Spiced pear & pistachio upside down cake

Spiced pear & pistachio upside down cake

Your new favorite winter cake recipe! Toasty and nutty pistachios + rich masala chai + juicy poached pears for a perfect cake recipe that fills your home with the best wintery spices.


Masala chai concentrate


Chai hot toddy

dona chai



  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons masala chai concentrate
  • ¼ cup pomegranate molasses
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 4 small ripe Bosc pears (about 1½ pounds), peeled, halved lengthwise, cored
  • 1 cup unsalted, roasted pistachios
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon zero waste masala chai dust
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon finely grated orange zest


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350˚. Butter a 10"-diameter cake pan and line bottom with a parchment paper round; flour sides of pan. Cook chai concentrate, ¼ cup pomegranate molasses, 1/2 cup sugar, and remaining 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is slightly reduced, about 4 minutes. Add pears, cut side up, and cook (undisturbed) until they begin to release their juices, about 3 minutes. Turn pears over and cook just until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Let cool slightly, then arrange pears, cut side down, in prepared pan.

Step 2

Return skillet to medium heat and cook liquid in skillet until thickened and syrupy, about 5 minutes, depending on juiciness of pears. Pour syrup over pears and freeze while you prepare the batter (this is to allow syrup to set up—don’t let it freeze solid).

Step 3

Pulse walnuts and remaining 1½ cups flour in food processor until walnuts are finely ground. Pulse in baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chai spice dust.

Step 4

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat eggs, orange zest, and remaining 1½ cups sugar in a medium bowl until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Fold in dry ingredients in 2 additions, fully incorporating before adding the next addition, then gradually mix in the melted butter. Pour batter over pears and smooth top.

Step 5

Set pan on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake cake until top is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 50–60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in pan, 15–20 minutes. Run knife around edges of cake to loosen and invert onto rack. Remove parchment and let cake cool completely. Before serving.