skillet pear gingerbread cake

Happy Friday, friends! I’m delighted to announce that the Skillet Pear Gingerbread Cake you see above is a menu item for the Virtual Vegan Holiday Dinner!

The Virtual Vegan Holiday Dinner was created by Marly McMillen of Namely Marly and Alison Kramer of Manifest Vegan as a way to showcase a traditional holiday menu with a vegan spin. Our menu includes everything from appetizers to desserts and all things in between. I’m honored to be a part of this very special virtual event and to share the stage with so many uber-talented vegan bloggers. Just click the links below to view each dish, you won’t be disappointed!

Virtual Vegan Holiday Dinner

Carrot Pâté by Diet, Desserts, and Dogs

The Drink
Winter Warmer Cocktail by Pea Soup Eats

Main Dish
Vegan Holiday Casserole by Namely Marly

The Sides
Cranberry and Orange Ginger Mango Chutney by Loves Veggies and Yoga
Vegan Sweet Potato Puree with Maple and Sour Cream by Vegan Good Things

The Bread
Crescent Rolls by That’s So Vegan

The Best Part: Desserts
Four Ingredient Vegan Pumpkin Pie by Lunch Box Bunch
Skillet Pear Gingerbread Cake by The Tolerant Vegan
Chocolate Pecan Cookie Pies by Your Vegan Mom
Eggnog Cheesecake by Manifest Vegan

I was inspired to make this cake when I recently picked up a can of Kentucky pure cane sorghum at a food store in Brooklyn.

Pure cane sorghum has a taste similar to molasses. In baking, it can be used to replace molasses, brown sugar, honey and syrup. It’s a perfect sweetener for sweet tea and it’s also delicious when mixed with a spoonful of melted Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread and poured over pancakes. For this recipe, I used the pure cane sorghum to compliment the ginger and brown sugar.

Skillet Pear Gingerbread Cake
Recipe adapted from Serious Eats
Serves 10
Printable recipe


  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup pure cane sorghum
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free yogurt
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free milk
  • 1/2 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp. of baking soda
  • 1 tbsp. of distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brewed hot coffee, regular or decaf
  • 2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/4″ pieces
  • 1 tbsp. of Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, ground ginger, 1 tsp sea salt, cinnamon and ground cloves.

In a separate bowl, stir together the grapeseed oil, 1/2 cup brown sugar, sorghum, yogurt, milk, freshly grated ginger and unsweetened applesauce

Gradually add the dry flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stirring well. Stir in the baking soda and coffee, then stir in the distilled white vinegar.

Pour the batter into a 10″ cast iron skillet

Arrange the pear slices on top of the batter, forming a large circle around the edges and a smaller circle in the center

Stir together the remaining 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 tsp sea salt and sprinkle the brown sugar/salt mixture over top of the cake.
Add a dab of Earth Balance to the outer edge of each pear slice

Bake the cake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick can be inserted and removed cleanly. Allow the cake to sit for 10 minutes before serving.


I hope you enjoy this cake and I also hope you head over to the Virtual Vegan Holiday Dinner to check out the array of sweet and savory goodies on display.

I’m going to sign off until after the holidays, so I’ll see you kids in a couple of weeks.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

20 thoughts on “skillet pear gingerbread cake

  1. Oh, good land, that looks wonderful. The boys are off school next week, and we are totally making this. I can’t wait to have it in my kitchen!

  2. Pingback: Vegan Casserole Recipe | Namely Marly

  3. Sounds like SUCH a great recipe! I’ve heard of sorghum syrup (I imagine that’s the same thing?) and have been dying to try it but can’t find it where I live. The cake looks so pretty once it’s all baked, too! :)

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  6. Yummo! Just a question, why do you put the Earth Balance around the edges? Does it just help it brown? It looks great and I can just smell the spices!

    • Honestly, I just did it because the recipe I adapted this one from used butter around the edges. Maybe it helps to keep the edges of the pears from drying out since they’re so thin. But that’s just a guess :)

  7. This is a fantastic recipe! The cake is very moist and full of flavor. I couldn’t find the soy yogurt or the sorghum. I substituted soy sour cream and molasses and baked in a ceramic quiche dish for a more formal presentation. Thanks so much for sharing this. Off to eat another piece…..

  8. Hi! Just found your blog today (via Pinterest) and have enjoyed browsing through your great looking recipes and looking at such darling cat pictures! Love the blog :)

  9. This is absolutely gorgeous! I love how beautiful it looks and absolutely scrumptious 😀
    You have such a wonderful blog!

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Chocolate Malted Malteser Cookies

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