cinnamon-rose Asian pear upside-down cake (vegan & free of refined sugar)

Cinnamon-Rose Pear Upside Down Cake (vegan & refined sugar-free)

When life gives you a bushel of Asian pears, cinnamon-rose pear upside down cake is a completely valid way to handle it.

Sometimes I just feel like the luckiest gal on the planet. I’m surrounded by friends whose livelihoods revolve around stewarding land and growing food for community, and they’re always sharing the abundance. It’s probably one of the hardest professions out there, and increasingly so in the face of such a large disconnect from the origin of our food. A lot of our true heroes are disguised as farmers.

To put food that you grew yourself into the hands of your community and know that it’s going towards nourishing minds and bodies. That’s something real special.

As all the apple and pear trees are ripening this time of year, I’m grateful for friends that come home with trunks full of fallen fruit.

food as medicine

Cinnamon and rose is, hands-down, one of my favorite plant power combos. The sweet aroma alone is more than reason enough, but both cinnamon and rose are also potent plant medicines on their own.

This cake comes together quickly, is sweetened with monk fruit, and is sprinkled with the alluring and highly aromatic plant medicine of cinnamon and rose. Made without refined sugars, this cake is an anti-inflammatory delight to the senses.

CinnamonExcellent source of manganese & fiber;
Very good source of calcium
Gastrointestinal tonic
Expectorant (helps to remove excess mucus)
RoseContain vitamin C, iron,
& calcium
Tonic to the heart
Supports tissue healing
Can stimulate or increase menstrual flow
Asian PearVery good source of dietary fiber;
Good source of copper, vitamin C,
& vitamin K.

key equipment & ingredients

Here’s some key ingredients and equipment used in making this cinnamon-rose pear upside down cake that you’ll find useful if you don’t already have them.

Always use what you have if you can. An 8″ cake pan will work just as well if you add a few minutes to the total baking time. Even a square pan will work! And while sifting flour and dry ingredients together is helpful, it’s not 100% necessary.

cinnamon-rose pear upside down cake (vegan & refined sugar-free)

Recipe by Botany CultureCourse: Sweet, Dessert, Snacks


Prep time


Cooking time



This cinnamon-rose pear upside down cake makes for a healthy breakfast or a sweet afternoon snack without the risk of a sugar coma. It’s delicious warm out of the oven or cooled to room temperature, and can be made with apples or pears. While the rose is so delightful, you can easily leave it out. And if you’re feeling a little extra, serve it warm with a lil’ scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.


  • Wet Ingredients
  • 2-3 large Asian pears, peeled & sliced thinly (other varieties of pear or apples work too)

  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup (if sugar is okay, brown sugar works too)

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk

  • 1/4 cup pear pureé (or applesauce)

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup Lakanto Monk Fruit Sweetener (or 1/3 cup cane sugar)

  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or expeller-pressed sunflower or other vegetable oil)

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 teaspoon rose water

  • 1 teaspoon dried, powdered rose petals (or 1 tablespoon dried, crushed rose petals) (optional)

  • Dry Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour*

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • Optional Garnish
  • extra crushed, dried rose petals

  • extra cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a round 9″ cake pan by oiling & lining the bottom with parchment.
  • Arrange the sliced pears in the bottom of the pan, working in a circle from the outside to the inside, slightly overlapping them as you go.
  • Drizzle maple syrup (or sprinkle brown sugar) on top of arranged pears and set pan aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine all the remaining wet ingredients. Whisk together thoroughly & set aside while you prepare the dry ingredients.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients, combine thoroughly, then mix in wet ingredients. Stir until just combined.
  • Carefully pour batter over arranged pear slices using a spatula or the back of a spoon to spread batter evenly over the pears.
  • Bake 35-45 minutes, or until cake is a deep golden brown color & inserted knife comes out clean.
  • Let cake cool for 10-15 minutes. Use a butter knife to loosen the edges of the cake from the pan, then invert a plate on top of the cake pan & gently flip the cake over. Carefully remove the pan & parchment paper.
  • If using, finish the cake by sprinkling some crushed rose petals & extra cinnamon on top. Enjoy this cake warm or completely cooled. Once completely cooled, refrigerate leftovers in an air-tight container. Enjoy within 3-5 days.


  • Want to make this recipe gluten-free? Try substituting Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour. While I haven’t tested this substitution (& can’t vouch for its efficacy), I’ve found this specific brand of 1-to-1 gluten-free flour blend to be the most consistent & successful when converting recipes developed using gluten-containing flours. If you try this substitution, I’d love to hear about it!

I hope you enjoy this cinnamon-rose pear upside down cake! Learning how to add nutritious and medicinal plants into your food wherever you can, even in your cake, is a good skill to have.

Both cinnamon and rose are so easy to just add a little pinch into your food and reap the rewards of their medicine. Let them inspire you in the kitchen!

If you make this cake, I’d love to know what you think! Leave me a comment below or tag me in your creations on Instagram or Facebook.

Happy baking, y’all!

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