The upside down pear cake is an indulgent and delicious dessert, perfect to serve after a meal with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a spoon of sweetened mascarpone, but also as a treat for teatime with a hot cup of spiced tea.

The red wine gives the pear cake a lovely colour and together with the spices gives it a delicious warm aroma. Cinnamon, cloves and star anise: the smell of autumn in a slice of cake!

Upside down pear cake

Prep Time:1 hour
Cook Time:40 minutes
Servings:10 people


  • For the cake mixture
  • plain flour: 350 grams
  • caster sugar: 350 grams
  • unsalted butter at room temperature: 350 grams
  • medium eggs: 5
  • baking powder: 16 grams
  • ground cinnamon: 1 tsp
  • for the pears
  • pears large, ripe but firm: 7
  • red wine: 600 milliliters
  • granulated sugar: 100 grams
  • cinnamon stick: 1
  • cloves: 5
  • star anise: 1


  1. Peel the pears, cut in half and remove the cores. Arrange them into a deep and large heavy bottomed saucepan, pour over the wine mixed with the sugar, add all the spices, cover with the lid and bring to the boil. Then continue to cook on a low heat for about 8-10 minutes until the pears are slightly soft.
  2. Remove carefully the pears from the saucepan and place them on a plate to cool down. Get rid of the spices and reduce the wine to a thick syrup, about 1,25 dl. Set aside.
  3. Grease a 26 cm loose-based round cake tin and line the bottom with parchment paper. Cut the cooked pears into slices (about 3-4 mm thick) and arrange them in a fan shape (orverlapping a little each slice) in the bottom of the cake tin.
  4. Preheat the oven at 170°C and prepare the cake batter. Sift the flour with baking powder and cinnamon. Beat the butter with the sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs (slightly beaten) a little at a time with the sifted flour and continue to beat a medium speed.
  5. Pour the batter gently over the pear slices and smooth the surface using a spatula.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  7. Once baked run a knife around the edges of the cake tin, then , using oven gloves, open the cake tin loosening and removing the sides of it. Place a serving plate over the cake and turn it over. Remove the tin base. Pour the wine syrup over.
  8. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream at the end of a meal or by itself as a teatime treat.