Recipe: Upside-Down Pear Cake

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(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

During the holiday season, you may feel the pressure to make elaborate sweets and desserts that require rolling pins, cookie cutters, or too much fuss over frosting and decorating. But there are plenty of elegant and delicious desserts that are easy to pull off, and this upside-down pear cake is one of them.

Tender, gingery cake is topped off with juicy slices of pear that sit in a gooey caramel glaze that drips down the sides. It’s an easy skillet cake that can be assembled in the 20 minutes it takes for the oven to heat up.

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(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

Doing Double Duty

One of the reasons this cake is so easy is that it uses Country Crock Baking Sticks, which don’t require any softening and can be used straight out of the refrigerator. These handy sticks are made with sunflower oil and do double duty in this cake: they’re melted into the topping for a sweet glaze and also creamed into the cake batter. Skipping the softening step means that you don’t have to wait and can go straight to mixing.

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(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

Easy Yet Elegant

The best part of upside-down cakes is how they look so impressive without any elaborate decorating. Simply arrange ripe pear slices in a pretty pattern on top of the glaze, then top with the cake batter before baking. Once the cake is flipped out of the skillet (which is a fun ta-da! moment — you might want to do this move tableside), there’s nothing more to do but slice and serve.

Pear skillet cake is easy enough to pull off on a weeknight, yet fancy enough to grace a holiday dessert table or to stand out in a sea of pies. It’s just the ticket any time you’re tasked to make dessert.

144 Ratings

Upside-Down Pear Skillet Cake

Serves8 to 10

Ingredients

For the topping:

  • 1 stick

    (4 ounces) Country Crock® Unsalted Baking Sticks

  • 1/2 cup

    packed light brown sugar

  • 1 pound

    ripe pears (about 2), peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4-inch thick

For the cake:

  • 1 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup

    finely ground cornmeal

  • 1 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    ground ginger

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    salt

  • 1 stick

    (4 ounces) Country Crock® Unsalted Baking Sticks

  • 1 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup

    whole or 2% milk

Instructions

Make the topping:

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350ºF.

  2. Place the Country Crock Unsalted Baking Stick and brown sugar in an 8-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the butter and sugar melts, bubbles, and turns golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

  3. Arrange the pear slices on top of the filling in a circle, overlapping the slices slightly with the pointed ends towards the center; set aside.

Make the cake:

  1. Place the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, ginger, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine; set aside.

  2. Place the Country Crock Unsalted Baking Stick and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (Alternatively, use an electric hand mixer and large bowl.) Beat on medium speed until lightened in color, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until completely incorporated before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla extract.

  3. Reduce the speed to low and beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture. Beat in 1/2 of the milk. Beat in 1/2 of the remaining flour mixture, then the remaining milk, and finally the remaining flour mixture. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat on medium-low speed for 30 seconds more to fully combine.

  4. Drop heaping spoonfuls of the batter on top of the pears, being careful not to disturb the pear slices. Spread the batter into an even layer.

  5. Place the skillet on an aluminum foil or parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the top springs back when pressed slightly, 38 to 40 minutes.

  6. Place the skillet on a wire rack and let cool until the pears stop bubbling, about 2 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Invert a cake plate or serving platter over the cake. Using oven mitts to protect your hands, pick up the plate and skillet and carefully flip both over. Slowly and carefully remove the skillet. Rearrange any pears that may have moved out of place. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

This post was created by the Kitchn Creative Studio and is sponsored by Country Crock.
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