Kerbey Lane Cafe's Bourbon Pear Gingerbread Upside Down Cake

Written by Erin Quinn-Kong


Kerbey Lane Cafe's gingerbread pancakes rank right up there with breakfast tacos and migas as Austin breakfast classics. When the restaurant had a recipe contest last year using its gingerbread pancake mix, this cake recipe from Mariana and Ian McEnroe of the blog Yes, More Please! stood out from the crowd. Says the bloggers: "This cake combines the easy and convenient preparation of pancake batter with fresh pears and ginger—because everybody needs to have some fruit, right?"

Bourbon Pear Gingerbread Upside Down Cake
Kerbey Lane Cafe/Yes, More Please Blog


For the bottom layer:

4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 generous pinch of saigon cinnamon
1⁄4 cup spiced bourbon
2-3 medium ripe pears (Bartlett or Bosc), cut into round slices slightly thicker than 1/8-inch. Use mandoline for best results.
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, small diced

For the cake:

3 cups of Kerbey Lane Ginger-Bread Pancake mix
1⁄2 cup white sugar
1⁄4 cup brown sugar packed
1 pinch of salt
3 eggs
3⁄4 cup whole milk
1⁄2 cup Bulgarian yogurt, unsweetened
1⁄2 cup melted organic coconut oil slightly warm

All wet ingredients should be room temperature for best results.

For the bourbon caramel sauce:

2 tablespoons butter 
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup bourbon
1/3 cup heavy cream
pinch of cinnamon
splash of vanilla extract  
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt


Grease a 10-inch cake pan, line it with parchment paper circle and seat aside.

In a small pot, melt butter and brown sugar. Add cinnamon and bourbon and stir until bubbles form around the pan. Remove from stove to cool down.

In the meantime, sprinkle 1⁄2 of the fine diced ginger on the bottom of the prepared cake pan. Slice pears, and arrange them on top of the ginger. Start in the center of the cake pan, make a wheel overlapping the pears slices about 1/3 of each slice, until bottom of the pan its completely covered. Star with the smallest pear slices and finish with the large slices for pretier presentation. Sprinkle the rest of the diced ginger into the crevices between the pears and the perimeter of the pan.
Evenly pour the butter-sugar-bourbon mixture over the pear slices. This light caramel will drip to the bottom of the pan, it is ok, and it will be fantastic! Set the prepared cake pan aside.

Preheat oven 350F. In a medium size bowl mix dry ingredients. In a large liquid measuring cup mix and whisk wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into dry, and mix gently until well combined. Avoid over mixing. Pour cake batter on top of the prepared pan with pears+caramel.

Place cake pan over a baking sheet to prevent caramel spillage in your oven.

Bake for 30 minutes, until the center of cake spring back to the touch or a toothpick comes out clean. Pull cake out of the oven, place on a cooling rack for 20-25 minutes.

Unmold the cake while still warm to the touch. Run a spatula all around the edges to make sure sides are lose. Place a flat plate on top of cake and flip. Remove pan by slighlty twisting for best release, and carefully remove parchment paper.

To make sauce: In a small heavy bottom pan, melt butter and sugar together. Add bourbon and stir until edges bubble and some alcohol has evaporated. Add cinnamon, heavy cream and salt and stir until there are big bubbles around the edges. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Stir and let cool for a few minutes. Serve warm and drizzle freely over the slices of cake when serving.

This cake is best served a few hours after being baked—and it tastes even better the day after. Serve with a scoop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, drizzle with the bourbon salted caramel sauce and sprinkle on a few sea salt flakes. Enjoy!

 Photo credit: Ian McEnroe