Pear, almond and vanilla upside-down cake

My mother has been collecting recipes since she was a young child and adding them to a scrapbook. She recently showed me all of these magazine clippings and among them, an upside-down stuck out to me.

This recipe was originally not vegan and had a method which didn’t make much sense. So this is the version I made and couldn’t stop eating. Enjoy!



  • 3 tablespoons vegan margarine or butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (or preferred sugar)
  • 2 pears
  • 1/2 cup melted vegan margarine or butter
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup apple puree/sauce
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 6 tbsp boiling water for 10 minutes (substitute for 1/4 apple sauce)
  • 1 cup self raising flour, sifted
  • 2/3 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used soy)


  1. Preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan forced (355°F). Line a 20cm (8in) cake tin with baking/parchment paper.
  2. Melt 1/2 cup butter and stir in half the brown sugar. Pour this mixture into the bottom of the cake tin.
  3. Peel the pears and cut into thin slices. Place into the bottom of the cake tin as desired.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the remaining (2 tbsp) butter with the remaining brown sugar, as well as the vanilla and almond extract, until creamy.
  5. Add the apple sauce to this mixture and whisk until combined, add the chia egg and repeat this step.
  6. Sift the flour into the mixture and stir to combine. Add the almond meal, and milk and stir again to combine.
  7. Pour mixture into the cake tin (over pears) and smooth out with a spatula. Tap the cake tin on a counter a few times to level the mixture.
  8. Cook for 1 hour or until a skewer can be removed cleanly.
  9. Remove cake from tin after 10-15 minutes and place onto a serving plate.

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