Caramel Pear Upside Down Cake

Have you ever been scrolling through instagram, admiring all the amazing desserts, sweets and dishes when all of a sudden, you look down and realize you drooled onto your shirt? No? Just me? OK, cool. Let's just move on then.

So a couple weeks ago, the above situation definitely didn't happen. And while I was not drooling, I realized how many of these insanely delicious looking photos are actually really, really easy recipes to make. I wanted to do something like that. I mean, who doesn't want to create a fancy looking dish that makes everyone think you took 75 years on it when really it took 10 minutes? Nobody. That's who. Because we all want people to think we are just effortlessly graceful in the kitchen.

I like to think I am a good experimental chef in the kitchen, but they don't always turn out. For instance, I've got some gingerbread cinnamon roll wannabes in the oven right now. The texture was all sorts of jacked up and it was a struggle to get them rolled and sliced. Now I'm just crossing my fingers, praying to the Paleo baking gods that they come down and bless them into at least being tasty, even if they are ugly. While tonight's test didn't go the greatest, I do have my great successes.  This cake is one of them. 

I've always wanted to try and upside down cake because they always look so damn pretty. When Kyle was away for work, I decided to try my hand at an upside down pear cake. I covered them with vegan friendly, refined sugar free caramel sauce. When it came to the cake, I used cassava flour from Otto's Naturals. I am seriously in love with this stuff, but I try not to bake with it too much because I know it's not easily accessible to everyone. If you decide to try this recipe with another grain free flour, like almond flour, I really can't guarantee how it will turn out. But, if you do make it that way, definitely let me know for others! You could also try subbing in a double batch of my vanilla cupcake batter as the cake for this, which uses coconut flour and tapioca starch. You'll have to monitor the baking closely on this one since I haven't actually attempted it yet! That being said, I do recommend you pick up some cassava flour, because it's bomb.

Now, back to my cake. It's a quick recipe to make and will look beautiful the second you take it out of the pan. You'll be able to amaze everyone at your weeknight dinner party, holiday gathering, celebration, or just yourself when you decide to eat it at 1am on a Saturday. Definitely speaking from experience there. Get baking and let me know your thoughts!


Caramel Pear Upside Down Cake (Paleo, Gluten Free)

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 35-45 mins
Servings: 8 slices

Cake Ingredients:
2-3 Bosc pears, peeled & sliced ¼" thick
1 ½ cup Cassava Flour
½ cup coconut sugar
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp each, ground ginger & cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice
3 eggs, whisked
4 tbs butter or oil, melted
¾ cup coconut milk
½ cup maple syrup
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla

Caramel Ingredients:
¼ cup coconut sugar
¼ cup coconut milk
¼ tsp vanilla
2 tbs water
1 tsp tapioca starch
½ tsp Primal Palate Sea Salt *optional

Steps:

  1. Turn oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk caramel ingredients in a sauce pan and let simmer on low on the stove top. Stir frequently so it doesn't burn. Allow to simmer until it begins to thicken up. It will take about 5-10 minutes. Then remove from heat to cool. Note: it will continue to thicken as it cools.
  3. While caramel is simmering (or after if you like to focus on one thing at a time!) butter or grease a round cake pan. Cover the bottom with parchment paper. (I just traced the bottom and then cut out the shape to fit)
  4. Spread your pear slices around the bottom of the pan, slightly overlapping each piece until you form a ring around the base. You will need 2-3 sliced pears depending on the size of each. 
  5. Then, use a large bowl to mix together the cassava flour, coconut sugar, baking soda and spices. In a separate, medium bowl, mix together the eggs, maple syrup, coconut milk, lemon juice, vanilla and butter/oil. While stirring, gradually pour your wet mixture into your dry mixture. Continue to mix until it is fully combined and lump free. Then set aside.
  6. Pour the caramel into your cake pan over the pears until each has been coated. Save any left over caramel to top the cake with.
  7. Drop your cake mixture carefully on top of your pears in a few separate mounds across the pan. Use a silicone spatula to spread the mixture out until the pear bottom is fully covered.  
  8. Place in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes until cake is fully cooked. Remove from oven and let cool. Run a knife or spatula around the sides of your cake. Then carefully flip onto your serving plate and remove the pan. Pour any excess caramel over the top before you slice and serve.

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