Pineapple upside-down cake on a white square plate
Cakes

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

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I love a good homemade pineapple upside-down cake! While you can use a cake mix, this from-scratch version is so much better. The brown sugar and butter on top of the pineapple slices and cherries are so yummy.

Why do I like this pineapple upside-down cake so much? I like having a change of pace now and then from a classic frosting topped cake. The blend of tastes from the pineapple and the cherries with the mild-flavored cake base is a party in the mouth with every bite. It is really easy to make if I can do it you can do it. Let’s get baking!

Step 1: Gather the ingredients and tools

In order to make this yummy cake you will need the following ingredients and tools:

  • Butter – Butter will be used for both the top of the cake as well as in the cake batter itself. I generally use unsalted butter, if you use butter with salt in it, just reduce the extra salt by half.
  • Light Brown sugar – The brown sugar will help form that caramel-like top of the pineapple upside-down cake.
  • Pineapple rings – You can’t have this cake without the pineapple, that would just be silly. Make sure to buy the pineapple rings that come in juice and not the syrup. Or you can peel, slice and core fresh pineapple too if you like. Traditionally it is just make with canned pineapples.
  • Maraschino cherries – What are maraschino cherries? They are cherries that have been sitting in corn syrup and a bunch of other ingredients.
Ingredients for pineapple upside-down cake including, flour, butter, eggs, sugar, pineapple slices, etc. all in glass bowls

Cake Batter

  • Softened butter – The butter will help give the cake base flavor as well as a softer crumb.
  • White granulated sugar – The sugar will add a bit of sweetness to the cake as well as add a bit of leavening when creamed with the butter.
  • Eggs – The eggs will help add moisture and act as a binder for the ingredients. As well as help with the leavening.
  • Vanilla extract – The vanilla has a fabulous flavor on its own but also enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.
  • Milk – I generally use whole milk in cakes but any milk will work. The milk will help make a softer crumb as well as add moisture.
  • Pineapple juice – Save the pineapple juice from the can of sliced pineapples. The juice will add more flavor to the cake base as well as add moisture.
  • Flour – I generally use all-purpose flour but cake flour works great as well.
  • Baking powder – This is the main leavening ingredient, it will lighten the cake so it isn’t so dense.
  • Salt – The salt will help balance out the sweetness and enhance the flavors of the other ingredients.

Tools

  • Hand mixer or stand mixer
  • Spatula
  • large bowl
  • 9″ round cake pan with sides buttered
  • Sheet pan
  • Cake knife/spatula

Step 2: How to Make Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 F/176 C. Then take a 9-inch cake pan and butter the sides of it. You may use shortening too if you like. Melt the butter and place it on the bottom of the pan. Next sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the top of the melted butter.

An alternative method is to add use softened butter instead of melted and combine it with the brown sugar in a small bowl creating a paste, which you would then spread out on the bottom of the pan.

Pineapple and cherries in a cake pan on top of butter and brown sugar.

Now add seven slices of pineapple on top of the butter and sugar. Place the maraschino cherries in the holes. You may also place cherries in any of the gaps if you wish. If you want pineapple slices on the sides you can halve some of them and add those too. I generally don’t because I like the look of it without them. It is totally up to you, it is your cake.

Step 3: Mix the Pineapple upside down cake wet ingredients

In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Next, add in the 2 large eggs and blend those in. After that add in the vanilla extract, pineapple juice, and the milk. Mix until well combined with a hand mixer or stand mixer or just use a whisk. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary.

Step 4: Mix in those dry ingredients

Take a sifter or sieve and add the flour, salt, and baking powder. Sift those ingredients into the large bowl with the pineapple upside-down cake batter. Mix until almost all combined. Then use a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon to finish mixing the batter. This ensues that you don’t over mix the cake batter.

Finished pineapple upside-down cake batter in a large glass bowl with spatula on a wooden table

Step 5: Bake that yummy pineapple upside-down cake

Place the cake pan on top of a sheet pan. The sheet pan will make it easier to remove from the oven as well as catch any drippings that may bubble over while baking. Pour the cake batter on top of the pineapples and spread it out with the spatula.

Spread out pineapple cake batter in a cake pan.

Bake in a preheated oven, 375 F/176 C, for 30 to 50 minutes. It will depend on your oven as well as the pan that you are using. Check it after 30 minutes with a toothpick. Most of the time it won’t be done at this point and will need 10 to 15 more minutes or longer to be completely done. If the cake is getting too brown, you can cover it with aluminum foil.

Freshly baked pineapple upside-down cake in the cake pan on top of a sheet pan.

Once the cake comes out of the oven, it will be nice and golden brown on the top. Allow the cake to cool for about 15 minutes.

Step 6: Flip that cake!

After the pineapple upside-down cake has cooled, use a cake spatula or knife and run it along the edges of the pan to help loosen the cake. If you buttered or greased the sides of the pan, the cake shouldn’t have stuck to the sides of the pan very much, if at all.

Place a plate flipped over on the cake. Next grab the cake pan and the plate with both hand and flip it over.

Now all you have to do is give the pan a few taps on the bottom of the pan, this will help release the cake. And then pull the pan up.

Finished pineapple upside-down cake on a white plate

You will be left with a beautiful homemade pineapple upside-down cake. Pretty easy right?

Step 7: Serve up that yummy cake

You can serve the cake warm or at room temp or chilled if you like. Add some vanilla ice cream as well or whipped cream on top, it is totally up to you. Enjoy!

