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!

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!

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!

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!

Slice. Serve. Fall in love!

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

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

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


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)
  • 1520 maraschino cherries


  • 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


  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.


  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


Comments are closed.

  1. This was delicious! I’m not usually a fan of pineapple cake, but yours is worth making again! I had fresh pineapple that needed to be used so decided to try this recipe & so glad that I did. I baked it in a cast iron skillet which helps carmelize the fruit even more, I think. The kids liked it too, and it warranted a trip to the grocery store on day 2 to buy vanilla ice cream to eat with the leftovers. Thank you, Sally!

  2. Hi Sally,

    Can I make this in a springform pan?! Making this on Easter Sunday. I bought a springform pan for your carrot cake im also making so I was wondering if I could use it for this as well.

    1. Carly, I had a reader try this cake in a springform pan and she said the butter from the topping leaked everywhere. I am just unsure of its presentation. I don’t recommend it.

      1. I have tried this with a springform pan and it worked. Just layer with sugar, pineapple slices and cherries (leave out butter). Sally, your blog is awesome. Will get your book soon! Best wishes.

  3. Great cake recipe, really liked the simplicity of the batter. Made it for Easter.Used dark sweet cherries that I had in the freezer, and substituted 2/3 c. flour for almond flour… worked great with your base recipe.

    1. Curious… Why did you use almond flour, and what effect did it have on the texture of the cake? Can coconut or rice flours also be substituted?
      Wishing I had taken the baking course at culinary school!

  4. I made this for a family member who absolutely adores Pineapple Upside Down Cake and it was a hit! It was delicious and presented beautifully! I used a deep dish glass pie plate and placed the pineapple and cherries just as shown. Be certain to put this on a parchment lined cookie sheet as it will bubble over. I used sour cream in place of the yogurt and buttermilk in place of the milk. This cake is very moist and not too sweet, with almost a creamy texture. I will use this as my go to recipe from now on…no need to look any further. Please, I encourage you to make this cake…you won’t be disappointed. : ) Thank you Sally!

  5. I didn’t have sliced pineapple so I used crushed pineapple. I’m not a fan of cherries so I did not add them. This was really good though!

  6. hey! I have made this cake two times now. one with fresh pineapple and one with canned pineapple. I found that the fresh pineapple left a wonder flavor and texture to my cake, but when I tried the canned it didn’t come out the same. I also instead of using yogurt I use mascarpone. It was delicious at every level. thank you so much for the recipe. (:

  7. I have made this twice now and LOVE IT !!! I used apricots the second time at my Husbands request and it was wonderful. I would not change a thing in your recipe !

  8. Hi Sally:

    My cake was yummy, but my family is afraid to eat it as there is 300g of various sugars in this cake, plus 175g of butter all in a 9″ cake. It was a bit wet/rich inside so I had to keep cooking it for 50 minutes to dry it out.

    Is it possible to make this cake healthier? Diabetes runs in my family.

    1. I’m wondering the same thing- have seen the many recipes online using cake mix but want to use a ‘from scratch’ batter instead.

    2. I tried it in a bundt pan and it came out great.  Spray the pan, put the butter and brown sugar in the bottom (increase butter to 1/2 cup for better coverage).  Cut pineapple slices in half, place them round end down with a cherry in between each one all the way around the inside of the pan.  Let it sit while you prepare batter.  Beautiful and tasty.

  9. Made this with 1/4 cup vegetable oil in place of the egg,My son has a egg allergy. It Turned out great!!

  10. Heya Sally!

    This is the recipe that started MY addiction to Sally’s Addiction. I have made this three times, each time with pineapple flavored yogurt and buttermilk ( I could’ve swore you originally said only to use buttermilk in this) and every time it’s been SO delicious and really beautiful. Sadly, I gave away two of my three made as gifts but they were extremely well received. I have since then always checked your site before any others when looking for a dessert recipe.

    (as a side note- for my first cake I didn’t realize until too late that I didn’t have aluminium foil so I just cut a sheet of parchment and placed it over the top. Of all three I made the parchment one burned the least and looked the best.) 

  11. I made this today with fresh pineapple. The flavors were really good and the cake was light and moist. Like several others have said, this took much longer than 40 minutes to bake. Mine took 1 hour. I suspect that because the author only used part of the batter in the pan and the rest for cupcakes, that her cake was thinner and therefore baked quicker then if she had used all the batter in one pan. Keep this in mine if you make this cake (and you should because it was yummy).

