Upside Down Honey Walnut Pear Cake

“And all at once summer collapsed into fall.” Oscar Wilde

The dynamic combination of in-season pears with honey, warming spices, yogurt and walnuts come together in this simple but elegant cake.  Instead of the usual brown sugar on the bottom of the pan, a honey-orange-vanilla syrup is poured over the pears before adding the batter.   Flavor-packed in every delectable bite, it is sure to become a fall favorite.  Serve with a dollop of  yogurt if you’re being good, or ice cream or whipped cream if not!

Upside Down Honey Walnut Pear Cake

  • 2 1/2 ripe but firm Anjou pears. cored, sliced 1/8″ thick
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom(optional)
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • Greek yogurt for serving(I used honey flavored)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Generously butter a 9″ round cake pan
  3. Place the pears in a concentric fashion overlapping outer layers to fill in center.
  4. In a small saucepan, heat the honey, orange juice and vanilla until mixture is reduced by half and turns golden brown.  Whisk frequently to prevent burning.  Pour the syrup over the prepared pears, distributing evenly.  Sprinkle with the walnuts.
  5. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Combine the flour, baking powder and spices and add to the batter in thirds, alternating with the yogurt.
  6. Spread the batter over the pears and bake on a middle rack for 45 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.  Rest 10 minutes before inverting on a serving platter.  Pour any remaining syrup from the pan over the warm cake.  Serve with a dollop of yogurt, whipped cream or ice cream, on the side.