Pear and Caramel Upside Down Cake – Grain and Dairy Free

The base for fresh pears and caramel upside down cake is a very simple and reliable batter with 4 main ingredients. The only flour ingredient is coconut flour, the rest are bananas, eggs and sugar of your choice. For those who try to avoid any sweeteners, and like their cake just a touch sweet, sugar can be completely excluded for ingredients list. The cake will still have a mild sweet taste. The cake is gluten, grain, starches, nut, legumes, soy, dairy, gums, added fat and yeast free. I was not quite sure that caramel sauce made only from 2 ingredients – canned pears puree and honey, without any added fat, will work, but it did, giving the nice, glossy surface to the cake.

I have baked this cake with slices of canned pears as well. These cakes can be baked in bread loaf tin and in round springform pan. Both medium height rectangular cake, and lower height round cake, had the same soft and moist texture.

Caramel and pear surface looks perfect in rectangular cake, but is not so perfect in the round cake, where the differences in cake height make the top caramel surface split in several places, when the cake is turned upside down. Depending on the type of sugar and raising agents used, baked cake can be either light or dark brown colour. To make a rectangular, darker cake, dextrose and baking soda were used, while in the round, lighter colour cake, those were replaced by regular sugar and baking powder.


cake batter

  • 4 large eggs (210-220g without shell)
  • 400g bananas
  • 40ml lemon juice
  • 80g granulated or powdered sugar of your choice (I used 100g pure dextrose/glucose, as the cake was baked for a person not tolerating any dry sugars except glucose, and because glucose is less sweet than any other sugar)
  • 100g coconut flour
  • 1 heaped tea spoon cinnamon powder
  • 12g baking soda

caramel sauce

  • 80g canned pear puree (I used canned pears in juice, without added sugar)
  • 60g honey
  • 1-2 tea spoons of lemon juice
  • 1 coffee spoon of pure vanilla powder (ground vanilla bean)


  • 3-4 ripe pears with skin on


I used 11cm x 31cm springform baking pan to bake this cake. I lined it with baking paper, because I did not have any special paper liners to suit this pan. To bake nice looking cake with flat top and sides, baking paper have to be lined carefully, close to the pan removable sides.

  • wash and dry pears
  • cut pear cheeks 2-3 mm from pear core
  • place pear cheeks on a paper towel to remove extra moisture from the cut
  • blend canned pear slices to make homogeneous puree
  • mix pear puree with honey, vanilla powder and 1 tea spoon of lemon juice, taste the sauce, if sweet and too bland, add another tea spoon of lemon juice
  • pour caramel sauce into lined tin, tap the pan on a benchtop to spread the sauce evenly
  • arrange pear cheeks in the tin

  • if caramel layer appears too thick, sprinkle with almond meal (1 tea spoon)
  • mix sifted dry ingredients: coconut flour, cinnamon powder, baking soda
  • beat eggs with sugar until the mixture nearly triples in volume
  • blend diced bananas with lemon juice
  • add banana puree to beaten eggs, whisk for 1-2 min

  • add dry ingredients to wet ingredients
  • mix them together with a whisk
  • the batter looses the volume and thickens quite quickly
  • thickened batter is better spooned into the tin
  • batter transfer into the tin over the pears and caramel sauce have to be made carefully, to avoid pushing caramel sauce from the centre to the sides
  • make the surface of the batter flat and even, wet silicone spatula is the best utensil to use

  • bake in preheated to 150C fan forced oven for 55-60 minutes

  • let the cake rest in the pan without removing sides for 15 minutes
  • remove the sides of the tin, but leave the cake on the bottom of the tin
  • let the cake rest until completely cooled down and caramel layer is set
  • carefully turn the cake over to a serving board or platter

  • use palette knife to work with still soft caramel layer if necessary

The cake was a gift, and it was taken away not sliced. The cut cake from exactly the same batter looks as on the photo below.

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

    1. I always use fresh pears in upside down cakes without prior cooking. Baking is enough for them to be soft, and the skin keeps slices or cheeks together.

  1. I don’t have a fan forced oven. Any thoughts on how to make it work in a conventional oven?

    1. Janet,
      You can use the temperature 10 degrees C higher and it might take a bit longer to bake. Actually our friend bakes this cake and all other recipes, including bread in regular oven, the result is usually better, her cakes and bread always raise better. The main issue in baking fruit puree cakes is to use lower temperatures for glucose and fructose not to burn in the process. I am always very sceptical when I see these types of cakes, or cakes with honey bakes at 180C temperatures and showing no signs of deep dark and bitter in taste burns.

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