Upside-down Gingerbread Cake with Pears

3:10 pm on 28 March 2014


  • Upside down gingerbread cake with pears by Julie Biuso1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 115ml milk
  • 60g butter
  • 100g standard flour
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 large (size 7) free-range egg, lightly beaten
  • 120g soft brown sugar
  • 120g treacle


  • 40g butter
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 3 perfectly ripe small pears, peeled, halved and cored
  • 8 walnut halves


Line a 20cm diameter cake tin with baking paper, or a square tin that’s just big enough to fit 6 pear halves. Preheat oven to 180°C (regular).

To make the topping, melt butter in a small saucepan over gentle heat, Add brown sugar and cook, stirring, until smooth. Pour into prepared tin. Arrange pears in tin cut side down with walnut halves between them.

To make the cake, stir lemon juice into milk and set aside. Melt butter and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Sift flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and the spices together into a large bowl. In a large bowl or jug lightly beat the egg with a fork, then mix in the lemon and milk mixture, melted butter, sugar and treacle. Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the liquid and beat together for 1 minute, until smooth. Pour batter over the pears in the tin.

Bake for 40-50 minutes in the preheated oven, until a good deep golden brown and slightly springy to the touch; the centre should still be a fraction wobbly. Cool in the tin for 20 minutes. Cover tin with a large serving plate, then flip, lift off tin, then peel off paper.

Serve warmish with ice cream, whipped cream or crème fraiche.

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan

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