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Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Recipe

The Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is a classic dessert that is sure to impress. This sweet treat features a luscious caramelized pineapple topping and a soft, moist cake. The tangy pineapple and sweet cake create a harmonious balance of flavors that will have you coming back for seconds. The best part? It's surprisingly easy to make.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Recipe

Photos of Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Recipe

The majority of the ingredients for this recipe are likely already in your pantry, like unsalted butter, light brown sugar, all-purpose flour, baking powder, granulated sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. The key ingredient you need to be aware of is fresh pineapple. While canned pineapple can be used, fresh pineapple will give the cake a brighter, more vibrant flavor. Also, don't forget to pick up some maraschino cherries for garnish.

Ingredients for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Unsalted butter: Used for creating the caramelized pineapple topping and in the cake batter to add richness and moisture.

Light brown sugar: Adds a molasses-like sweetness to the caramelized pineapple topping.

Fresh pineapple: The star of this cake, it gives a bright, tangy flavor that contrasts beautifully with the sweet cake.

All-purpose flour: The base of the cake, providing structure.

Baking powder: The leavening agent that makes the cake rise.

Salt: Enhances the flavors of the other ingredients.

Granulated sugar: Sweetens the cake and helps with the cake's texture.

Eggs: Provide structure and moisture to the cake.

Vanilla extract: Adds depth of flavor.

Milk: Adds moisture and helps with the cake's texture.

Whipped cream: For topping the finished cake, adding a light, creamy contrast.

Maraschino cherries: Used for garnishing the finished cake, adding a pop of color and extra sweetness.

One reader, Donny Newcomb says:

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This pineapple upside-down cake recipe is a game-changer! The cake turned out moist and flavorful, and the caramelized pineapple topping was a delightful surprise. It was a hit with my family and friends. I'll definitely be making this again!

Donny Newcomb

Essential Techniques for Making Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

How to prepare the cake pan: Grease the cake pan with non-stick cooking spray to prevent the cake from sticking to the pan.

How to spread the pineapple chunks: Arrange the pineapple chunks in rows over the brown sugar layer, leaving space for the cake batter to fill in between.

How to test for doneness: Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake, and if it comes out clean, the cake is done.

How to invert the cake: Run an offset spatula or knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it before inverting it onto a serving platter.

How to garnish with cherries: Place maraschino cherries on top of the cake as a decorative garnish if desired.

How To Make Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Topped with pineapples, cherries, and whipped cream, cap off a good meal with this fluffy upside-down cake that is made easier for you!

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 35 minutes
Cool Time: 10 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes



  • ¼cupunsalted butter,melted
  • ½cuplight brown sugar,packed
  • 2cupsfresh pineapple,cubed cut into pieces about ½-inch thick
  • 1⅓cupsall-purpose flour,scoop and level
  • tspbaking powder
  • ¼tspsalt
  • ¾cupgranulated sugar
  • ½cupunsalted butter,softened
  • 2large eggs
  • tspvanilla extract
  • milk,anything but skim
  • sweetened whipped cream,for serving, optional
  • Maraschino cherries,or fresh cherries for serving, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×2-inch cake pan with non-stick cooking spray.

  2. In a mixing bowl whisk together brown sugar and ¼ cup of melted butter then pour into prepared cake pan and spread into an even layer, set aside.

  3. Spread pineapple chunks over brown sugar layer in rows, leaving about ¼-inch between pieces for cake batter to fill in. Set aside.

  4. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

  5. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer or in a mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer, whip together granulated sugar and ½ cup of softened butter until pale and fluffy.

  6. Add in one egg and mix until combined, then mix in second egg and vanilla.

  7. Add ⅓ cup of the flour mixture and mix just until combined, then mix in ⅓ cup of milk blending just until combined. Mix in another ⅓ cup of flour then mix in remaining ⅓ cup of milk. Mix in last ⅓ cup of flour.

  8. Pour and spread batter evenly over pineapple layer.

  9. Bake in preheated oven for about 35 to 40 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

  10. Remove and let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Run an offset spatula or knife around edges to ensure it’s loosened then invert onto a serving platter.

