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Cinnamon Pear Cornmeal Upside-Down Cake For Share Our Strength

Gluten Free Cinnamon Pear Cornmeal Cake

This post is linked to A Gluten Free Holiday: Desserts!

When my children woke up hungry for breakfast this morning, I mindlessly plodded over to my refrigerator in my comfortable slippers and cozy pajamas. I perused my shelves stocked high with food and shuffled things around. My mind was wandering to what my to-do’s entailed for the day, not to what was about to go in my children’s mouths.  I mumbled to myself about how over-full my refrigerator was.  I made a mental note to organize it. I reminded myself to toss the steak from a few nights before. Yes. Throw it away.

I pulled out a carton of farm-fresh eggs that we had just picked up the day before at the Farmer’s Market. I grabbed some green onions. I rescued the leftover vegetables from the night before, already pushed to the back, quickly about to be forgotten.

From the counter, I grabbed some beautifully ripened pears and a couple of my Gluten Free “Bran” Muffins that I had baked the night before.

But as I think back to when I placed that plate piled with nutrients in front of them, I realize that in that harried moment of trying to get everyone ready and off to school, I did not mark with gratefulness how truly blessed my children are to begin their day with such sustaining food.

This morning, in that moment, we did not take the time to acknowledge those 1 in 6 American children who will worry today about where their next meal will come from.  We did not recognize the more than 12 million children who did not start their day off with that nutritionally sound and ever-so-important meal of the day.  We did not acknowledge the children that do not know the comforts that my children have, that your children have – the warm homes in the dead of winter, the hot meals that fuel growling stomachs, the new jackets and the coolest shoes that get replaced as fast growing arms and feet outgrow them.

This morning, instead, I was wondering how I was going to get my three year old to finish his breakfast in time to get him dressed. I was busy convincing my six year old to take “Just one more bite” – that same bite that way too many children would give anything for.

And now, I feel sheepish as I type this.  Here I am asking you to work with myself and the more than 50 other food bloggers participating in a first ever virtual 7 course Progressive Dinner Party called “Share Our Holiday Table” to help those very children that I was too busy (with my own comfortable life) to think about this morning.

But this Food Blogging event is trying to change that. It is trying to bring this issue into the forefronts of our minds. It is an effort to get us all to think about these children on a regular basis. We all have the same purpose – to leave NO KID HUNGRY!!  We are all coming together to bring you amazing holiday menus to help increase awareness and to make a change in childhood hunger in the United States.

Share Our Holiday Table

You can help us by contributing to the Share Our Strength’s “No Kid Hungry Campaign”. It does not matter how big or small a contribution. Every dollar can help to feed a child.  I know that I have already made our family’s contribution and taken a pledge to not let my family forget those children. Our family has done it prior to this and we will continue to do so.  You can do the same.  If you know where your next meal is coming from, then go ahead and click here: NO KID HUNGRY.  Whatever you can contribute can help to make a difference.

So today, I will share with you the Gluten-Free Dessert course of this amazing Virtual Progressive Dinner Party.  My Cinnamon Pear Upside Down Cornmeal Cake is one of my favorite desserts (I know the name is a mouthful).  It comes together so quickly and, before you know it, you have a dessert worthy of the most impressive of dinner parties.

I will not go on and on about the pleasures of this cake.  Just make it. You will truly enjoy it. I promise you.  It is not overly sweet. It is just right. Perfect, really.

Cinnamon Pear Cornmeal Cake

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Pear Upside Down Cornmeal Cake

(easily adaptable to be Dairy-Free or Egg-Free)


2 ripe Pears – peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

1/3 cup Brown Sugar, packed

4 Tbsp Unsalted Butter (For Dairy-Free: use 4 Tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Stick)

¾ cup Yellow Cornmeal, preferably organic

¾ cup Almond Flour, such as Honeyville or Digestive Wellness

¾ cup Granulated Sugar

¾ tsp Baking Powder, gluten-free and aluminum free

¾ tsp Baking Soda

1/8 tsp Sea Salt, fine

1 ½ tsp Ground Cinnamon

½ cup Plain Yogurt (Dairy OR Dairy-free)

2 tsp Lemon Juice

2 Large Eggs (For Egg-Free: use 6 Tablespoons HOT water mixed with 2 Tablespoons Flax Meal and allow to sit for 10 minutes until gelled)

¼ cup Unsulphured Molasses

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 Tbsp Organic Canola Oil, OR Coconut Oil (measured in liquid form)


1.  Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease sides of a heavy 9 inch cake pan. In the bottom of the pan, place butter slices and brown sugar evenly over the bottom.  Put pan in oven and watch until the butter and brown sugar start to bubble – about 5 – 7 minutes.  Remove pan and arrange pear slices in a circular pattern around the bottom of the pan, turning each slice once to coat in sugar mixture.  Be careful – pan is hot.

2.  In large bowl, whisk together cornmeal, almond flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and cinnamon until mixture seems light in weight.

3.  In small bowl, mix together plain yogurt and lemon juice.  Let sit 5 minutes to sour.  Then, in a medium bowl, whisk eggs by hand until gently beaten and foamy, then add yogurt/lemon juice mixture, molasses, vanilla, and oil.  Whisk until well blended.

4.  Slowly add wet ingredients into dry and then fold in until well-blended and incorporated. Carefully pour batter into cake pan, trying to not disrupt the pear design. Gently spread with back of spoon.

5.  Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched in center and tooth pick comes out clean.  After 5 minutes, run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan. Invert onto serving plate.  Hint: if you are not Dairy Sensitive, this is absolutely amazing served with a drizzle of Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce. This is also wonderful served with your favorite Dairy or Dairy-Free Vanilla or Cinnamon ice cream.

Cinnamon Vanilla Upside Down Pear Cake

The other bloggers that are participating in today’s Dessert Course are below. And for the entire menu and all the participating bloggers, go to the Share Our Holiday Table main page.


Family Friendly


Gluten Free

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