I’m not usually one for desserts, or much into ‘tea and cake’, but this upside-down number is the exception. The pear becomes soft and gooey and the cake is light and fluffy, with nutty tones throughout, thanks to the buckwheat flour.

It is delicious served with a dollop of coconut yoghurt and, yep, a cup of tea or coffee.


  • 3 Ripe Pears, 2 sliced into approx. eighths, 1 diced
  • 240g Buckwheat flour
  • 120g Coconut flour
  • 2tsp Baking powder
  • 165g Brown sugar (coconut sugar will also work)
  • 2 heaped tsp, plus a little extra for dusting Cinnamon or mixed spices (nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, etc.)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 125g Coconut oil
  • 500ml Unsweetened plant-based milk of choice (I love to use coconut milk here)
  • 2tsp Vanilla extract


  • STEP 1

    Preheat your oven to 180°C fan. Line a round cake tin (approx. 20cm) with some coconut oil or greaseproof paper. Sprinkle a dash of cinnamon and brown sugar evenly over the base of the tin.

  • STEP 2

    Place the slices from two of your pears around the bottom of the tin, arranging them relatively neatly in a fan shape. You can overlap here too. Put the tin to one side.

  • STEP 3

    In a mixing bowl, combine the buckwheat flour, coconut flour and baking powder. Add the rest of the brown sugar, the cinnamon/mixed spices and salt and mix well. Slowly pour in the coconut oil, plant-based milk and vanilla extract. Stir until you have a smooth batter, making sure not to over-beat. You want a ‘dropping consistency’, so if the batter is a little stiff, add a dribble more liquid.

  • STEP 4

    Mix the diced pear into the batter and pour it into the lined tin, spreading it evenly. Remove any air pockets by carefully banging the tin a few times on a surface, then bake in the oven for about 50–55 minutes.

  • STEP 5

    When done, the cake will be relatively spongy to touch and a lovely golden brown on top. Test the inside by using a sharp knife or skewer. It can be a little tricky if you hit a pear when testing, but you’ll be able to tell if the batter is done.

  • STEP 6

    Set aside to cool for 5–10 minutes. Once cool enough, turn the tin upside down on a cooling rack. Carefully remove the tin and greaseproof paper, if used. To serve, dust with a little extra spice.

Discover more of Sophie Gordon's recipes in The Whole Vegetable (Penguin Michael Joseph, £25)

The Whole Vegetable recipe book


Sophie Gordon is a plant-based chef and recipe developer, caterer, and entrepreneur. She runs the South East London Supper Club, creating vegan dishes for a variety of attendees, and also holds regular plant-based retreats across the globe, collaborating with Soho House, Oddbox, Lululemon, Free People, Foodism, Vita Coco and many more. Her platform is focused on plant-based and sustainable eating, environmental protection, and wellness.