Down Cake

The Perfectly-Oriented Pear and Earl Grey Upside-Down Cake

This cake is a great example of how to use the contrast between two flavors. The cake is made of raw pears and Earl Grey tea.

The cake can be served in a variety of ways:

– with the pear and Earl Grey tea flavors facing up or down,

– with the pear on top and the Earl Grey tea on bottom,

– with both fruit flavors facing up or down.

This upside-down cake is a perfect example of how to use the two ingredients that are meant to be paired together. The combination of sweet and sour in this cake makes it so refreshing, yet the texture is rich and decadent.

down cake

It’s easy to make and will be a hit at any gathering!

The first thing I have made in our new house. Exactly one day before I went on the trip to Copenhagen/Stockholm, we moved everything into a new house in Napa. All in one day. We had to leave our place in St Helena in 3 days since we were technically never on the lease, and our roommate, who we were paying rent, wasn’t exactly paying it on time. So we packed, found a new house, signed a year lease, and moved all within 3 days. 

Then it was off on the trip for me and then coming back to unpacking between shifts. So my first post since the move is long overdue. We now have a decent size backyard and even a picnic table that seems to be working out well for photos. 

I have made this cake in a small but very deep cake pan, just for presentation sake, but I would recommend a standard 8-inch pan for tasting sake. The ratio of pears to cake is very off with a tall pan. It was still a tasty cake nonetheless.

Once flipped over, the excess caramel seeps into the cake, leaving a soft and gooey layer between the pears and proper cake. The best part, in my opinion.

down cake recipe



  • 1 1/2 c (187g) AP
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (114g) butter, softened
  • 1 c (200g) sugar
  • 1 tbsp earl grey tea 
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 c (118ml) milk
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar


  • 4 tbsp (56g) butter
  • 1/2 c (100g) brown sugar
  • 3 pears, peeled and thinly sliced
  • Oven 350F. 8inch round pan, buttered and floured
Oriented Pear down cake recipe


Combine butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until butter has melted and sugar is dissolved. Pour into the bottom of the pan. Fan out the pear sliced in overlapping circles on top.


Sift AP, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside. Beat the butter, sugar, and tea together in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla and egg yolks, and beat in. Add in the dry ingredients, mixing until combined. Add in milk and combine. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks. Fold into batter. Pour onto pears. 

Bake until the center is set and springs back to the touch for 35-45 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a plate.

Let cool completely.

a slightly altered Martha Stewart recipe

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