Chocolate and pear upside-down cake recipe

Baking recipes Sep 25, 2022
  • Serves 12
  • 20 mins to prepare and 1 hr 25 mins to cook, 10 mins to cool
  • 393 calories / serving


  • 6 small ripe pears (roughly 600g), peeled, quartered, and cored
  • 25g butter, melted
  • 30g caster sugar
  • single cream, to serve (optional)

For the sponge

  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 190g salted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 100g low-fat natural yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 100g light soft brown sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 eggs


  1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, and fan 160°C. Put the pears in a baking dish with the melted butter and caster sugar; toss to coat.
  2. Bake for 25 mins or until just tender. Remove and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  3. Grease a 20cm round springform cake tin and line the base with nonstick baking paper.
  4. Arrange the pears in a tight circle over the ground, with the thin ends in the center. Drizzle over any juices from the baking dish.
  5. Mix the cocoa with 100ml boiling water until smooth. With an electric whisk, beat the butter, oil, yogurt, cocoa mix, vanilla, sugar, flour, and baking powder in a large bowl for 2 mins until smooth and fluffy, then beat in the eggs one at a time.
  6. Pour over the pears and shake gently to level out.
  7. Bake for 1 hr-1 hr 10 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 mins in the tin before turning out onto a serving plate, so the pears are facing up.
  9. Serve warm with the cream drizzled over; if using, leave to cool completely.

Tip: You can bake the cake 2 days in advance, making it perfect for a dinner party. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

If short on time, you can skip step 1 and use tinned, quartered pears instead. Drain from their juice and arrange straight in the tin as above.


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