Upside Down Honey Pear Cake


This year I wanted to have some more options for Thanksgiving desserts than just pies. Nothing wrong with pies, I absolutely love them, but it is always good to have options. I wanted it to be a bit more unusual so I decided to use pears instead of apples, and I decided on an upside down style cake since I’ve never made one before. I made it a bit more special with a cinnamon swirl throughout (possibly my favorite part) and I also made my first caramel sauce, this was a lot of firsts and I’m happy to report it turned out amazing. If I can do it, anyone can! We will have three desserts this year, my sweet potato pineapple pie, this upside down honey pear cake, and my Mom’s special chocolate cake, I’ll share that recipe for Christmas! I might be more excited for desserts this year than the dinner. I’m not sure, it’s all going to be so good!! I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, however you celebrate it, this year is definitely going to be a different one for us!




Upside Down Honey Pear Cake

Upside down honey pear cake with a cinnamon swirl in the middle
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10


  • 9" cake pan


For the Cake:

  • 2 pears
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar for the swirl
  • 2 tsp cinnamon for the swirl

For the Caramel:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 tbsp butter


To make the Caramel:

  • In a sauce pot stir in all the caramel ingredients. Make sure to brush sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush so the sugar crystals don't form.
    Bring to a low boil and cook until the sugar mixture starts getting darker around the edges, about 6-8 minutes, stirring the pan once or twice so it cooks evenly. Cook until the mixture turns light to medium amber color and keep an eye on it because towards the end it darkens pretty quickly. Turn off the heat and mix in the butter.
    Pour into the 9" cake pan.

To make the cake:

  • Thinly slice the pears and arrange them in circles on top of the caramel in the pan while the caramel is still warm.
    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
    Mix the butter and the sugar in stand up kitchen mixer until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, and then the honey and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Add half of it to the butter and egg mixture and mix for a few seconds, then add the milk and lastly rest of the flour mixture. Do not over mix.
    In a small bowl combine the brown sugar and cinnamon for the swirl.
  • Carefully add half the cake batter to the pan with caramel and pears, taking care not to move the pears. Sprinkle generously with the sugar and cinnamon mix then add rest of the batter to the pan. Spread the batter evenly with a spatula and then bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes, until inserted toothpick comes out clean or just with a few crumbs on it.
    Let cool in pan for ten minutes and then carefully invert it on a cake serving platter. Let cool completely before serving.
Keyword cinnamon swirl, honey cake, honey pear cake, pear cake, thanksgiving dessert, upside down cake, upside down honey pear cake


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