Pear Vanilla Upside Down Cakes
Little seckle pears are baked in a pool of buttery brown sugar caramel, under a blanket of fluffy soft, vanilla-infused cake. A sweet and seasonal fall or winter dessert, in individual portions.
This is the best time of year.
Right now, we are all poised on our tippy-toes, so full of excitement and enthusiasm for what’s about to come. I’m talking about piles of brightly colored leaves, cool mornings, apple picking, boots and scarves, and pumpkin-spice lattes.
And yet still, my neighbors are showing up on my doorstep, bearing overstuffed grocery bags full of fruits and vegetables from their summer backyard gardens.
These gorgeous juicy pears came from a tree in my next-door neighbor’s yard. Some of them were a little funny looking, but they are bursting with flavor, and just dripping with sweet nectar. I really wanted to create a beautiful dessert with them, to showcase them in all their glory.
What’s better than pears, vanilla, and brown sugar in fall? I cannot think of a single thing!
This is a favorite flavor combination for my mom. I’ve baked this dessert in her honor.
She will be taking care of my two little ones for us, for four whole days (and nights!) while my husband and I travel to Seattle to attend the International Food Blogger Conference later this week. It’s the longest and farthest I’ve ever been away from my kids since becoming a mom. I’m nervous! I know they will be just fine but I’m gonna miss them so much 🙁
But hopefully I’ll be ok once I get wrapped up in all the goings-on. I’ve heard nothing but wonderful things about this conference. It’s organized by Foodista, and Dorie Greenspan is the keynote speaker (!). I’m sure there will be tons of great info for me to learn, it’ll be so much fun to network with other food bloggers, and I hear the food and wine alone are worth the price of admission!
I’m really hoping the whole experience will help me to be a better blogger. But enough about me. We’re here to talk about pear vanilla upside down cakes!
Pears drowned in a buttery brown sugar caramel and baked under fluffy-soft cake perfumed with vanilla beans. This is what I love about baking! Simple ingredients can transform into something so truly magical.
The caramel goodness is pooled in the bottoms of four ramekins. The pears are peeled, cored, and set, cut side down, into the warm caramel sauce. My favorite cupcake batter is poured over the pears, and it all bakes together into the softest, sweetest spoonful of heaven you’ve ever put into your mouth.
Isn’t just so pretty to see the silhouette of that lovely pear peeking through the warm caramel? I love how the vanilla seeds collect in the hollow place where the core once was…
Have you ever been to a blogger conference? This will be my first one ever! How did you like it? Was it hard leaving your kiddos? Do you have any tips for me? I mean, for either, the conference or the kids!?! 😉
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Pear Vanilla Upside Down Cakes
For the Topping:
- 1/4 cup (55 g) light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, (or maybe a little more, if you like salty caramel)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 seckle pears,, peeled, halved, and cored
For the Cake:
- 1/3 cup (41.67 g) cake flour
- 1/3 cup (41.67 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup (56.75 g) unsalted butter, (1/2 stick), cold
- 1/3 cup (78.86 ml) milk, (I used 1%)
- 1 egg, (large)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, (optional)
Make the Topping:
- Grease 4 ramekins.
- Place the brown sugar, butter, and salt in a small skillet over medium heat.
- Stir together until the brown sugar has melted and the mixture is well combined.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla bean paste.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the 4 ramekins, and place a pear half into the center of each.
Make the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the cold butter, and mix on low speed, until the mixture resembles moist crumbs.
- Add the egg, and beat until well combined.
- Add the milk, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean paste, and beat for about a minute.
- Divide the batter equally between the 4 ramekins.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
- Cool slightly on a wire rack. Run a thin knife around the edge of each ramekin to loosed the cake.
- Invert onto a serving plate.
What size ramekins did you use?
Hi Dieselle! Those are 4-ounce ramekins. Hope that helps, good luck!
Allie, these cakes are one of the cutest things I have ever seen. I can imagine how lovely they taste with the soft pear, warm caramel, and vanilla seeds…One of my favorite flavor combinations for the fall season! So nice to have met you at IFBC by the way 🙂
You too! I hope we keep in touch 😉 And thanks for the kind words!
These cakes are just beautiful Allie! Pinned!
