This Sticky Toffee Pear Upside Down Cake Recipe is easy to make, will grace your table with its beauty and tastes so good! There isn’t just one thing that makes this perfect, but a good seasoned 10″ cast iron skillet is pretty essential.
I made this while everyone was sitting around chatting and letting the turkey dinner settle in on Christmas Day. It is a tradition at our house to leave a little space between the main meal and dessert, and this was the perfect time to pop the cake into the oven and have it ready to serve fresh and warm.
- 2 large Bartlett pears, firm but not too green.
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 large egg
Preheat oven to 350 F. Peel the pears and cut them in quarters. Core the quarters and then slice each quarter in half lengthwise.
Melt the butter in a 10” cast iron skillet over low heat for about 2 minutes. Evenly sprinkle brown sugar over the butter and cook about 3 minutes over low heat. Watch carefully that it doesn’t burn and do not stir or scrape. The sugar doesn’t have to be all melted. Arrange the pears as shown below over the butter mixture and cook without disturbing for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Mix together the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Mix together the molasses and hot water. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and beat about 2 minutes. Alternately mix in the dry ingredients with the molasses in 3 batches, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.
Pour the mixture over the pears in the skillet, being careful not to disturb your work of art. Bake 40 – 50 minutes on the middle rack of the oven until a tester comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake.
Cool the cake for about 5 minutes. Run a table knife around the edge to loosen. Place a flat plate that is a bit larger than the skillet over the top. Firmly clamp together and tip the skillet over onto the plate. If any pears stick to the skillet just scoop them up with a spatula and place them back into the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature with your favourite vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.