Pineapple Upside-Down Cake.
This is my favorite recipe for homemade classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. Super-moist and full of flavor! I make this recipe all the time.
Another springtime cake is sitting on my kitchen table today.
As I sit at my desk and see this outside, I’m desperately craving any and all things fruity. Apparently making fruity, luscious springtime cakes tricks my mind into thinking it’s actually pastel-wearing weather again? Flip-flop weather, blue jeans and t-shirt weather, floral scarf weather, flowy dress weather…
I’m diving head first into this super-moist pineapple cake with hot pink nail polish on my fingers and mint green on my clothes. I don’t care, it’s springtime inside this apartment.
My mom makes pineapple upside-down cake every year when spring rolls around. Sometimes mom does a little shortcut cake mix version when she’s elbow deep in other things. But this year, I’m bringing my homemade version to the table.
Pineapple upside-down cake battles apple pie as my #1 favorite dessert. I love both desserts, hands down, more than any other dessert on the planet. Serve both with some vanilla ice cream and I’m in heaven. This is my favorite homemade apple pie recipe if you’re curious. It goes without saying how much I am in love with this brown sugared, melt-in-your-mouth, buttery old-fashioned cake!
I developed a treasured standard vanilla cake recipe last year. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: A basic vanilla cake recipe can take you far in life. Once you master the recipe, the doors to creative cake (and cupcake!) land are wide open. I’ve used my standard vanilla cake recipe to make all of the following recipes:
- Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes
- Homemade Funfetti Cake
- White Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes (cookbook recipe)
- Very Vanilla Cupcakes
- Ultimate Marble Cupcakes
- Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
- Brown Sugar Butterscotch Cupcakes
- Vanilla Layer Cake with Strawberry Whipped Cream (cookbook recipe)
- Cookies ‘n Cream Cupcakes
- Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes
- Mini Vanilla Bean Cupcakes (cookbook recipe)
- Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes
And today, I used it again to make my beloved pineapple upside-down cake.
The recipes starts out like your standard pineapple upside-down cake recipe. Melt some butter, pour it into your pan, top with a sprinkle of brown sugar, pineapple slices, and maraschino cherries. I like to use a ton of cherries. Just dot them wherever you see an empty space between all the pineapple rings. You can use fresh or canned pineapples. Canned are easiest (and cheapest!) for me this time of year.
This buttery, pineapple mixture will create the brown-sugared juicy topping to your cake when you flip it upside down before serving. It’s the best part of the entire cake, trust me. Not to mention – it’s gorgeous!
Top the pineapples with your vanilla cake batter. I used more brown sugar and less white sugar with this particular cake. I typically do 1/4 cup brown to 3/4 cup white. But since I love the combination of brown sugar and pineapple, I reversed those ratios to 3/4 cup brown and 1/4 cup white.
Bonus: no mixer required for today’s cake recipe!
Bake the cake until it’s beautifully golden on top. This cake is extra moist, so it will take a little longer than my usual vanilla cake recipe to bake. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40+ minutes. Mine took 41 minutes exactly.
As the cake bakes, the buttery brown sugar sauce will bubble up the sides, creating a buttery glaze on all sides of the cake. It’s absolutely the best part!
Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes after coming out of the oven. Then invert the cake onto your cake stand or a large serving plate. Watch the bubbly, brown sugar sauce drip down the sides. Lip-smackin’ good.
Slice. Serve. Fall in love!
Pineapples and cherries are wonderful on their own, but pair them with vanilla, butter, brown sugar and you’ve got a whole new world of awesome. This is the kind of show-stopping cake you bake for friends, family, and guests. Trust me, you’ll want to have it around to impress all the dessert lovers in your life! While there may not be chocolate, a peanut butter swirl, candy bars sprinkled inside, or frosting on top – this crowd pleasing cake can hold its own. You will bake this cake every chance you get.
My one piece of advice? Make sure you have enough hungry tummies in your house or you will be tempted to eat the entire cake yourself. Your dentist (and spring wardrobe) will thank you.
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Yield: serves 8
This is my favorite recipe for homemade classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. Super-moist and full of flavor!
- 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
- sliced pineapple (6-8 canned slices or use fresh)
- 15-20 maraschino cherries
- 1 and 2/3 cups (210g) sifted all-purpose flour, careful not to overmeasure 1
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup (150g) packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature preferred
- 1/4 cup (60g) yogurt2
- 1/2 cup (120ml) milk3
- 1/4 (60ml) cup pineapple juice (reserved from the canned pineapple or use fresh)
- 1 Tablespoon (15ml) vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Prepare topping first: Place 1/4 cup of melted butter into a 9-inch pie dish or 9x2 inch (deep dish) round cake pan. Make sure it is a deep pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Top with pineapple slices and arrange cherries between the pineapple slices. See my photo for a visual. Set aside.
- Prepare the cake: In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave. Whisk in the sugars vigorously getting out any brown sugar lumps - mixture will be gritty. Whisk in egg, yogurt, milk, pineapple juice, and vanilla extract until combined. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until no lumps remain. Batter will be thick.
- Pour/spoon batter into prepared pan. Make sure it's not overflowing-- this recipe makes enough batter for your deep dish pan. If you find there is too much batter, make a couple cupcakes (20 minutes bake time) on the side. Bake for at 40-48 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil (loosely to avoid the top from sticking to the foil) at the 20 minute mark to avoid browning. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
- Invert cake on top of a cake stand or a large serving plate. Slice and serve warm, room temperature, or even cold. Try serving with vanilla ice cream - it's a delicious combination. Cover cake and store for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
- Make ahead tip: This isn't the best cake to make ahead of time because the pineapples will settle down into the cake- while still tasty, the presentation won't be as pleasing. You can, however, prepare the wet (cover and refrigerate) and dry ingredients (cover at room temperature) separately and bake the cake the day of. Let the wet ingredients come to room temperature before mixing.
I've made this cake more times than I can count. Here are my notes about varying ingredients.
- This recipe has been tested with all-purpose flour and cake flour. Whichever flour you use, make sure it is sifted. If using cake flour, use 1 and 3/4 cups.
- This recipe has been tested with buttermilk, whole milk, and unsweetened almond milk. Use any milk, dairy or non, that you prefer.
- Recipe tested with plain 0% Greek yogurt. Use any yogurt, Greek or regular - low fat or fat free, that you prefer. Sour cream works too! I've tested this recipe without yogurt as well. If you're out, use 3/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup pineapple juice. You can also get away with 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup pineapple juice.
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A few more fruity cakes for ya: