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+ servings

Swedish Upside-Down Pear Cake Recipe

A buttery, sweet, vanilla Swedish cake topped with caramelized pears and vanilla bean.
Print Recipe
Keywordpear cake
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Servings8 slices


For pears

  • 4 tablespoon butter
  • 2 pears --enough to cover the bottom of the pan sliced about ¼ to ½ inch thick.
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean pod OR 1 teaspoon vanilla extract sliced in half lengthwise

For cake

  • 4 tablespoons butter softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoon milk
  • 1 ¼ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract


  • On medium heat, in a large skillet, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter.
  • Add the pear slices, brown sugar, and vanilla bean. Turn the pan to low.
  • Stir until a thick syrup is created (this is about 5 minutes, or so. Shake the pan a few times to keep it from burning).
  • Cook the pears for about 5 minutes or until just soft. Stir often.
  • When the pears are just soft, put the vanilla in the cake pan, followed by the pear slices, and then the sauce. NOTE: you can use an oven-proof skillet and bake the cake right in the skillet you made the pears in.

For the cake

  • Beat the butter and sugar together.
  • Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of milk and beat again, just until combined.
  • Sprinkle the flour and baking powder on top.
  • Stir gently.
  • Add almond extract.
  • Pour the batter over the pears and bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a knife stuck into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool for about 10 minutes and flip upside down on to serving platter. --don't flip over in cooking the cake right in the skillet.
  • Serve with whipped cream and ice cream.


Note: if you are using vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean add it to the skillet right before you add the batter. Stir gently. You can also omit it without any problem.
No need to peel the pears, the peel will soften nicely and be easy to eat.


Calories: 305kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 86mg | Sodium: 169mg | Potassium: 122mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 600IU | Vitamin C: 1.9mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 0.3mg