Recipe: Upside Down Pear Cake

Our friends at Akarua kindly shared one of their favourite autumn cake recipes with us and we’ve tested the Upside Down Pear Cake for you.

Our verdict: This amazing cake is not for the faint of heart but definitely worth the effort!

We recommend reading the entire recipe and making the pears the day before so you can easily make the cake for your event the next day. Also make sure you have all the proper equipment, including the deep pie pan as this is essential for this recipe.

We wish you luck on your baking adventures and of course have some Akarua Pinot Gris to help you through the process!



Roasted Pears  – Can be prepared the evening or day before.

  • 6 large under-ripe pears
  • 180 gm granulated sugar
  • 2 lemons (juice of)
  • 50 ml Akarua Pinot Gris


  • 150 gm caster sugar
  • 80 gm unblanched (skin on) almonds
  • 60 gm hazelnuts, roasted and peeled*
  • 60 gm dessicated coconut
  • 160 gm plain flour
  • 300 gm butter
  • 300 gm granulated sugar
  • 2 oranges (finely grated rind of)
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature, lightly whisked
  • To serve: sour cream or crème anglaise


For roast pears, preheat oven to 150C. Peel pears and halve lengthways. Place cut-side down in a baking dish, sprinkle over sugar and drizzle with lemon juice and wine. Cover with foil and bake for up to 4 hours or until tender. Cool. Using a melon baller, remove cores and stem. Strain liquid through a sieve and reserve. Pears may be cooked the day before and refrigerated.Pear Cake 3

Place caster sugar in a small saucepan, add enough water to dampen and cook over high heat for 10 minutes or until caramel in colour. Pour caramel into a 20cm-round cake pan with high sides and swirl to coat base and sides.Pear Cake 4

Process nuts and coconut in a food processor until coarsely chopped, then add half the flour and process to a medium meal. Combine with remaining flour. Using an electric beater, cream butter, sugar and orange rind until fluffy and approximately 3 times its original volume, then add eggs, a little at a time, beating to incorporate each addition before adding next. Using the open palm of your hand, fold nut mixture through creamed mixture until combined.Pear Cake 2

Heat oven to 160C. Arrange pears, round-side down, snugly into cake pan, spoon over cake mixture, place in a baking dish and cover base with 5mm of water. Bake for 2 hours or until firm and golden. Allow cake to cool in pan. Warm base of pan over stove to melt caramel, then invert onto a plate. Serve drizzled with reserved pear liquid and sour cream or crème Anglaise.

*Recipe courtesy of Australian Gourmet Traveller

You can download the recipe here.


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