  11. If topping with whipped cream let cool completely. Garnish with cherries if desired.

Recipe Notes



  • Calories: 301.30kcal
  • Fat: 14.96g
  • Saturated Fat: 9.09g
  • Trans Fat: 0.56g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 3.96g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.79g
  • Carbohydrates: 39.48g
  • Fiber: 0.91g
  • Sugar: 25.43g
  • Protein: 3.31g
  • Cholesterol: 73.80mg
  • Sodium: 131.57mg
  • Calcium: 73.56mg
  • Potassium: 82.61mg
  • Iron: 1.19mg
  • Vitamin A: 133.44µg
  • Vitamin C: 15.77mg

Expert Tip for Perfecting Your Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

When preparing the pineapple for your upside-down cake, consider cutting it into thin slices instead of chunks. This not only creates a beautiful pattern when the cake is inverted, but also allows the pineapple to caramelize more evenly with the brown sugar and butter mixture. This results in a more flavorful and visually appealing cake. Also, remember to pat the pineapple dry before arranging it on the brown sugar layer to prevent excess moisture from making the cake soggy.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This Classic Dessert

Prepare the ingredients: Gather and prepare all the ingredients and equipment before starting to save time and make the process smoother.

Use canned pineapple: Using canned pineapple instead of fresh can save time on peeling and slicing, and it's just as delicious in the cake.

Multi-task: While the cake is baking, clean up the kitchen or prepare other dishes to make the most of your time.

Organize your workspace: Keep your workspace organized to easily find ingredients and tools, saving time and reducing stress during the cooking process.

Follow the recipe: Following the recipe accurately can save time by preventing mistakes that may require starting over.

Substitute Ingredients For Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Recipe

  • unsalted butter - Substitute with coconut oil: Coconut oil can provide a similar richness and flavor to the cake, and it can also help to keep the cake moist.

  • light brown sugar - Substitute with granulated sugar and molasses: You can mix 1 cup of granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon of molasses to replace 1 cup of light brown sugar. This will provide a similar sweetness and moisture to the cake.

  • fresh pineapple - Substitute with canned pineapple: Canned pineapple can be a convenient substitute for fresh pineapple, and it will still provide the sweet and tangy flavor needed for the cake.

  • all-purpose flour - Substitute with whole wheat flour: Whole wheat flour can be used as a healthier alternative to all-purpose flour, adding a nutty flavor and extra nutrients to the cake.

  • baking powder - Substitute with baking soda: If you use baking soda instead of baking powder, you will need to include an acidic ingredient such as buttermilk or yogurt to activate the leavening agent.

  • unsalted butter - Substitute with margarine: Margarine can be used as a substitute for butter in baking, providing a similar texture and flavor to the cake.

  • eggs - Substitute with applesauce: Applesauce can be used as a vegan-friendly substitute for eggs, adding moisture and binding the ingredients together.

  • milk - Substitute with coconut milk: Coconut milk can add a rich and creamy texture to the cake, and it can also complement the tropical flavors of the pineapple.

  • maraschino cherries - Substitute with fresh cherries: Fresh cherries can be used as a natural and less sweet alternative to maraschino cherries, adding a burst of flavor and color to the cake.

How to Beautifully Present This Delightful Dessert

  1. Elevate the pineapple: Place the pineapple upside-down cake on a pristine white plate to highlight the vibrant colors of the pineapple and cherries.
  2. Garnish with precision: Artfully place a dollop of sweetened whipped cream on the side of the cake, using a delicate touch to create a visually appealing presentation.
  3. Incorporate texture: Sprinkle finely chopped macadamia nuts around the edge of the plate to add a delightful crunch and elevate the overall dining experience.
  4. Emphasize elegance: Drizzle a light caramel sauce in a graceful pattern around the cake, adding a touch of sophistication to the dish.
  5. Balance flavors: Accompany the cake with a small scoop of homemade vanilla bean ice cream to provide a delightful contrast to the warm, fruity flavors of the dessert.
  6. Attention to detail: Place a single maraschino cherry on top of the whipped cream, ensuring it is positioned perfectly to create a visually stunning focal point.

