Easy Pear and Ginger Upside Down Cake

pear and ginger upside down cake
pear and ginger upside down cake

Pear and ginger upside down cake is a little winner of a recipe. It’s oh so moist, gingery, studded with pecan nuts and topped with sweet, caramel pears.

This is almost a cross between a cake and a pudding and is just as happy being served for morning or afternoon tea, or after dinner.

It’s our sort of dessert in so far as the ingredients are pretty much pantry staples, and it can be made in about an hour.

pear and ginger upside down cake ingredients ready to prepare

the recipe

The original recipe for this delicious pear and ginger upside down cake comes from Australian Vogue Entertaining magazine which at the time had the doyenne of food, Joan Campbell, as food editor.

At the time the Australian food scene was just emerging and Joan’s influence over many young chefs at the time was formidable.

Thankfully Joan has left us all her legacy of cookbooks with recipes that are just as delicious today as they were when published back in the nineties!

the pears

arranging the pears on the caramel pear and ginger upside down cake placing the sliced pers over the armel in the base of the cake tin
arrange the pears in a pattern on the caramel

The Vogue recipe calls for fresh pears that have been peeled, cored and sliced. We have used a large can of pear halves, drained and then sliced which shortens the time to make it, but still delivers big time on flavour.

easy to put together

Making this pear and ginger upside down cake is super easy.

First you melt some butter and sugar together until the sugar dissolves, then pour this mix into your cake tin and place the pears on top of the caramel.

pear and ginger upside down cake pears in a concentric pattern
arrange the pears into a pattern

Next you make a gingerbread by mixing the dry ingredients into a bowl, then in a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients which will be a very thin mixture.

Mix the wet and dry ingredients together and pour this over the pears and bake. Too easy!

pouring the gingerbread batter over the pears in a cake tin to make easy pear and ginger upside down cake
be careful when pouring the gingerbread batter, not to disturb the pattern of the pears

serving pear and ginger upside down cake

We like to serve this cake either cold, or warm with a delicious creme anglaise sauce, which is just a simple custard, made with cream and egg yolks.

Basically you throw your cream, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla into a heavy based saucepan and turn the heat onto low to medium.

You can crank the heat up a little if you’re feeling a little impatient (and confident), as it does take a few minutes to come to temperature.

pear and ginger upside down cake with creme anglaise poured over it to serve on a dark plate
beautiful served cold or warm with a lick of creme anglaise

Give it all a good whisk, and keep whisking and watch for the first sign of small bubbles appearing on the surface of the sauce.

Again, give it all a good whisk, turn the heat off and allow the finished creme Anglaise to cool.

Place a piece of cling wrap over the top of the sauce to stop a ‘skin’ forming, and refrigerate.

The finished sauce thickens as it cools. Click on the link for the recipe…..Super Simple Creme Anglaise

You can of course serve it with some vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or just as is. Anyway you serve it, it’s a winner of a dessert recipe.

Watch how to make Pear and Ginger Upside Down Cake

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We would love to hear from you in the comments below when you make this pear and ginger upside down cake.

pear and ginger upside down cake
Yield: 10-12 slices

Pear and Ginger Upside Down Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Pear and ginger upside down cake is moist, gingery, studded with toasted pecan nuts and topped with caramel sliced pears.


Pear and Caramel Base of the Cake

  • 60g (2 ounces ) butter
  • 100g (3 1/2 ounces) soft brown sugar
  • 1 x 825g (29 ounce) tin pear halves in syrup, well drained


  • 125g (4 1/2 ounces) plain (all purpose) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 whole egg
  • 125g  (4 1/2 ounces) soft brown sugar
  • 90g (3 1/4 ounces) treacle
  • 1/2 cup full cream milk
  • 60g (2 ounces) butter, melted
  • 50g (2 ounces) toasted pecan nuts, chopped
  • 1 pecan nut left whole (this is to place under the pear half in the centre of the cake, but is entirely optional)


pear and caramel base

  • preheat oven to 180c on bake, not fan
  • lightly grease the sides of a 22cm round cake tin, and line the base with baking paper
  • melt butter in a small saucepan and add brown sugar, stirring till sugar has dissolved
  • pour butter sugar mixture into the base of the pan
  • arrange pear slices in a concentric pattern, and place the single pecan nut in the inside of a pear half and place in the middle of the pan
  • set aside while you make the gingerbread


  • in a large bowl sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and add the chopped pecan pieces
  • in a seperate bowl place egg, brown sugar, treacle and milk and beat till combined, then add melted butter and beat till combined
  • pour egg mixture over flour mixture and blend till combined
  • pour mixture over pears and smooth gently with a spatula
  • gently tap the tin on the bench two or three times to settle the mixture
  • bake for 40-45 minutes
  • allow cake to cool for 10 minutes
  • run a knife around the inside of the tin
  • place a large plate over the cake tin and quickly flip the plate and tin
  • peel baking paper off the cake
  • serve warm or cold


  • cake keeps for 3-4 days refrigerated

Nutrition Information

Amount Per Serving Calories 0Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 0mgCarbohydrates 0gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 0g

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  1. Made this for afternoon tea with some friends and served it with your creme anglaise. It was delicious and everyone was impressed. Thank you Jo and Jen.

    1. Recipe Winners says:

      Hi Helen, Thanks so much for your lovely comment, we know that the anglaise and pear and ginger upside down cake is a delicious marriage from experience. Regards, Jo and Jen

  2. Thanks for the recipe. Trying tomorrow for a birthday. Recipe says “pour into base of pan” when it means cake tin. Also no mention of cinnamon in ingreds but it appears in method – where it seems to have been swapped with cloves.

    1. Recipe Winners says:

      Hello Kate, pan refers to the cake tin. The spice is cloves, not cinnamon and thank you for picking that up for us. Hope you enjoy this delicious cake and it’s fabulous served with crème anglaise. Enjoy. Regards, Jo and Jen

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