Chili Chocolate Pear Upside Down Cake

Posted on by on November 14th, 2011 | 54 Comments »

It has been a while since I have posted anything new and I have been meaning to get  on the computer, sit down and write something new, post about my trip to Berlin and the amazing food I ate there. However, sometimes life gets in the way of doing things you want to do. Life and laryngitis. Now, finally after a 2 week hiatus I am back and so excited to resume regular blog posts!

Fall is arriving in Be’er Sheva and though it is way behind most of the world, it could not be more welcomed. The days feel more like spring than fall but, my rimon tree is starting to loose its leaves which makes me nostalgic for New York autumn. Nights are cool enough for sweat shirts and days are getting shorter. I have been buying pumpkin, butternut squash and pears by the kilos, and recently stocked up on chestnuts that are sitting in the pantry waiting to be roasted.

This recipe stemmed from my husbands declaration of love for pears (which before this I had not known existed) in which he boldly asked “Why don’t you ever buy me pears?”. I bought so many that they weren’t consumed fast enough and I was left with a fruit drawer filled with the lovely fruit about to go bad.

I found this recipe on which is from Rustic Fruit Desserts: Crumble, Buckles, Cobblers, Pandowdies, and More. Pears and chocolate make for a wonderful combination (as do most fruits and chocolate) along with that and the mouthwatering photo of this cake, it wasn’t long before I was making it to serve to friends for dessert. 

I adapted the recipe slightly and added chili powder which gave the cake an extra layer of depth. It was an easy cake to make and a big hit. I served it with whipped cream but dont be shy to top it with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Rustic, elegant, beautiful and delicious this chili chocolate pear upside down cake is sure to be a big hit.


For Pear Topping:

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
3 pears, peeled, cored and sliced
2 teaspoons chili powder

For Cake:

1/4 cup butter
6 ounces dark chocolate chips
1 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons chili powder
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9 inch cake pan, set aside.
To make the pear topping, combine sugar, water and butter in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar is disolved.
Bring mixture to a boil, then cover and cook for 3 minutes.
Uncover pot saucepan and continue to simmer, gently swirling the pan as needed until the mixture turns an amber color.
Carefully pour the sugar mixture into prepared cake pan and set aside to harden.
Toss pear slices with chili powder and set aside.
To make the cake,  sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt and chili powder in a bowl and set aside.
Combine the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat and melt, stirring occasionally.
Transfer melted chocolate to a mixing bowl and beat in sugar using an electric mixture.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Stir in the flour mixture and the buttermilk in additions, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
Arrange pear slices on the top of the hardened sugar in the cake pan.
Pour cake batter over pears and bake for 40-45 minutes or until cake springs bake slightly when touched.
Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then carefully invert cake onto a plate.
Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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  1. Posted on: 11-14-2011

    Beautiful!! I am doing an Indian dinner party this Friday and was thinking of doing a chocolate & pear pudding but didn’t know how to spice it up a bit, you must have read my mind, thanks!!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-16-2011

      You should totally add chili powder to the pudding. Sounds so good. I hope you post it!

  2. Posted on: 11-14-2011

    Welcome back, Beth! And this cake looks absolutely amazing.. I love the combination between chocolate and pears!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-16-2011

      Thanks Giulia! Any fruit paired with chocolate is a perfect combination 🙂

  3. Posted on: 11-14-2011

    Yay!! I have been missing your blog posts ;-D This cake looks awesome.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-16-2011

      Thank you!! I wanted to save you a piece but apparently the MSIHers devoured it before I had a chance!

  4. Tse-Ling
    Posted on: 11-15-2011

    This cake looks amazing! I’d love to try it but how many eggs do I use (I think they’ve been left out of the ingredients)?

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-16-2011

      Thank you for catching that!!! You use 2 eggs…I have edited the ingredient list to include them!

  5. Posted on: 11-15-2011

    Beth!!!!! I’m so happy you are back. I was wondering how you’re doing. I missed your blog! Chocolate and pear combination is interesting and this looks pretty! You came back with a great recipe! Keep on blogging! 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-16-2011

      Aw thanks Nami! It is good to be back. A bit overwhelming catching up on all my blogs and getting back into the swing of things!

  6. Posted on: 11-15-2011

    SO good to see you back! I was hoping you were OK…whew…

    Your cake is gorgeous! I’m a pear fanatic, too…but I need to try pairing them with chocolate 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-16-2011

      Thanks Liz! Thanks for thinking of me, I am just fine, just was sick and super busy which left no time for fun things like blogging!

  7. Posted on: 11-15-2011

    Welcome back! You did come back with a delicious post here. Love the pear/chocolate combo and the zing of the heat in this recipe. Your pictures are nothing but tempting. Thanks for sharing-Delicious.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-16-2011

      Thanks Tina! I knew my first post back had to be something amazing and mouthwatering!

