1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
2 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
3 pears, peeled and sliced
1 cup fresh cranberries (optional)
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
4 eggs
1 cup molasses
2 cups milk
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
Sour cream or plain yogurt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream together softened butter and 1/2 cup sugar; spread in ungreased 9-by-13-inch pan. Top with fruit.

Sift dry ingredients and spices together. In large bowl, mix eggs, molasses, milk, melted butter, and remaining sugar. Add dry ingredients, mix, and pour over fruit. Bake at 375 degrees until toothpick comes out clean and cake springs when touched, about 45 minutes. Cool at least 30 minutes; turn out onto platter. Garnish servings with dollops of sour cream or yogurt on side.

From Set to Fete Domain, November/December 1989