1. 1 box Simple Mills vanilla cake mix
2. 2 Tablespoons butter, vegan butter or coconut oil
3. ¼ cup (45g) coconut sugar
4. ¼ teaspoon allspice
5. ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
6. 3 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
7. 2 medium pears, cored and sliced
8. 3 large eggs
9. 1/3 cup (80ml) oil
10. 1/3 cup (80ml) water
11. 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C (160C Fan). Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed 10” cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl it around the pan several times to ensure it coats the inner sides of the pan as well as the bottom (this will prevent the cake from sticking while it bakes).
2. Once melted, stir in the sugar, allspice, nutmeg and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
3. As soon as the sugar has dissolved, add the sliced pears to the pan. Gently stir to coat the pears with the butter-sugar-spice mixture, but make sure to keep the pear slices intact. Once the pears are cooked down a bit (softened), slightly browned and well-covered with a thick sticky coating of the cooked sugar/butter mixture, remove the pan from the heat. Spread the pear slices in an even later across the bottom of the pan and set aside.
4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, water and vanilla. Add the cake mix and remaining 2 Tbsp cinnamon and stir vigorously until well combined and no clumps remain.
5. Pour the cake batter into the over the pears and spread into an even layer.
6. Bake in oven for 18-22 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
7. Allow to cool for 3-5 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a rack to cool completely.
Notes: If you’d like to glaze your cake, you can make powdered coconut sugar by pulsing 1-1 ½ cups with 2 tsp arrowroot or tapioca starch several times in a high-powered blender until it is light and airy, then mixing it with your milk of choice, 1 Tbsp at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency. Alternately, you can use a store-bought powdered sugar as the base.