Moist, full of spices, and the sweetness of maple syrup, this pear upside-down cake is too delicious to be
fat-free and vegan it is!
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 large pears I used Bosc
- 2 tablespoons water
- applesauce if necessary
- 3/4 cup maple syrup or combination of agave and maple syrup divided
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round non-stick baking pan with
parchment paper cut to fit.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients and stir well. Set aside.
3. Peel the pears. Cut one of them into thin slices about 1/4-inch thick (avoiding the core). Chop
the other two into large chunks (again, no core).
4. Arrange the sliced pear in the prepared pan in any design you wish. Don’t worry about using all
the slices–just as many as will fit or fit your idea of the design. Pour 1/4 cup of maple syrup over
the pears. Reserve the rest.
5. Put the extra slices and the pear chunks into the blender with 2 tablespoons of water. Blend,
stopping if necessary to push down any stray pears until it’s about the consistency of
6. Measure out 1 2/3 cups of the pear sauce. Reserve any extra for another use (it’s good on a fruit
salad or in a smoothie). If there’s not enough, add applesauce until you have 1 2/3 cups.
7. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the 1 2/3 cups of pear sauce. Add the remaining
1/2 cup of maple syrup and the other liquid ingredients. Stir until combined but don’t over-stir.
Carefully spoon the batter over the pears so that you don’t move them and change the design.
8. Bake for 35-45 minutes, testing by inserting a toothpick in the middle. It’s ready when the
toothpick comes out clean.
9. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen any stuck-on arts of the cake. Place a serving
dish over it and invert. Tap lightly to dislodge the cake from the pan. Loosen all the edges of the
parchment paper and then slowly peel it back, using a knife or your fingers to push back into
place any pieces of pear that want to stick to it. If there is glaze left on the paper, scrape it off
with a knife and smooth it onto the cake.