pear upside down cake

I love pretty food, the reason being that food doesn't require much work to be made pretty. Carelessly assembling & plating food isn't an option for me, & that's why I love this cake. It requires a little bit of extra patience & effort to put together, but the final product is stunning & makes you look like a total professional.

Upside down cake is typically made with apples. But when you don't have apples, you can make the basically informed decision that pears will do the job just fine. Luckily they did, & my expectations for this cake were exceeded. I'd like to say that I used d'anjou pears because they're sturdier & I put thought into all this, but the truth is they're what I had on hand. If you happen to have apples though, go for it!

The best part of this recipe is that it's not terribly unhealthy & cruelty-free. Because the ingredients in this cake are commonly found in most households, you can easily bake it & have it over to your friend's or family's home for the holiday festivities. It makes for a beautiful & tasty gift.

Pear Upside Down Cake
Serves 8

Pear layer
4-5 small D'anjou pears, peeled, cored & sliced
1 tsp vegan butter or coconut oil
3 tbsp vegan brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Dry ingredients
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup vegan sugar
1/4 cup vegan brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon 

Wet ingredients
1 cup unsweetened soy milk 
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar 
1/4 neutral oil (i.e. canola, sunflower)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice 

Preheat the oven to 355 F. Grease your cake tin with the butter or coconut oil very well.Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of your pan (this will prevent the pears from sticking). Grease the parchment paper as well, then place inside the tin.

To create the pear layer, begin by mixing the brown sugar & cinnamon together in a bowl. Follow by squeezing lemon juice on the pear slices. Begin assembling the slices on top of the parchment paper in whatever pattern you prefer. Once you have a full layer covering the bottom, sprinkle half of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture on top as evenly as possible. Add the last layer of pear slices & repeat.

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients together except for the vinegar. Pour over the dry mix & stir until incorporated without over-mixing. Lastly, add the vinegar & stir to incorporate.

Pour the cake batter over the assembled pear layer. Lightly shimmy  the tin to even out the batter. Place in the preheated oven & check it at 45 minutes by inserting a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. If not, add 5 minutes of baking time until the center is cooked. Time will vary depending on your oven/altitude.

Allow to cool in the tin for at least an hour. Carefully remove it, then plate it upside down so the pear layer is on top.

Let me know if you try this recipe out, & what you think of it! If you have a recipe you'd like to share with me, I'd love to give it a try in my kitchen.

Until next time!

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