  8. Posted on: 11-15-2011

    What a gorgeous cake, this looks so delicious! 🙂

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-16-2011

      Thanks Kelly! It is as delicious as it looks 🙂

  9. Posted on: 11-16-2011

    Now if only you could come over and bake this rustic and beautiful cake for me tonight! This looks too good. Thank you for sharing with me…and thank you for visiting my blog! Your words mean a lot to me! I hope you have a great week!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-16-2011

      I’m so happy I found your blog, its so lovely!!
      Anytime you find yourself in Israel, I will be more than happy to bake one of these to share!!

  10. Posted on: 11-16-2011

    Chocolate and pears is such a wonderful pairing, never thought of adding chilli, nice! Oh boy laryngitis…I sympathize had it for 1 month last winter, hope you are all better.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-16-2011

      Yes, laryngitis is no fun! I dont know what I would have done if I had it for a whole month! Ahh!
      Chili really goes nicely with the chocolate and pear combination, adds a little depth and heat to it.

  11. Posted on: 11-16-2011

    Wow! This sounds wonderful! I love a good upside down cake, and the seasonal pears sound delicious! The addition of the chili would be awesome!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-16-2011

      Upside down cakes are pretty awesome, this is the second one I have made. I really should make more, they are sooo good and super versatile.

  12. Posted on: 11-16-2011

    This cake looks so rich and delicious! Just gorgeous!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-16-2011

      Thanks Stephanie. It is rich but not super rich, I think the addition of buttermilk helps balance out the sweetness!

  13. Posted on: 11-16-2011

    What a beautiful and creative dessert. Good to have you posting again.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-16-2011

      Thanks Sandra! It is good to be back posting! I missed blogging!

  14. Posted on: 11-16-2011

    I know what you mean about life getting in the way… This recipe is gorgeous! Happy fall!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-16-2011

      Thanks Sarah! Yay for fall, finallyyyy!

  15. Posted on: 11-16-2011

    Beautiful dessert Beth!!!
    This cake really look so delicious…
    I like the addition of chili…

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-16-2011

      Thanks so much!! The addition of chili really makes it special!

  16. Posted on: 11-17-2011

    This looks absolutely DIVINE! I can’t wait to try it ; )

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-19-2011

      Thanks Jenné! I hope you like it as much as we did!

  17. Posted on: 11-18-2011

    Wow. What a combination of flavors! I am loving this recipe.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-19-2011

      Thanks Russell! Chocolate and anything are great flavors! It makes me smile that you like the recipe, I seriously drool over your recipes. Totally making your burbon apple merengue deliciousness for Thanksgiving.

  18. Posted on: 11-19-2011

    Beautiful cake, Beth. I love pears, especially this time of year. Great idea to pair it with chocolate!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-19-2011

      This time of year is definitely perfect for pears!!

  19. Posted on: 11-19-2011

    Beth, this cake look so good girl! I love your idea! I made once upside down with peaches, but this one would be totally hit too! Got to try it!!!! Thanks for sharing and have yourself fantastic weekend!!!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-19-2011

      Yum, peach upside down cake sounds heavenly! I bet that peaches would be awesome on this cake come spring/summer time!!
      Have a great weekend too!!

  20. Posted on: 11-20-2011

    Welcome back Beth!! I checked a couple of times for blog while you’re gone hoping something new had been posted. I figured you’re having such a wonderful time traveling and little time for blogging.
    This cake is so beautiful! Love pear desserts! YUM!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-21-2011

      Sometimes life gets in the way of the blogging, but Im so happy to be back and am so glad you enjoyed the post!!

  21. Posted on: 11-20-2011

    laryngitis! Oh no! I am glad you are feeling better … and baking again 😀

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-21-2011

      Thanks Tiffany! Laryngitis is so not fun!!

  22. Posted on: 11-20-2011

    Welcome back! This cake looks fabulous.. The pears arranged on top are gorgeous.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-21-2011

      Thanks! Its great to finally be back!! I also love the way the pears look!

  23. Posted on: 11-20-2011

    This is a cake I trully want to try… It looks very well cooked and moist as well!!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-21-2011

      The cake is so moist! It comes from the sugar topping…when baked it melts and seeps into the cake!

  24. Posted on: 11-21-2011

    Such a nice looking cake. I love the hint of spice with the sweetness of the pears.

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 11-21-2011

      Thanks Kristen!!

  25. Posted on: 11-21-2011

    This is the epitome of what every pear – chocolate cake should be/look like. I adore the addition of chili powder for some kick. Simpy amazing! Gorgeous photos!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 12-17-2011

      Thank you Lisa!!

  26. Posted on: 11-23-2011

    This looks lovely and decadent and rich and wonderful. Such a lovely combination of ingredients. I love it!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 12-17-2011

      Thanks Lindsay! Thee flavors are just so perfect together, but then again isnt everything perfect with chocolate?!

  27. Posted on: 11-30-2011

    wow! this is so creative! what a great combo of flavors!

    • BethMichelle
      Posted on: 12-17-2011


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