Preheat oven to 350º. in a large mixing bowl, combine flour, **half cup** of brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Whisk to combine. Set aside. In another container, whisk together mix egg, buttermilk and vanilla. Melt the butter and stir into wet ingredients until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and bold together until just moistened. Do not over mix.
Grease a 9 inch cake pan. gently our batter into pan. Refrigerate until ready to top.
To create topping using a sharp knife, core 1 pear and cut in half lengthwise. Place 1 half of pear on cutting board, sliced side down. Carefully slice pear half into thin, 1/8 inch slices. repeat with other half. Remove cake from refrigerator
In a separate bowl, combine remaining brown sugar and almonds. to assemble, carefully place each pear slice in a fan pattern atop the cake batter to resemble a flower. Sprinkle sugar almond mixture atop cake.
Bake for 35-40 minuets, until cake begins to brown and a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from pan. Serve on a serving tray or pan.