I discovered this gem while searching for a healthy dessert cake. Ginger Pear Upside Down Cake with Lime Zest, this recipe uses a small amount of light olive oil (rather than butter or large amounts of vegetable oil); the buttermilk and cake flour help give it a light, moist texture. Fresh pears and ginger with the lime zest are just meant to be together!
Use bartlett or anjou pears. Both are great for cooking, but I prefer these anjou beauties because they don’t overripen as quickly as the bartlett, allowing me several days before preparing my recipe. I have made this cake with both varieties. The bartlett pear is known to break down easier into a kind of paste. After baking, I have found both pears equally delicious in the cake.
Delicious and pretty but relatively guilt-free. Ginger Pear Upside Down Cake with Lime Zest has just 190 calories per serving, 5g total fat (1g saturated fat). 20g sugar (part of this is amount is natural sugar from the pears). Pears provide soluble fiber and vitamin C while ginger is great for digestion. But you won’t be thinking about any of that while enjoying the warm, spicy richness of this cake.
- 2 tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar (You may increase this amount if you want the glaze even more intense)
- 3 firm-ripe Bartlett or Anjou Pears
- 1¼ cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger and juice
- ¾ teaspoon Baking Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Baking Soda
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 3 tablespoons light olive oil
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- Lime Zest from one Lime, grated
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 large Egg plus 1 large Egg White
- ¾ cup Buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 9-inch round nonstick cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle brown sugar over bottom, coating evenly.
- Peel, core, and halve pears. Slice pears crossswise into ⅓-inch-thick slices. Evenly spread pears in pan, covering bottom of pan.
- Grate teaspoon (or more, to liking) of fresh ginger and sprinkle evenly over pears, letting juice drip onto pears, as well.
- In medium bowl, mix together flour, ground ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In large bowl, using electric mixter, beat together oil, sugar, lime zest, and coconut extract. Beat in whole egg and egg white until thick.
- Now, turn off mixer and using a spatula, alternately fold flour mixture and buttermilk into egg mixture, until just blended.
- Pour batter over pears, smoothing top to cover pears completely. For more fruit with every slice, leave out about ¾ cup of the batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out nearly clean, about 30-35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Let cake cool in pan on rack for 8-10 minutes, then carefully run a knife around cake to loosen. Invert cake onto a platter. Let cool slightly before slicing.