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Upside down cakes are the epitome of pleasurable desserts: moistest of cakes, caramelized fruit and the option of whipped cream. This beautiful fall dessert is egg-free and dairy-free, and you’ll love making and using the caramel sauce — just three ingredients and five minutes of cooking. Enjoy making a beautiful Paleo and AIP dessert for yourself and the ones you love.
Pears and Apples
Each autumn we are given pears and apples from our neighbors and friends. Perhaps you have apples dropping in your yard or along the roads where you live? This year we were able to go to an apple pressing, too, to make cider.
These sweet fruits help to usher in the new season with excitement and frugality (SO many apples). And toppings like caramel sauce get us ready for October, Halloween and true autumnal treats!
I brought this Paleo & AIP Pear Upside Down Cake with Easy Caramel Sauce to the apple pressing, happy to share a seasonal treat.
I hope you’re taking lots of deep breaths of this fresh fall air, and have a bit of time to make this special dessert. You might even have a loved one who isn’t Paleo or AIP but who needs an egg-free or dairy-free dessert. May this pear treat add to your autumnal pleasures.
Easy Paleo and AIP Caramel Sauce
If you’re as excited about the caramel sauce in this recipe as the rest of my family, find the bigger recipe here! The recipe below makes a small portion, just enough for this cake. But when you experience just how fast it is to make and just how truly delicious and awesome it is, you’ll want to make a bigger batch right away!
For those who can’t have coconut cream, or who do prefer dairy, the Easy Caramel Sauce recipe HERE can be made dairy-free or with dairy (the Primal version), whichever you prefer.
Go forth and dip and drizzle! 😉
This cake stores well in the fridge for up to 5 days.
You can freeze it, too. Just defrost by the slice on the counter for a few hours, or overnight in the fridge.
Leftovers are great for breakfast or packed in lunches. This nutrient-dense dessert is healthy!, especially eaten alongside or after protein.
- Enjoy Pear Upside Down Cake with Coconut Whipped Cream!
- Have it for dessert, breakfast or with afternoon tea.
- Definitely feel free to serve it unadorned, with just some hot tea, coffee or herbal coffee on the side. This cake is great without any garnish because upside down cakes have the topping built in, all that caramely goodness and baked, soft fruit.
Paleo & AIP Pear Upside Down Cake with Easy Caramel Sauce
- cake pan
- 2 whole pears peeled
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2/3 cup filtered water
- 2/3 cup coconut butter warmed slightly
- 1/2 cup cassava flour , see link in Recipe Notes
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup fat of choice melted and cooled slightly, if solid fat
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon gelatin , see Recipe Notes for discount code and link
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon dried ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Place coconut cream and coconut sugar in small saucepan. Turn heat to medium and bring to simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar.
- Once simmering, reduce heat to very low and maintain simmer for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Turn off heat and stir in sea salt. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease 9" round cake pan. Slice pears and arrange decoratively around the base of the cake pan. (This will become the top of the cake.)
- In large bowl stir together wet cake ingredients and sugar: applesauce, warm coconut butter, warm water, fat, apple cider vinegar and coconut sugar.
- In smaller bowl sift together dry ingredients: cassava flour, coconut flour, gelatin, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and sea salt.
- Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients and fold together until well mixed, without over-mixing.
- Pour caramel sauce somewhat evenly over pears in cake pan. (Don't worry about spreading it evenly.) Scoop out batter and spread it evenly over the caramel and pears in the pan.
- Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes. Remove to cooling rack for 10 minutes.
- (Now: We unmold the cake while it's still warm so the caramel top and pears come away from the pan easily.) Carefully flip cake over onto plate or serving platter. (Do this by placing plate on top of pan. Hold both pan and plate together tightly and quickly flip.) Lift off cake pan. If any pears are displaced, simply put them back into place. Allow cake to cool completely.
- Serve alone or embellish with coconut whipped cream.
How did upside down cakes originate?
Two hundred years ago, when American cooks used cast iron skillets, it was easy to add fruit and sugar to the bottom of a pan and then to pour cake batter over the top. The cake slowly cooked, covered, on the warm stove top or, later in history, could be transferred to the oven. The cake was flipped over onto a large plate to show the pretty top.
This upside down stove top technique was used at least as far back as the Middle Ages.
In the early 1900s, one of James Dole’s engineers developed a machine to remove the core of the pineapple. Pineapple rings were soon canned and home cooks used the fruit year round for upside down cakes, adding cherries in the center of each ring for color. That classic American recipe was first put into print in 1930.
Upside down cakes, with any of the fruits one can grow or forage, are an American tradition that probably originated in Europe.