Friday Foodspiration: Healthy Pear Upside Down Cake

Winter weekends are for baking at our house. This past weekend my 6 year old son requested that we make an upside down cake. I have no idea where he even got this idea.

But, I dug out one of my old favorite recipes from Martha Stewart for Pear Upside Down Cake (you can find the original recipe HERE). I made my substitutions to make it gluten, grain, dairy, and refined sugar free. It wasn’t nearly as fluffy but just as satisfying with sweet caramelized pears on top, a gooey middle, and crunchy outside thanks to the cast iron skillet.



  • 2 tbs Butter Flavored Coconut Oil*

  • 1/2 cup Golden Monk fruit (or other brown sugar substitute)

  • 2 medium Pears, peeled and sliced thin


  •  2 1/4 cup Almond Flour

  • 3 tsp Baking Powder

  • 1 tsp Xantham Gum

  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt

  • 1/2 cup Butter Flavored Coconut Oil, softened

  • 1 1/4 cup Monk fruit Sweetener (or other granulated sweetener)

  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract

  • 3 large Eggs, at room temperature

  • 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk

  • 1 tbs Vinegar


1.  Melt to coconut oil in a 10 inch cast iron skillet. Add the golden monk fruit and stir until dissolved. Arrange the pears to cover the bottom in a single layer (it’s ok if they overlap some).

2.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the almond milk and vinegar (to make a non dairy buttermilk). Set aside.

3.  With an electric mixer, cream together the coconut oil and sweetener until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add vanilla and eggs, beating well to combine.

4.  In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients and whisk to combine and break up any clumps.

5.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Then add the milk mixture and mix until well combined.

6.  Carefully spread the batter over the pears in the cast iron skillet.

7.  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean from the center. You may need to cover the edges with fool if they brown before the center is cooked through.

8. Remove from the oven, run a knife around the outside of the pan, and invert onto a serving dish. Best served warm. **

*The butter flavored coconut oil allows a buttery flavor without the dairy. If you do not have to cook dairy free, feel free to substitute regular unsalted butter.

**After flipping, I slid the cake back into the cast iron skillet to keep it warm and crispy on the outside. I served it alongside homemade cinnamon whipped cream for those in my family who eat dairy.