Ripples Recipe — Upside-Down Maple Pear Walnut Cake

By Mike Worthy

Maple Pear Upside Down Skillet CakeIngredients

For the topping

4 tablespoons butter

½ cup light brown sugar, packed

¼ cup maple syrup
2 large pears (Bosc preferred), peeled, cored, and sliced into ¼-inch slices

1 cup walnut pieces, lightly toasted

For the cake:

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda 

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup Greek yogurt

½ teaspoon vanilla extract 

½ teaspoon black walnut extract

½ cup butter (room temperature)

½ cup granulated sugar 

1/3 cup maple syrup

2 large eggs (room temperature)


Preheat oven to 350°F.

For the topping: 

In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Spread the butter to cover the skillet and add the brown sugar and maple syrup. Simmer, stirring with a wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and arrange the pear slices decoratively over the sugar and butter mixture. Sprinkle the walnuts over and around the pears. Set aside while mixing the cake batter.

For the cake: 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In a second bowl, combine the yogurt and the vanilla and walnut extracts. In an electric mixer bowl, beat the butter until smooth, add the sugar, and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the 1/3 cup of maple syrup and mix two to three minutes. Reduce mixer to low and add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Reduce the speed and add one-third of the dry ingredients, one-half of the yogurt mixture, another one-third of the dry ingredients, the rest of the yogurt, and the final third of the dry ingredients. To avoid a tough cake, do not beat longer than needed to incorporate the ingredients.

Carefully spoon the batter into the skillet and spread evenly, being careful not to disturb the pears. Bake at 350° 40-45 minutes. The cake is done when a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the skillet on a rack for 10 minutes and then loosen the cake from the pan by running a knife around the edge. Invert the skillet onto a platter (carefully because it will still be hot!). Allow the cake to cool on the platter for as long as you can resist eating it!

And of course, like everything else, it’s better with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream!

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