Caramel Pear Upside Down Cake – Grain and Dairy Free

This recipe is another variation of an easy banana cake based on a single dry ingredient – coconut flour. Canned or ripe fresh pears, either sliced or halved, are used as a fruit layer in this upside down cake. Nice flat and even surface of the cake is achieved by applying simple, 2 ingredients “caramel” sauce, made from blended canned pears and honey with pure vanilla bean powder as flavouring. For the best, problems free results, I use cake paper liners for any type of baking tins.

Depending on the shape and size of the baking tin, the cake can vary in height. The difference in colours of presented above cake is due to ingredient selection. The batter for the loaf cake was prepared with pure glucose (dextrose) as a sweetener, and baking soda as the raising agent. The round cake I baked for us, and therefore I could have a relaxed choice of ingredients. I used regular white sugar and gluten free baking powder, which has rice flour in it. These two ingredients, compared to dextrose and baking soda, will always produce lighter coloured cakes.

Just a word about the sauce that I used instead of proper caramel. It does not have any fat in it. Coconut oil has too strong flavour for this cake, I decided to try simple sauce made with drained and blended canned pear slices, mixed with honey, a touch of lemon juice and pure vanilla powder. It worked surprisingly well, without too much wetness left in the layer after baking, but allowing the sauce, mixed with cake batter to settle into flat surface. This effect is easier achieved in a loaf cake, with less surface exposed to bending when the cake is turned upside down. In a round cake, where it is impossible to have completely even thickness of the cake, the top splits and tiny gaps appear between pear slices and cake itself.

In both cases I used the portion of the batter made from 3 eggs.


cake batter

  • 3 large eggs, 165-175g without shell
  • 300g diced bananas (ripe bananas will give more runny batter, compared to not so ripe ones)
  • 30ml lemon juice
  • 75g coconut flour
  • 9g baking soda
  • 70-80g dextrose/glucose powder (can be substituted for any natural sugars, for those who tolerate them)
  • 1 tea spoon cinnamon powder (4g)

caramel sauce

  • 60g canned pear slices puree
  • 50g honey
  • 1 tea spoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 level tea spoon vanilla bean powder


  • canned pears in natural juice, no sugar added (large 800g can, with pears sliced or halved) or ripe, soft fresh pears, peeled and cored


  • drain canned pears, use liquid for another cooking needs
  • place pear slices on a paper towel to make their surfaces dry
  • prepare baking tin with paper liners, for a round cake I used 19cm paper liners, spread in a low casserole dish with diameter: bottom 20cm, top 24cm
  • arrange pear slices on the bottom of paper liner
  • blend remaining pear slices into fine puree
  • prepare caramel sauce mixing pear puree, honey, lemon juice and vanilla powder
  • spoon the sauce over arranged pear slices, use all sauce for the round cake, use 3/4 for a loaf cake
  • gently tap the tin to allow the sauce to spread, if the sauce is too thick, use pastry brush
  • prepare cake batter as described here
  • pour or spoon the batter over the pears
  • tap the tin again, for the batter to reach all cavities
  • level the surface of the batter with spatula
  • bake the cake in preheated  to 150C fan forced oven for 55-60 minutes, the time will depend on the shape of the tin and cake thickness
  • let the cake rest in a tin 15 minutes
  • transfer the cake in paper lining to a flat surface (not wiring rack, it will leave the imprint on the cake’s fruit layer)
  • let the cake completely cool down
  • turn the cake over to a serving plate or board
  • carefully peel the lining off

It is wonderfully moist and soft cake. The cake retains its texture the second and the third day. I used fresh fig slices in the middle of the round cake to leave no gaps in the fruit-caramel layer.

5 thoughts on “Caramel Pear Upside Down Cake – Grain and Dairy Free

    1. It is truly a simple, reliable and delicious cake. I lost count how many times I baked it in different variations. With pears, canned in their own juices, with nothing added, and surprisingly easy sauce that worked so well as baking sauce to have an instant glaze to upside down cake, the only thing you need is a reliable paper lining for the tin, or even sheet of baking paper, easy to fold for a square tin.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Coconut flour is very different to other grain free flours. It is usually mixed with other dry ingredients. I wanted very simple flexible recipe, where nothing can go wrong. I am glad I managed to make it. The batter itself can have quite different consistency, depending on egg size and banana ripeness. It however bakes into the same texture cake. I am also very happy that there are so many canned fruits in their own juices or pulp, without sugar added. Makes my life so much easier. All recipes in this blog are created for the person who can’t tolerate any sugar (sucrose) in her diet.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s