Banana-Pear Upside Down Cake

I want to be the person that sits down every morning with a cup of French press coffee, the New York times crossword and fresh baked pastries in my silk pajamas.

There are a few problems with this.

I don’t drink coffee. I desperately want to like coffee. I love the way a freshly brewed pot of coffee smells ,and the way coffee complements chocolate in every way that is holy and good, but I can’t drink it. I can get by substituting with tea.

Banana-Pear Upside Down Cake

Also? The New York Times crossword just isn’t going to happen. Chances are high that that devil-puzzle would end up in the wood stove after five minutes of me cursing the English language and wearing a hole in the page with excessive erasing.

The silk pajamas. I think I could make this happen. Do they have silk pajamas at Target, or is that a specialty store item? If they aren’t available at Target, I may have to settle for a polyester/fleece blend with a reindeer pattern. I am okay with this.

The fresh baked pastries are tricky too. Not because I can’t make some good pastries, but because if I make a batch of croissants or Danishes, I am eating them. Probably all of them. In one sitting. If I had a bakery nearby that did a decent pastry, I would go every morning, but in my neck of the woods, that isn’t going to happen any time soon.

That’s why I love breads or cakes that double as breakfast foods. I can fulfill part of my morning ritual fantasy and have dessert in the evening as well. I think  this “cake” could be made in a loaf pan as well and be given away as a really stunning gift, you just wouldn’t have the increased surface area of a cake pan and may need to cut the amount of pear and brown sugar mix in half.


Banana-Pear Upside Down Cake

  • Author:
  • Cook Time: 55 mins
  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Yield: 8 Servings 1x


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 Bosc pears
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-inch, round cake pan.
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  2. Mix brown sugar and melted butter in a small bowl. Spread on the bottom of greased pan.
  3. Peel, core and thinly slice the pears. Arrange pear slices in on top of brown sugar mixture in a spiral.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together the granulated sugar and stick of butter with a hand mixer.
  5. Add eggs, vanilla and mashed bananas to the creamed sugar. Beat on medium speed for 5-10 minutes.
  6. In a medium-sized bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom and salt.
  7. Slowly add flour mixture and milk to the banana mixture by alternating between the flour and milk. Beat slowly until just incorporated.
  8. Pour batter into cake pan, on top of the pears and brown sugar mixture.
  9. Bake for 55 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and allow to cool for five minutes.
  10. After five minutes, turn cake out onto a serving plate.



My love affair with food began on stepstools in the kitchens of the women in my family. Handing my great-grandmother carrots to grate for coleslaw, licking the beaters covered in my grandmother’s peanut butter frosting, and watching my mother cook up Italian dishes covered in cheese. To this day, I love cheese. Besides cheese, I love painting, ocean air, and the smell of tar after it’s rained. My husband Josh and I have created a little suburban farm with our Layla-Bug, a ridiculously hyper dog, and a one-eyed chicken. Someday, we hope to upgrade to a real country farm.


  1. The “method” steps mention milk, but the ingredients list did not. I went ahead and left the milk out. It is cooking right now and smells divine.

    1. Hi Rachel, thanks for catching that. I will make the changes now. You should be good, it is only 1/4 milk. Let me know how it turns out. This is one of my favorite breakfast “cakes.”

      1. It was lovely! Got rave reviews from my family and guests. When it was fresh out of the oven, it had a nice crust to it that was a bit like Bananas Foster. I kept the leftovers in the fridge overnight and the crust softened but it was still really great for breakfast. It looked and tasted a lot more labor-intensive than it really was. BTW, I didn’t miss the milk at all.

  2. Hi! I was making lunch for 35 people today and had one of my (very rookie) helpers make this. I wasn’t expecting much because we had to do quite a few substitutions, but it was amazing! We tripled the recipe and used coconut oil instead of butter (one friend is dairy free), and used extra bananas instead of the granulated sugar. Also substituted gluten free flour and rice milk instead of milk. It was a huge hit and looked very pretty. I can’t wait to make it with butter 😉

  3. This is my husband’s new favorite cake. It was delicious. I thought it was a tad bit too sweet, but my bananas were VERY ripe. He and my son thought it was perfect. great balance of flavors

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