Essential Tools for Crafting the Perfect Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

  • Oven: A kitchen appliance used for baking and roasting food.
  • Cake pan: A round or square pan with tall sides, used for baking cakes.
  • Non-stick cooking spray: A spray used to coat baking pans to prevent food from sticking.
  • Mixing bowl: A bowl used for mixing ingredients together.
  • Whisk: A kitchen tool used for blending and mixing ingredients.
  • Electric stand mixer: A kitchen appliance used for mixing and beating ingredients.
  • Electric hand mixer: A handheld kitchen appliance used for mixing and blending ingredients.
  • Offset spatula: A long, flat metal spatula with a narrow blade, used for spreading and smoothing icing or batter.
  • Wire rack: A metal rack used for cooling baked goods.

The Ultimate Guide to Storing and Freezing Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

  • Let the pineapple upside-down cake cool completely on a wire rack before storing or freezing.
  • To store, cover the cake tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze the cake:
    • Wrap the cooled cake tightly in plastic wrap, making sure no air pockets remain.
    • Cover the wrapped cake with aluminum foil for an extra layer of protection against freezer burn.
    • Label the wrapped cake with the date and contents.
    • Place the wrapped cake in the freezer, where it will keep for up to 3 months.
  • To thaw a frozen pineapple upside-down cake:
    • Remove the cake from the freezer and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
    • Once thawed, remove the wrapping and let the cake come to room temperature before serving.
  • If you wish to freeze individual slices:
    • Wrap each slice tightly in plastic wrap.
    • Place the wrapped slices in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag.
    • Label the container or bag with the date and contents.
    • Frozen slices will keep for up to 2 months.
  • To reheat a slice of pineapple upside-down cake, microwave it for 15-20 seconds or until warmed through.

The Best Methods for Reheating Leftover Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

  • To reheat leftover pineapple upside-down cake, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the cake in an oven-safe dish and cover it loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cake is heated through and the pineapple topping is bubbling. This method helps to retain the cake's moisture and keeps the topping gooey and delicious.

  • For a quicker option, you can reheat individual slices of pineapple upside-down cake in the microwave. Place a slice on a microwave-safe plate and heat it for 20-30 seconds, or until warmed to your liking. Be careful not to overheat the cake, as it may become rubbery or dry.

  • If you want to add a touch of extra indulgence, try reheating your leftover pineapple upside-down cake in a skillet. Melt a small amount of butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Place a slice of cake, pineapple side down, in the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the topping is caramelized and the cake is heated through. Serve immediately with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a decadent treat.

  • For a tropical twist, try grilling your leftover pineapple upside-down cake. Preheat your outdoor grill to medium heat. Wrap a slice of cake in aluminum foil and place it on the grill. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the cake is heated through and the pineapple topping is slightly charred. The smoky flavor from the grill adds a unique depth to the sweet and tangy flavors of the cake.

Fascinating Trivia About Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Pineapple upside-down cake originated in the 1920s when canned pineapple became widely available. It was a popular dessert during that time period and has remained a classic ever since.

Is Making Pineapple Upside-Down Cake at Home Cost-Effective?

The pineapple upside-down cake recipe is relatively cost-effective for a household. The main ingredients, such as pineapple, flour, and sugar, are commonly found in most kitchens. The cost for a household of 4 people is approximately $10-$15, making it an affordable dessert option. The overall verdict rating for this recipe is 9/10, considering its simplicity, delicious flavor, and budget-friendly nature.

Is Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Healthy or Unhealthy?

The pineapple upside-down cake recipe, while undeniably delicious, is not particularly healthy. The cake contains a significant amount of butter, sugar, and refined flour, which are high in calories and low in essential nutrients. The brown sugar and butter topping adds even more sugar and fat to the dish. Additionally, the recipe calls for maraschino cherries, which are often artificially colored and sweetened.

However, there are some redeeming qualities to this recipe. Pineapple is a good source of vitamin C, manganese, and antioxidants. The eggs provide some protein, and the milk offers calcium and other nutrients. Despite these benefits, the overall nutritional profile of the cake is not ideal.

