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baking American
Upside-Down Pear Chocolate Cake Recipe-20536

Photo by: Joseph DeLeo
Comments: 0


This cake was an experiment that turned into one of the most popular desserts at the Flea St. Cafe. I am not a chocoholic, but I eat this confection with abandon.

Yield: Makes 10 servings


  • 1¾ cups whole grain pastry flour
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup strong brewed coffee, cooled
  • ¾ cup buttermilk(see Notes)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 large pears, peeled, cored, and sliced


Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a 10-inch cake pan. Line the pan with parchment paper and lightly oil the paper.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In large bowl, whisk together the eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Mix until thoroughly blended.

Line the bottom of the cake pan with the pears in a circular design. Pour the batter on top of the pears. Bake for 55 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Place on a rack and let sit for 10 minutes. Run a metal spatula around the sides of the cake to loosen them. Invert the pan onto a plate. Using the handle of a knife, vigorously tap the top of the pan, even shaking it a bit, to loosen the cake. Leave the pan over the cake for 15 minutes. Remove the pan and let the cake cool completely.


Organic tip:

Organic buttermilk isn’t as easy to find as regular organic milk. If your grocer doesn't carry it, you can substitute sour milk. To make sour milk, add 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup milk and let sit for 10 minutes.

© 2000, 2008 Jesse Ziff Cool

Note from Cookstr's Editors

Nutritional information is based on using 2 pears.


Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

370kcal (19%)
500mg (21%)
14g (21%)
2g (9%)
43mg (14%)
17mcg RAE (1%)
2mg (4%)
74mg (7%)
2mg (11%)

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