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!

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Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: serves 8
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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)
  • 1520 maraschino cherries

Cake

  • 1 and 2/3 cups (210g) sifted all-purpose flour,* (spoon & leveled)
  • 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, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60g) yogurt*
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk*
  • 1/4 (60ml) cup pineapple juice (reserved from the canned pineapple or use fresh)
  • 1 Tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  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 9×2 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.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: 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.
  2. Flour: 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.
  3. Yogurt: 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.
  4. Milk: This recipe has been tested with buttermilk, whole milk, and unsweetened almond milk. Use any milk, dairy or non, that you prefer.

Keywords: pineapple upside-down cake

305 Comments

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  1. Sally, this might be a crazy question, but I have never really liked cherries–any suggestions for omitting/substituting? I was thinking about pieces of strawberries so we would still get that bright red pop of color in the pretty finished cake but wasn’t sure about the balance of flavors.

      1. Even cranberries would be good. My grandmother added walnut halves in the spaces without fruit too–yummy.
        Sally–I would like to hire you as my personal baker!! I’ve never been as smitten with recipes for sweets as I have by this website.
        Thank you–I think! (We’ll see how my jeans fit after a month).

      2. I had to join a gym when my baking addiction began to get real out of hand. 😉 Love the idea of cranberries/walnuts!

      3. I believe I will try w strawberries as well. Kids would enjoy more thanks to u both. 😉

  2. This looks absolutely gorgeous, and delicious too! And I agree with you about pineapple upside-down cakes in rivalry with apple pie, so hard to choose between the two! Can’t wait to try this recipe!

    1. I know you’ll just love this recipe. Happy you love fruity desserts as much as I do, Gayle.

  3. Beautiful, vivid colors, Sally! Spring rolled into one delicious dessert. I just recently made mini pineapple upside-down cakes in little petit four pans, and they were adorable (and gone in one bite…oops)!

    Congrats on your new cookbook, by the way! A very exciting accomplishment. 🙂

    Molly

    1. I have to try the mini version next, Molly – great idea! I appreciate the kind words about my cookbook too. I am so happy it is finally for sale!

  4. Ooh, this is taking me back to my childhood! I used to LOVE pineapple upside down cake but I haven’t had it for years and years! For some reason I thought it was just an English thing. Obviously not! Yours looks (and sounds!) fabulous, Sally!

  5. Sally your cake is gorgeous and I love pineapple upside down cakes…to the point I made one a few weeks ago. It’s for a post next week. What are the odds. I will email you pics of mine 🙂

    I agree that this is a show-stopping cake that you’ll want to make over and over! I can see from your photos just how soft, tender, moist and fabulous your cake is! It makes me want to go on a vacation to a warm island 🙂

  6. My uncle JUST requested this cake for his birthday cake! Just in time! And I believe in wearing mint green year round only because it’s my favorite color. I’m always attracted to it in ANY store.

    1. I wear mint green nail polish year round. my favorite too! I like the way your uncle thinks – maybe this will be my bday cake this year!

  7. Sally, this cake is stunning and so perfect for this time of the year when a lot of people start getting anxious for spring food! I can plainly see how soft and moist this cake is and all of sudden I have a serious craving for tropical food! 😉 pinned!

  8. I just got your cookbook from the mailbox. It is absolutely beautiful! I am having a hard time deciding which recipe to make first! Wonderful book. Congrats!

  9. This cake looks beautiful! I’ve always made it with the cake mix but am dying to make this recipie from scratch!!! I just got your book yesterday and made the leomon glaze loaf today! Just hade a piece and everyone in my family loved it!! I love your blog so much, i look at everyday to see if you posted anything new. I even made it into an app on my phone 🙂

    1. I am so happy you tried the glazed lemon loaf already! Absolutely the best lemon loaf I’ve ever had. Thank you for following along! Let me know any more cookbook (or blog!) recipes you try.