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Reduce the amount of butter and sugar in both the topping and the cake batter. You can replace some of the sugar with natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup.
  • Use whole wheat flour or a gluten-free alternative like almond flour to increase the fiber content and nutritional value of the cake.
  • Replace some of the butter with healthier fats like coconut oil or Greek yogurt.
  • Use fresh cherries instead of maraschino cherries to avoid artificial colors and added sugars.
  • Serve smaller portions of the cake and pair it with a side of fresh fruit or a dollop of Greek yogurt for added nutrients and protein.

Editor's Opinion: Why Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is a Must-Try

The pineapple upside-down cake recipe is a classic and delightful dessert. The combination of caramelized brown sugar, juicy pineapple, and moist cake creates a perfect balance of flavors and textures. The recipe's instructions are clear and easy to follow, making it accessible for both novice and experienced bakers. The addition of sweetened whipped cream and maraschino cherries adds a lovely finishing touch. Overall, this recipe is a winner and is sure to impress anyone who tries it.

Enhance Your Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Grilled Pineapple with Honey Glaze: Grilled pineapple slices brushed with a honey glaze for a sweet and tangy side dish that complements the pineapple upside-down cake.
Caramelized Carrot Coins: Sliced carrots caramelized in brown sugar and butter for a sweet and savory side dish to pair with the pineapple upside-down cake.
Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges: Seasoned sweet potato wedges roasted to perfection for a hearty and flavorful side dish to enjoy alongside the pineapple upside-down cake.

Delicious Alternatives to Traditional Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Grilled Vegetable Skewers: These skewers are a perfect way to enjoy a variety of vegetables in a fun and flavorful way. The grilling process adds a delicious smoky flavor to the veggies, making them a great side dish or even a main course.
Braised Beef Stew: This hearty stew is perfect for a cozy night in. The slow braising process allows the beef to become tender and flavorful, while the combination of vegetables and herbs creates a rich and comforting dish.
Mango Sorbet: This refreshing and fruity dessert is a great way to cool down on a hot day. The natural sweetness of the mangoes makes for a delicious and guilt-free treat that everyone will love.

Ideal Appetizers and Main Dishes to Accompany Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Stuffed Mushrooms: Impress your guests with these savory stuffed mushrooms, filled with a flavorful mixture of cheese, herbs, and breadcrumbs. They're the perfect bite-sized appetizer to kick off any meal.
Caprese Salad: Indulge in the classic combination of ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fragrant basil in this refreshing Caprese salad. Drizzle with balsamic glaze for an extra burst of flavor.
Main Courses:
Chicken Alfredo: Create a creamy and indulgent pasta dish that combines tender chicken with a rich and flavorful Alfredo sauce. The dish is perfect for a cozy night in or for entertaining guests with a comforting and satisfying meal.
Beef Stroganoff: Craft a hearty and comforting dish featuring tender strips of beef cooked in a creamy and savory sauce. This classic main course is sure to please any crowd with its rich and comforting flavors.

Why trust this Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Recipe:

This recipe uses fresh pineapple and real butter for authentic flavor. The combination of brown sugar and vanilla extract adds a rich sweetness. The step-by-step instructions ensure a foolproof result. Trust the expertise of a seasoned chef and culinary genius to guide you through creating a delectable pineapple upside-down cake.

Have you tried this Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Recipe? Share your experience and discuss any tweaks or variations in the Baking and Desserts forum section.
How can I tell if the cake is done baking?
You can use a toothpick to check if the cake is done. Insert it into the center of the cake, and if it comes out clean, the cake is ready.
Can I use canned pineapple instead of fresh pineapple?
Yes, you can use canned pineapple if fresh pineapple is not available. Just make sure to drain the canned pineapple well before using it in the recipe.
Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter?
Yes, you can use salted butter, but you may want to reduce the amount of added salt in the recipe to balance the flavors.
Can I make this cake ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the cake ahead of time. It can be stored at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Can I use a different fruit for this cake?
Yes, you can use different fruits like peaches, cherries, or even apples to make a variation of the pineapple upside-down cake. Just make sure to adjust the sugar accordingly based on the sweetness of the fruit.

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