Honey Pear Upside Down Cake


Apr 10

Honey Pear Upside Down Cake – honey butter cake layers, baked with caramelized pears and filled and covered in a honey cream cheese frosting.

Honey Pear Upside Down Cake - layers of honey butter cake baked with caramelized pears and smothered in a honey cream cheese frosting #cakebycourtney #honeycake #buttercake #pearcake #pears #cake #easycakerecipe #upsidedowncake #cakebycourtney #honeypearupsidedowncake

Honey Pear Upside Down Cake

I love fruit and cheese – separate and together. And even more? I love them together in a cake. I came up with my Honey Pear Upside Down Cake about 4 years ago, when I first started my blog. I remember being so proud of myself for coming up with this combination of flavors and textures because it’s so good!

Honey Pear Upside Down Cake - layers of honey butter cake baked with caramelized pears and smothered in a honey cream cheese frosting #cakebycourtney #honeycake #buttercake #pearcake #pears #cake #easycakerecipe #upsidedowncake #cakebycourtney #honeypearupsidedowncake

Caramelizing Pears

Before making this cake, I knew that I didn’t want to do a fruit filling and I didn’t want to put the pears into the batter. I don’t like chunks of fruit in my cake layers. Just personal preference. That left me with one option: cooking the pears on top of the cake, just like an upside down pineapple cake. 

Using slightly firm barlett pears, I caramelized them a bit with brown sugar, butter and a little water. It’s best not to start with ripe pears because they’ll get mushy as you cook them.  

You’ll divide the pears between two of the pans. The third one will be the cake layers that goes on top. The two layers with the pears will be your bottom and middle cake layers. And don’t get rid of the caramel from the sauce pan. You’ll be pouring some of it into each of your pans to bake with the pears and the cake batter.

After you layout the pears between the three pans, you’ll want to carefully pour 16 to 17 ounces of batter on top. Use an offset icing spatula or the back of a spoon to carefully spread out the batter.

How good does this cake look? Even without the honey cream cheese buttercream, it’s already got great flavors and texture. You could cut a slice right now and walk away happy… but don’t… the honey cream cheese frosting is definitely worth waiting for.

Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

For the frosting, I added a little honey to my cream cheese frosting. This creates an awesome flavor but definitely a sticky frosting. It will be extremely hard to get perfectly smooth sides on this cake, with this frosting. I suggest decorating your cake with a little texture. I used the back of my offset icing spatula and created a swirl around the cake.

Honey Pear Upside Down Cake - layers of honey butter cake baked with caramelized pears and smothered in a honey cream cheese frosting #cakebycourtney #honeycake #buttercake #pearcake #pears #cake #easycakerecipe #upsidedowncake #cakebycourtney #honeypearupsidedowncake

Honey Pear Upside Down Cake - layers of honey butter cake baked with caramelized pears and smothered in a honey cream cheese frosting #cakebycourtney #honeycake #buttercake #pearcake #pears #cake #easycakerecipe #upsidedowncake #cakebycourtney #honeypearupsidedowncake

Honey Pear Upside Down Cake - layers of honey butter cake baked with caramelized pears and smothered in a honey cream cheese frosting #cakebycourtney #honeycake #buttercake #pearcake #pears #cake #easycakerecipe #upsidedowncake #cakebycourtney #honeypearupsidedowncake

 And if pictures aren’t enough, here’s a quick video of this step:

Enjoy!

Honey Pear Upside Down Cake

Yield 1 3-layer, 8-inch cake

Honey butter cake layers, baked with caramelized pears and covered in a honey cream cheese frosting.

Ingredients

For the Honey Pear Upside Down Cake (adapted from The Cake Blog)

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 pears, pealed and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water

For the Honey Cream Cheese Buttercream

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 7 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 4 tablespoons honey

Instructions

For the Honey and Pear Cake

  1. Melt the 3 tablespoons of butter in a frying pan on medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the water and 1/2 cup brown sugar. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar has completely melted. Add the sliced pears and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray three 8" round pans with nonstick spray, line the bottom with parchment paper, and spray again. Set aside. 
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the buttermilk, honey and vanilla. Set aside.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  6. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  7. Gradually add in the dry and wet ingredients, alternating between the two, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  8. In two of the pans, evenly place the pears on the parchment paper. Pour 2 tablespoons of the caramel sauce over the pears in each pan. 
  9. Evenly divide the batter between the three cake pans (about 16 to 17 ounces in each), being careful to gently spread the batter over the pears. 
  10. Bake for 30 minutes, until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  11. Let cool in pans for 5-10 minutes, then remove to wire rack to finish cooling.
  12. Reserve the leftover "caramel sauce." Once the cakes are cooled, drizzle the remaining sauce over the top of the cake layer that doesn't have pears. 

For the Honey and Cream Cheese Buttercream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about three minutes.
  2. Gradually add the powdered sugar on low speed until it is all combined. Increase speed to medium-high and continue to beat for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Mix in honey.

Assembly:

  1. Place first cake layer, pear-side up, on a cake plate. Cover the top of the layer with about a cup of buttercream. I like to use a piping bag to ensure I evenly cover the cake.
  2. Place second cake layer, pear-side up, on top of the frosting and cover it in frosting.
  3. Place the third cake layer, top-side down, on top of the second layer of frosting. Frost a crumb coat around the entire cake and set in the freezer for about 15 minutes to set before applying the remaining frosting.

5 thoughts on “Honey Pear Upside Down Cake

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  1. Hi from Australia!

    Just made this cake for my family – such a lovely recipe!

    Can’t wait to dig in – thanks all to your detailed recipe <3