Thank you, Trish, and thanks so much for sharing on your Pinterest board! Hope you’re enjoying Fall! <3
Allie, how gorgeous are these!? And I am so jealous of your neighborhood pear tree. We had fruit trees growing up and it was the best thing ever. Good luck in Seattle and have so much fun! Can’t wait to see what ideas you bring back to your blog 🙂
Thank you, Amy! I love all the home-grown fruit and veggies around here. Can’t wait to check out the conference this weekend, I’ll be sure to fill you guys in on all the goings-on! <3
These are just beautiful. I’m so glad I found your lovely blog. My friend and I were just talking about how much we love a good pineapple upside down cake…now I want a good pear upside down cake. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you so much, Monet! I’m so happy you found me too 😉 I hope you stop by often… Aren’t upside down cakes such a treat? I love the pineapple kind too, but I just couldn’t resist trying out a pear version. Those little pears were just so pretty! Thank you so much for reading, and for the sweet comment!
These little cakes are adorable! SWOON! You are right about all the things that are coming with fall. Love them! And lucky you to get such a beautiful pears from your neighbors!
Thank you Anna! I loved getting that big bag of juicy pears; it doesn’t get any more local than that! Enjoy the lovely weather this time of year brings! xx
That conference sounds amazing! I hope you both have a great time, and don’t worry, Allie, your boy will be fine! 😉
And these cakes look utterly awesome. Brown sugar, butter and ripe pears? Is there anything better? I bought a lot of mini pears today, and I’d love to try this if I got round to do so… it just looks so amazing! x
I hope you enjoy it, Consuelo! Love those little mini-pears, so cute! <3
I’m sure it’ll be lots of fun! I wish I could go too… Isn’t Autumn the best season?! These cakes look awesome! I usually make upside down cakes with a more buttery batter but I’ll try it this way.
Thanks, Erika! I’m loving this time of year. A little cooler, but still plenty of blue sky and sunshine. It’s perfect! Your upside down cakes sound so good! Buttery is always a win, in my book! 😉
OMG!!!! My heart is singing with happiness at the sight of these upside down cakes!! LOOOOOK AT THOSE PEARS !!!!! They look so perfect on the cake! Like they were always made to sit in the center of the cake! Yumm yumm YUMM!!!! I’m totally making these!!!!!!! 🙂
Yay! Thanks so much, Samina, for your bubbly enthusiasm! I think you will really love them. So fluffy and soft, and that caramel is so buttery! You’ll have to be sure to let me know what you think when you try them. Thanks again for reading and for the sweet comment <3
I’d love to go to a food bloggers conference. I can’t wait to read all about it Allie, have fun there. I’m not a big fan of pears to be honest, but they look so adorable snugged in their cakey blankets. I should give them a go I think.
I’m looking forward to sharing the experience here! And, if you’re not keen on pears, I think this would be fabulous with just about any kind of fruit. We still have a lot of peaches in my area, those would be great, or of course, the traditional pineapple rings… 😉
I actually made an upside down cake the other weekend with Plums, it was so good. I’ll blog about it soon 🙂 . Wish I was going to the conference, I live in the wrong country lol.
Ooh.. this looks tasty! It’s been hotter than it was all summer lately in my neck of the woods so I am looking forward to cooler weather in Seattle. See you there!
It’s just (finally!) starting to cool off here in the Philly area, so these little cakes were perfectly timed! I hear it’s going to be quite cool in Seattle, so I’m packing lots of layers. So exciting! Would be great to meet you in person, Kristin! Safe travels! 🙂
These look beautiful Allie!
Thank you, Mimi! They are so buttery, I just love the flavor with those sweet little pears! Thanks so much for the nice comment!
Allie, I am so happy to hear you are going to that conference. It sounds like it would be fun! I can’t wait till I can afford to go to a blogging conference :)! This cake looks perfect for fall! I picked up some pears yesterday while grocery shopping and I’ve been looking for inspiration and this might just be the trigger I need. Thanks 🙂
Thanks, Zainab! I’m excited to go, I’ve never done anything like this before! I was able to talk my hubs into it, as sort of a long weekend getaway. We just celebrated 10 years (eep!) of marriage so we wanted to do something anyway. And we’ve never traveled to the Pacific NW, and always wanted to! So happy you liked the pear cakes. Hope you get a chance to make them, you’ll just love how buttery they taste 🙂
Yum, Allie! These look just delicious! And I happen to have a few of these little pears. See you in Seattle!
Yay! You’re going too?