This post has been a long time coming! It all started a few months ago when I made a vegan cardamom pear upside down cake for my boyfriend’s dad’s birthday. It was good but still needed some tweaking.
The problem was that I hadn’t written down the recipe at the time, so when I decided to play around with it for the blog I basically had to start from scratch. I also just couldn’t make up my mind about whether the cake needed a topping.
The first version was topped with toasted marshmallow fluff, the second one had a soft meringue cream topping but both seemed to be distracting too mush from the flavours of the cake, as well as the beautifully rustic looking pear halves peaking out of the sponge.
In the end I opted for an optional meringue topping (recipe coming soon!), crunchy on the outside and perfectly chewy inside. You can make it the day before and add it just before serving. Or just enjoy the cake all by it self!
The sponge is the perfect balance of sweet but not too sweet, fluffy and light but beautifully moist at the same time. And then of course, there are the cardamom infused poached pear halves, tender, juicy and lightly caramelised on the edges.
It makes a rather great, slightly more sophisticated addition to your holiday baking.
If you make this recipe at home be sure to tag your photo #myvibrantkitchen on Instagram. I love seeing all your beautiful recreations. And don’t forget to sign up for My Vibrant Kitchen’s newsletter to get the latest recipes, vegan lifestyle tips and travel diaries straight to your inbox.
- 2 pears
- ½ tsp white caster sugar
- 2 tsp cardamom powder
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil or margarine
- 250 ml soy milk
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 80 ml vegetable oil
- 200 g plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 200 g white caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C (fan oven).
- Slice the pears in half and sprinkle the cut, flat sides with 1 tsp of the cardamom powder and ½ tsp sugar.
- Line a loose bottom cake tin with baking paper the size and shape of the bottom of the tin and grease it with margarine or oil. Place the pear halves flat side down in the tin and sprinkle with another 1 tsp cardamom powder.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
- In another bowl whisk together the soy milk, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract and vegetable oil. Once it starts to curdle and thicken pour it into the large mixing bowl and whisk until you have a smooth batter.
- Pour and scrape the batter on top of the pear halves and pop the cake in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool for 20 minutes before carefully removing it from the tin. Slice off the domed top to make it flat and turn it upside down.
- I’ve topped mine with vegan meringue kisses (recipe coming soon!). Enjoy!