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.

Here is my FAVORITE recipe for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake!

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.

Here is my favorite recipe for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake! sallysbakingaddiction.com

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:

And today, I used it again to make my beloved pineapple upside-down cake.

Here is my favorite recipe for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake! sallysbakingaddiction.com

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!

Here is my favorite recipe for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake! sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

Here is my favorite recipe for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Slice. Serve. Fall in love!

Here is my favorite recipe for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake! sallysbakingaddiction.com

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.

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

Love fruity cakes? Then you’ll LOVE these!

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

This is my favorite recipe for homemade classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake. Super-moist and full of flavor!

Ingredients:

Topping

  • 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

Cake

  • 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

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Recipe Notes:

I've made this cake more times than I can count. Here are my notes about varying ingredients.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. This recipe has been tested with buttermilk, whole milk, and unsweetened almond milk. Use any milk, dairy or non, that you prefer.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

A few more fruity cakes for ya:

Apple Upside-Down Cake

Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake

Sally's Baking Addiction | Delicious Lemon Blueberry Layer Cake!

Fruit Pizza

Sally's Baking Addiction Fruit Pizza

Cranberry Apple Upside-Down Cake

Cranberry Apple Cake

 

Favorite recipe for classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake!

 

306 Comments

Comments

  1. Micky Sahi on October 9, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Hi Sally, I want to double the size of this cake, and make it in a 9 inch single mould. Do you think it will work? Please do let me know, I want to make this cake for an orphanage, 🙂



  2. Laura on October 15, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    I made it in a bundt pan and added a little coconut to the topping; I was very pleased with the results, as was the birthday boy. I think I will try using half coconut flour next time and more pineapple juice instead of the milk to add a touch more pineapple flavor to the cake itself. I live in Ecuador so I have great access to fresh pineapple, and the pineapple topping (I sauteed the fresh pineapple in butter and raw sugar while I assembled the rest of the cake and prepped the pan) was truly fabulous. As were the edges (which someone commented on earlier)!! Thank you!



  3. Shiela on December 16, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Hi Sally,
    Can you please suggest an alternative for egg in this recipe



  4. Maya on December 22, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    I baked this cake 2 hours ago and it is AWESOME!  Very moist and fluffy with lots flavor. 
    I used cake flour and sour cream substitutions.



  5. Jamie on December 25, 2016 at 5:57 am

    I found this cake to be very dense, like many of your other cakes recipes that I’ve tried. I keep thinking I’m over mixing but, now that I have made this recipe without a mixer, I think it is just the recipes. My guess is that you prefer and dense cake. The flavor was good but I prefer a lighter cake.



    • Joanna on March 30, 2017 at 11:05 am

      I agree. The cake is very dense. I also think the recipe calls for too much butter and not enough baking powder. 



  6. chavon on December 29, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    I just put this in the oven… I subbed : Cake flour, pineapple juice and buttermilk.. it was not as thick as I thought. but the batter tasted delicious!!!!!!!1 can’t wait for the finished product… praying it comes out well.



  7. Aparna on January 1, 2017 at 2:30 am

    Superb!!!! Reduced the amount of butter though……excellent!!!!



  8. Crystal Stang on January 26, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Hi Sally, this pineapple upside down cake is heaven. I only had trouble inverting the cake. It all stayed together properly but some of the pineapples didn’t stay on top of the cake. Do you have any suggestions about this part of the process? Thank you for sharing your gorgeous work.  



    • Sally on January 26, 2017 at 11:57 am

      Hi Crystal! Sometimes that’s unavoidable. It happens to me too. I just have to put them back in place manually before serving.



  9. Louann on February 1, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    I prefer o use a cast iron skillet for my cake. Will it work with your recipe and how long to bake. Also skillet is 12″ so should I increase recipe by half?



  10. Steve Sofia on February 5, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Sally,you’re my go-to for baking delights! This morning I got into the kitchen and baked the peanut butter stuffed brownies followed by the pineapple upside-down cake.I just finished lunch and treated myself to a brownie,no two! WOW! Will get back to you after sampling the upside-down cake.Thanks sooooooooooooooooooo much for providing me with all of these baking masterpieces.I am forever grateful for finding your site.Cheers!



  11. Grace Seow on February 8, 2017 at 4:46 am

    I made the cake today based on the receipt.  It is delicious.  I found it a bit too sweet and a bit too moist.  If I bake it longer would it be a bit dryer and the pineapple be burnt?  2 slice of pineapple become burnt and stick to the dish while the rest fall off ok, do you have any tips to address this.  If I reduce the sugar to make it less sweet, do I have to substitute with another item?  Thank you for the receipt, love it.  I just have to try a few more time to make it better.  



  12. Danielle Adams on March 14, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    I have made this recipe twice and it was perfect! Seriously I would not change a thing. Thanks for the recipe!



  13. Lisa on March 16, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Would this work in an 8 x 8 square baking pan? Would i have to make any changes?



  14. Marie on March 20, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    I tried this cake and it came out dry and dense. I make most of your recipes all with success with the exception of your white cakes…they never have the right texture or moisture i expect. My mother in law who is a terrific baker has yet to succeed on this recipe or other ehite cakes too. What are we doing wrong? We weigh out everything and use room temperature.



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