Upside Down Pear Skillet Cake

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Upside Down Pear Skillet Cake is a simple but show-stopping dessert. Pears, walnuts, cinnamon, and maple make a dreamy combination of flavors. This luscious dessert will make your face dance and this recipe is easy to make even if you’re new to baking.

Upside Down Pear Skillet Cake

Upside Down Pear Skillet Cake

Why does pineapple get to have all the fun? You can use any fruit for an upside-down cake. The beauty of an upside-down cake is the juice from whatever fruit you use combined with butter and brown sugar to make a dreamy caramel sauce. Furthermore, you don’t have to frost the cake because when the bottom becomes the top all that decadent caramel seeps into the cake. 

I do, however, recommend a big scoop of vanilla ice cream with your Upside Down Pear Cake.

Upside Down Pear Skillet Cake recipe

What you’ll need to make this cake

The full recipe with ingredient amounts and instructions is at the bottom of this post. You can save a tree and the recipe to your personal and private recipe box here on Call Me PMc. This way, you’ll never misplace it.

  1. Butter. Real butter, margarine doesn’t react the same.
  2. Light brown sugar. You can use dark brown sugar.
  3. Maple syrup. Real maple syrup.
  4. Pears. I used Bosc pears. You’ll want to peel, core, and slice into approx 1/4-inch thick slices
  5. Walnuts. Whole or pieces. Lightly toasted for beat flavor.
  6. All-purpose flour.
  7. Ground cinnamon.
  8. Baking soda.
  9. Salt.
  10. Greek yogurt.
  11. Pure vanilla extract.
  12. Black walnut extract.
  13. Granulated sugar.
  14. Eggs. Large eggs or the equivalent at room temperature
Upside Down Pear Skillet Cake recipe
dessert with fruit

 Upside down cake

This cake is moist. The butter and brown sugar caramelize and glaze the cake. The tart pears and walnuts offer a good texture. If you have used black walnut flavoring before, it really adds a rich depth of flavor. Some cakes are better once they sit, however, in my opinion, this cake was as good when I had a piece while it was still warm. It was equally as good two days later! It is perfectly served with a scoop of really good quality vanilla ice cream.

dessert with fruit

More fan favorite cake recipes


Upside Down Pear Skillet Cake recipe

Upside Down Pear Skillet Cake

Upside Down Maple Pear Walnut Skillet Cake has a deep, rich flavor. It’s a very moist cake packed with brown sugar and maple syrup.
Author: Paula
5 from 41 votes
Print Pin Rate

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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
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For the topping:

  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup light brown sugar packed
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 large pears I used Bosc – peel, core and slice into approx 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 cup walnut pieces lightly toasted

For the cake

  • 1 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 and ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon black walnut extract
  • ½ cup butter at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • cup maple syrup
  • 2 large eggs room temperature


For the topping:

  • In a seasoned 10 inch cast iron skillet, melt butter and medium heat. Spread the butter out to cover the skillet. Add the brown sugar and maple syrup. Simmer, whisking until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Arrange pear slices decoratively over the sugar and butter mixture. Sprinkle walnuts over and around pears. Set aside and mix cake batter.

For the cake:

  • In a large bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, combine greek yogurt, vanilla, and walnut extracts. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the 1/3 cup maple syrup and mix 2 to 3 minutes. Turn mixer to low, add eggs one at a time. Beat well after each addition. Reduce the speed and add dry ingredients alternating with greek yogurt beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Scrape bowl if necessary. Beat only long enough to incorporate the ingredients, over-beating will result in a tough cake.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  • Carefully drop batter by spoonfuls over pears in skillet. Spread evenly, careful not to move the pears. Bake at 350 degrees 40 to 45 minutes. Test with a wood pick in center. Wooden pick should come out clean when cake if done. Cool the cake in the skillet on a rack for 10 minutes.
  • Run a knife around the edge of cake. Carefully invert cake onto a platter. I’ve found wearing oven mittens is the easiest way to do this without slipping. Remove the skillet and allow cake to cool on platter on wire rack.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.


Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 310mg | Potassium: 176mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 414IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Thinking of making this but only have a 12i. Or 8 in cast iron. What change to make a 12 in?

  2. 5 stars
    I just love your dessert recipes. I, too, have a sweet tooth. I look forward to all the recipes you email. Please keep them coming.

  3. Okay, I read through the recipe I don’t know how many times, because I want to make it right now, but… where the heck does it say how high the oven has to be at? I mean, you bake a cake in the oven, right? Am I missing something? The cake looks scrumptious and I was looking forward to trying it out

    1. oh my gosh, sometimes no matter how careful I am I leave out a crucial step! I have corrected the recipe to say Preheat the oven and bake at 350 degrees. Thanks for asking Karin!

      1. no problem. Found a couple of other things, though, as I was making it. You have walnut extract in the index, but maple extract in the recipe (which brought some confusion on my part, so I ended up putting my maple syrup in the yoghurt mix instead). Then later you have the maple syrup again in the butter mix.
        Speaking of index, it says baing soada, rather then baking soda. And in the recipe itself you say “meat the butter”. Hope that helps

      2. It does contain maple syrup as well as vanilla and walnut extract but I”ve tried to clarify it better in the directions. Thanks!

  4. Pingback: 20 Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas | Dollar Store Mom Frugal Fun – Crafts for Kids
  5. This cake looks amazing! I love baking with pears and this cake sounds amazing with maple syrup with brown sugar 🙂 Sounds incredible and would love a big slice of this!

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