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:
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.