Fresh Pear Cake {Pear Upside Down Cake}

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Easy pear cake recipe (pear upside down cake) that’s soft, moist and homemade with simple ingredients. Perfect dessert for Fall or Autumn and Thanksgiving.

If you have a ton of pears lying around, or if you just really like pears, you are going to love this recipe. Often times during Fall, many people have more fruit than they know what to do with. But no need to have them go to waste! This is a fantastic recipe to use up all that fruit and was inspired by similar cakes, such as the Homemade Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Cranberry Upside Down Cake, and Banana Upside Down Cake. All of them are made easily with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry.

Easy Pear Cake on Rustic Brown Background- Overhead Shot

Key ingredients for fresh pear cake

  • Butter– Be sure to use unsalted butter so that the cake is not too salty.
  • Brown sugar– Must be used as opposed to granulated sugar in this recipe for the best caramelized flavor.
  • Pears– Find ones that are nice and ripe.
  • Flour– As a base for many baked goods, all-purpose flour is my go-to.
  • Coconut- Use both desiccated and shredded in this recipe for the right look and texture.
  • Baking powder– This helps the cake to rise and look pretty.
  • Eggs– Large eggs should be used and preferably at room temperature.
  • Vanilla extract– Adds a nice, subtle flavor.
  • Milk- Whole milk will give you the richest flavor.


  • Pair with caramel sauce- Drizzle Caramel Sauce on top of the cake prior to serving.
  • Chocolate- Drizzle Chocolate Ganache on top of the cake, once it has fully cooled down. I would suggest using white chocolate instead of semisweet though.
  • Ginger- Add 2 tbsp finely chopped crystallized ginger pieces in the cake batter.
  • Apple version- Use apple slices or combination of pears and apples together.
  • Add spices- Like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice to enhance the flavor further. I added a little bit and loved it!
  • Toss sliced almonds- On top of the pears before pouring the batter for an added crunch prior to serving.
  • Pair with ice cream- I suggest vanilla ice cream or vanilla bean ice cream which compliments these cake flavors perfectly.
  • Frost the cake- This is really not necessary because of the sweet caramelized top layer. If you really want to ice it, I suggest using Whipped Cream because it’s not overly sweet.
Slice of Fresh Pear Upside Down Cake- Closeup Shot

How to make easy pear upside down cake recipe from scratch?

  1. Melt butter– In a greased pan in the oven.
  2. Sprinkle– Brown sugar all over the top.
  3. Arrange– Pears on top and put pan aside.
  4. Cream- Together butter and sugar in a bowl.
  5. Whisk in- Eggs and vanilla extract.
  6. Mix in– Flour, baking powder, coconut, and milk. 
  7. Pour Batter- Into prepared pan.
  8. Bake– Until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Cool– For 1 hour, then flip cake over.
  10. Top it off– With coconut and white chocolate, which is optional.
Collage Image With Step by Step Process Shots on How to Make Easy Upside Down Cake

Tips and techniques

  • Don’t use a bundt pan- Because this is not a bundt cake recipe. The pears will stick to the bottom. You must use a springform pan so that it’s easy to remove the cake from the pan.
  • Completely cool cake- Before it’s removed from the pan or else it will break during removal from pan.
  • Don’t substitute butter- With margarine or something healthy like coconut oil, because this is not a healthy cake. It’s a rich cake and you must use the full amount of butter.
  • Use unsalted butter- To avoid an overly salty cake.
  • Don’t replace brown sugar– With granulated sugar because that’s what gives this cake its caramelized flavor.
  • Use ripe pears- Because you want them to be nice and soft as opposed to those with a hard, apple-like texture plus they are sweeter too.
  • Don’t use canned pears- Fresh pears must be used in this recipe, because they create the best texture and flavor. Canned ones are quite flavorless.
  • Use a spring form pan- Because it makes it easier to get the cake out smoothly, especially when you tip it upside down.
  • Cool completely- Before adding decoration or serving to prevent them from getting ruined.
  • Don’t over-mix the batter- Because it can change the texture of the cake to be more rubbery.
  • Grease the pan- Because even though you are adding butter, you still don’t want this cake to stick to the sides. Otherwise you will have a mess of a cake when you try to tip it upside down and remove it.
Slice of Cake on Silver Spatula- Closeup Shot

Recipe FAQ

Can you use canned pears?

No. Since they are soaked in juices and syrups, they have a higher liquid content than fresh ones and thus, that makes the cake soggy.

How do you slice pears?

Use a peeler to peel the skin first. Then, then slice them in half from the stem to the base. Use a small spoon to scoop out the seeds in the middle and discard. Discard the stem too. Cut thin slices lengthwise into half inch wedges with a very sharp knife.

Should pears be peeled before baking?

Yes, I highly recommend it because the skin has a subtle bitter taste and a tough texture that is not appealing in baked goods.

Why is my cake dry and crumbly?

It was most likely over- baked or baked at a very high temperature.

Storage of homemade cake

Room temperature- This can be stored for 1 day in a covered container.

Refrigerate- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

Freezer- Place in an airtight container for up to 1 month and thaw before serving.

More Fall and Thanksgiving Cakes

Easy Upside Down Pear Cake on Rustic Brown Background- Overhead Shot
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5 from 12 ratings
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Pear Cake Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Quick and easy pear cake recipe (pear upside down cake) that’s soft, moist and made with simple ingredients. Perfect Fall/Autumn or Thanksgiving dessert.
Yield: 9 slices


Caramel-like Topping

  • ¼ cup Butter, Unsalted
  • cup Brown sugar
  • 3 Pears, Peeled and cut into ½ inch wedges

Cake Batter


  • 1 tbsp Coconut, Finely shredded
  • 3 tbsp White chocolate , Shreds


  • Grease a round spring form pan (Dimensions: 9×3). 
  • Add butter and place this pan in the oven. Keep an eye on it. When the butter melts (in less than 5 minutes), remove pan from the oven.
  • Now, sprinkle brown sugar all over the melted butter.
  • Arrange your pears on top of the butter and sugar mixture. Keep this pan aside while you prepare the cake batter.
  • In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Then, add eggs (one at a time) and vanilla extract and mix everything until smooth.
  • Add flour, baking powder, coconut, milk and mix until just combined. Don't over-mix! 
  • Pour this batter into the pan you had prepared earlier.
  • Bake for about 50 minutes at 325 degrees F or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let this cake cool for an hour on a cooling rack and then release the sides of the springform pan and flip cake over gently on a serving dish or a cake board. 
  • Top it off with finely shredded coconut and shredded white chocolate. Enjoy!


  • Read all my tips above.
  • Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.


Calories: 362kcal, Carbohydrates: 51g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 71mg, Sodium: 98mg, Potassium: 221mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 33g, Vitamin A: 475IU, Vitamin C: 2.6mg, Calcium: 80mg, Iron: 1.4mg
Course: Cakes
Cuisine: American
Calories: 362
Author: Abeer Rizvi

46 comments on “Fresh Pear Cake {Pear Upside Down Cake}”

  1. Do you mean coconut flour?

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