  10. Beautiful post! It looks like sunshine and flowers 🙂 Hang in there, Sally; spring will be here soon! I absolutely love pineapple, but I’ve never been a fan of maraschino cherries, so I think I would replace them with cherry-pie-filling cherries for this recipe. I know Chobani makes pineapple yogurt…I bet that would be amazing in the cake, or maybe a coconut yogurt (Dannon has one) to make a pina-colada upside-down cake 😉

  11. My German aunt used to make us pineapple upside down cake when I was a little girl, and it was one of my Dad’s favourites. I am sure this will go down a treat with him. Time to celebrate end of summer pineapples here in Australia.
    Enjoy the springtime inside your apartment Sally 🙂

    1. Haha! I will enjoy it inside my apartment. You have to try this recipe – maybe make it for your dad!

  12. I was just thinking about my menu for Easter brunch and I’m sure this will make the cut! Just got your wonderful book today in the mail and I’m loving it so far (my hubby ordered it for me after I talked about it for months LoL)! I’m actually reading through each and every page, which I don’t do with cookbooks. The recipes and photography are amazing Sally! Keep everything coming…I’m sure there will be another one in your future. :0)

  13. I’ve never made pineapple upside down cake without using pineapple juice in the cake – either the juice from the can or juicing some of a fresh pineapple. I’ll have to try your cake and see if I miss the flavor.

    1. Hi Tracy – there is actually 1/4 cup of pineapple juice in this cake recipe! It looks like I forgot to add that in. Just fixed it. Thank you!

  14. Just made a Pineapple Upside Down Cake last Thursday, for my dad’s 66th birthday. I wish I would’ve seen your recipe though – your cake is way prettier and better than mine was!

  15. If your gorgeous upside down cake doesn’t usher in spring, I don’t know what will!! It looks absolutely amazing — moist, tender, sweet, fruity, and that buttery layer on top (err, bottom?)… Yum. Pure yum. Hopefully Kevin or your neighbors like pineapple upside down cake; I’d be so tempted to eat the entire thing by myself too! (But it has fruit, so it’s automatically healthy… Right?)

  16. this looks so yummy. i love pineapple but have never tried a pineapple cake before. unfortunately, i can’t eat acidic fruits, otherwise i would gobble this up in a heartbeat!

  17. Oh my gosh, I’m salivating. Maybe it’s because I’m on day 3 of a gluten-free experiment so I can’t have this cake but it’s more likely because this looks absolutely decadent and delicious. We’ve always made pineapple cherry cake as a dump cake–apparently my parents thought an upside-down cake was too much work. But I love how easy this is. And your vanilla cake recipe. Beautiful. If gluten-free doesn’t help at all, this is going on my list of things to make when I first eat gluten again. 🙂 And come visit Seattle whenever–it was a balmy 50 degrees yesterday. 😉

    1. I would gladly take you up on your visit offer. It feels below freezing again today. That dump cake sounds delicious, seriously!

  18. HI Sally,

    O mi goshhhhhhh I <3 pinapple upside down cake! One of my favorites! Your recipe is just…….um….oh……..ahh…. unforgivable, no…………. undescribable, lol

    Ok I just had one question, I have my own club, and I wanted to ask you, what format or set up do you use so that on your homepage where it shows your posts, how do you make it so it doesn't show the whole post but it shows on the bottom continue reading, like what you have, thanks!

    1. Hi Noelle! I wish I had an answer for you, but my website’s layout and design was designed by Purr Designs and I’m unsure how she coded the site to show the excerpts.

  19. My book was supposed to arrive today, but the snow storm delayed it! Now I have to wait another day or two!

    1. Snow storms ruin everything. That happened to me with something I ordered two weeks ago! Grr..

  20. This cake is absolutely gorgeous! I want it to be spring time so, so badly. I’m lucky it doesn’t usually snow where I am, but I’m just so tired of all the gray and clouds! This cake looks like the perfect way to pretend like it’s warm and beachy outside. So pretty!

    1. Beth, it sounds like you need some sunshine-sweet desserts in your life right now. Let’s both pretend it’s summer!

    1. Love the way you worded it and you are spot-on, Nora! Exactly. You always forget how much you love it until you have that first bite again!

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