Preheat oven to 400ºF. Prepare a 9-inch round baking pan with cooking spray.
Peel pears, slice into quarters and core. In a skillet over medium-high heat add canola oil and allow to heat up a bit. Add sugar and ginger and stir to melt sugar. Add in the pears and continue to simmer on medium-low while preparing cake batter, about 8-10 minutes.
Shift together the dry ingredients. In a large bowl cream oil and sugar, add eggs one at a time and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Add the flour mixture over 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk until smooth.
Remove pears from stove and arrange them in bottom of prepared baking pan. Pour any sugar and fruit juices over the pears.
Spoon batter over pears, covering them completely. Bake for 30-35 minutes until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. The edges will be browned. Cool 10 minutes and then turn out on to a serving plate. Serve warm or cold with cinnamon whipped cream.