Gingerbread Pear Upside-Down Skillet Cake

This festive dessert turns classic molasses gingerbread into a skillet upside-down cake with pears simmered in brown sugar and butter. A perfect recipe for your next holiday gathering!

Level

Intermediate

Prep time

30 minutes

Cook time

30-40 minutes

Serves

8-12

Cook it with our

Classic Cast Iron Skillets

Ingredients

For 10.25 Inch Cast Iron Skillet

  • 3 medium-sized firm pears, cored and sliced into eighths
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • ½ cup molasses
  • ⅓ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For 12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet

  • 4 medium-sized firm pears, cored and sliced into eighths
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ¾ cup molasses
  • ½ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Melt butter in skillet on the stovetop over medium-low heat. When butter has fully melted, turn skillet to coat the sides up to the rim. Sprinkle brown sugar over the surface. Wait 3-4 minutes until sugar has partially melted, then arrange sliced pears on top in a pattern of your choice. Turn heat to low.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine molasses and boiling water, stirring until well blended. Add oil, ginger, and lemon zest.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients and mix well. Working in two batches, mix dry ingredients into the molasses mixture. Stir until fully combined, then slowly pour the batter over the arranged pears in the cast iron skillet, taking care not to disrupt the pattern. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until a tester in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Let the cake sit for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the skillet to loosen. Place a large plate or serving board over the skillet and using potholders, carefully invert the cake onto the plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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