. Bake cakes until golden around the edges and a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool in tin.

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