Slice of pineapple upside-down cake.

How long does pineapple upside down cake last?

Once the cake has cooled to room temperature and place it in an airtight container and then store it in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. If it even lasts that long. After the cake has cooled in the fridge you may wrap it in plastic wrap and then put it in a freezer bag and freeze it. In the freezer it will keep for a few months.

Pineapple upside-down cake on a white square plate
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5 from 15 votes

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

One of my favorite cakes, this homemade pineapple upside-down cake recipe is so flavorful. The blend of pineapple and cherries with the moist cake is a party in the mouth with every bite! It is super easy to make too.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Cooling time15 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Cakes, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: airy, easy, fruit, light, soft, sweet
Servings: 8 slices
Calories: 406kcal
Author: Matt Taylor

Equipment

  • Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer
  • Spatula
  • Large bowl
  • 9″ round cake pan with sides buttered
  • sheet pan
  • Cake knife/spatula

Ingredients

Cake Glaze/Topping

  • 1/4 cup of melted butter 55g
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar 100g
  • Pineapple rings about 7 slices
  • Maraschino cherries about 7 of them, or use more if you like

Cake Batter

  • 1/2 cup softened unsalted butter 113g
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar 170g
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract 5ml
  • 1/4 cup whole milk or use whatever kind of milk you want (60ml)
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice 60ml
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose or cake flour 224g
  • 1 tsp. baking powder 4g
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 2g

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F/176 C. Butter the sides of a 9-inch cake pan. Melt the butter and place it on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the top of the melted butter.
  • Add 7 slices of pineapple rings to the pan over the butter and sugar. Then add cherries in the holes. You may add more cherries and pineapple if you like.
  • In a large bowl cream together the softened butter and the white granulated sugar. Next, add in the 2 large eggs and mix those in. Now add in the vanilla extract, milk, and pineapple juice. You may use all pineapple juice or all milk if you like. Mix until well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add the flour, salt, and baking powder to a sieve or sifter and sift the dry ingredients into the bowl with the batter. Mix them with the mixer until almost all combined, then finish mixing it with a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula. This will ensure the pineapple upside-down cake batter isn't overmixed.
  • Pour the batter in the cake pan on top of the pineapples. Spread it out with a spatula. Add a sheet pan underneath the cake pan. The sheet pan will catch any drippings that may bubble over, also it makes it easier to move the cake pan out of the oven when it is hot.
  • Bake the cake for 30 to 50 minutes until the top is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Check it first at the 30-minute mark. Cover it with aluminum foil if it is getting too brown.
  • After the cake is done baking allow it to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then use a cake spatula or knife and run it around the edge of the cake. Add a plate to the top and then gripping both the plate and the cake pan with both hands flip it over. Give the bottom of the pan a good tap, which will help release the cake. Remove the cake pan.
  • Serve the cake warm, room temp, or chilled. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

Pineapple upside-down cake nutritional facts

Do you like the recipe? Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it.  If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.

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Easy Homemade Pound Cake

Homemade Cake Pops

Chocolate Cake

Pineapple upside-down cake pin for Pinterest

46 Comments

  1. this is one of my absolute favorite cakes ever! thank you so much for the recipe!

  2. What I love about your recipes is that apart from the tasty dish I am also able to see the health aspects after consuming the dish. Pineapple is always so good to have and the cake looks yummy.

  3. 5 stars
    I love upside down cake is just a sweet classic you can never go wrong with it

  4. 5 stars
    I love pineapple upside down cake, and this recipe really looks delicious.

  5. 5 stars
    Looks so delicious! I am going to go to the kitchen right away. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  6. I like that you tell what each ingredient does in the recipe. I have wondered before!

  7. Upside cakes are my weakness. This look delicious! I must make this for my family.

  8. 5 stars
    What a great recipe! It really looks so flavorful! besides, I just love maraschino cherries!

  9. 5 stars
    Aaaahhhhhh….the milk had to turn up again? How I wish there is a substitute for it. I wanna have this cake.

  10. 5 stars
    this looks like such an easy recipe to make. Could I substitute the pineapple for peaches?

  11. Tiffany La Forge-Grau

    5 stars
    This is making my cheeks water like crazy! I would love to bake this and have myself a slice.

  12. I’ve never tried a pineapple upside down cake before, but this looks easy enough for me to try. I know my kids would love it.

  13. i always wanted to try a pinneapple upside down cake. i love that you have step by step photos that come in handy! thank you!

  14. Melanie williams

    Looks like you have been busy in the kitchen once again and with great results. I wish I had the time to bake more

  15. Pineapple upside down cake is a wonderful dessert. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  16. 5 stars
    I’ve not had one of these in years. Upside down puddings are great. A lovely light looking recipe too.

  17. 5 stars
    mm looks amazing! well I need to stop reading recipes and finally to try some of them XD thanks for sharing

  18. 5 stars
    Who doesn’t love a good slice of Pineapple Upside-Down Cake? It’s one of my favorites! I hope to eat and bake some soon!

  19. 5 stars
    This is hands down the best desert, it’s a shame that it’s not used more often

  20. 5 stars
    This pineapple upside down cake looks so moist and delicious. It really makes me want to bake one.

  21. Rachael Yerkes

    5 stars
    The perfect sweet dessert! Definitely a favorite at our house

  22. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing. I made this and my kids won’t stop eating it!

  23. 5 stars
    Everyone always loves this cake! It’s sweet & soft & a cinch to make!

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