  12. Hi Sally or anyone who has the answer 🙂
    Ingredient – yogurt is plain.. Greek? 

    Thank you!!

  13. I have this in the oven now. The batter tastes REALLY good! I’ve tried many of you’re recipes and love them all. I too have a baking addiction- I have the thighs to prove it lol. 

  14. Loved this recipe! I used wheat flour (1 1/3 cups) and thought it was still delicious though definitely heartier. Also put crushed pecans around the pineapple and cherries. I didn’t cover with foil and nothing burned or dried out, was done in about 42 minutes and was still very moist … do put a cookie sheet below as it did bubble over a normal 9″ round. Thanks Sally, can’t wait to try more of your recipes!  

  15. Hi Sally! Would you recommend using a Cast Iron Skillet ( I have the “Lodge” brand) for this recipe? I have seen other pineapple upside down cake recipes that use a cast iron skillet and was wondering if could possibly use that for this cake. Thanks!!!

  16. Oh my goodness!  This was fantastic!  My husband who is not a fan of fruit in cake, LOVED this!  Your sponge was absolutely delicious.  For those of your readers thinking about using a cast iron skillet, we did.  We baked it at 325 degrees for 40 minutes and it turned out wonderful!  We followed your recipe, using the cake flour option. It was tender, sweet – but not overly sweet, and moist.  The brown sugar and pineapple topping, was perfect!  We will definitely be making this again.  Thank you so much for sharing with all of us.  Pinning to make it again, and again, and again.

  17. I made this today for the first time. Wow! It was delish! Your vanilla cake recipe is certainly something I’ll do again and improvise upon. I followed the recipe exactly. I used bicarbonate soda for baking soda, assuming it is the same thing…
    I made this times one and a half as my tin is bigger.
    My cake was a darker color on top as the sugars caramelized quite a bit. But it was yummy all the same.
    Thank you so much for adding metric measurements. I can’t get my head around using a cup, I prefer to weigh everything.
    Thank you so much,
    Lisca (in Spain)

  18. Hi Sally,
    I love your recipes! I am eager to try your pineapple upside down cake but I would like to make them into cupcakes. How many cupcakes do you think this recipe will make? Thanks!

  19. Great recipe. Thanks for using grams too as we don’t use cups in the UK. I also brushed a bit of excess pineapple juice mixed with light brown sugar on the base while cooking and over the top once I had taken it out of the tin. Made it for the second week running!

  20. Oh my goodness! I just made this cake for a family function! Totally perfect. I followed the instructions exactly and got a perfect cake. I wish I could post the pic. Yes, I most certainly took a pic of it! It’s beautiful and so delicious! Thank you Sally!!!

  21. Wow, this is a great cake. I had never ever made a pineapple upside down cake in my life.  A friend wanted one for her 60th Bday party.  I made the cake and then another batch for cup cakes. Everything turned out so good!! I especially loved the little cupcakes; I will make this recipe again & again. Just loved it. Made it exactly the way you recommended.  Did need to back it a little longer.   The cupcakes were exactly 20 minutes.

    Thank-you for all the praise I received today from this lovely recipe!!!

  22. Hey Sally! I see that overflow can be a problem is you are using a standard pie dish. How far should you fill it up with batter to avoid spill? Would cutting the recipe in half not make enough batter?  

    1. I’ve never had a spilling issue in my deep dish pie dishes. You may certainly halve the batter recipe or you can fill the pie dish halfway with batter. Perhaps make two cakes if you’d like then?

  23. I was in the middle of making this cake and I noticed that the recipe for the batter says to melt the butter however I never stated when to add the butter into the mixture of the batter. I can only assume that we are to cream the butter and sugars together since that is what is typically done in cakes. Hope it comes our right.

  24. So I made a rookie mistake and accidentally left out the milk.  I’m still confused about how, not only am I a pretty decent baker, but I also read twice, and then referenced the recipe while combining ingredients, but I’ve been known to be a ditz occasionally.  I’d doubled the recipe for a 9×13 pan, since I had extra pineapple as well, so an entire cup of milk was missed.  Any chance it’s not a dry, crumbly mess?

    It’s currently in the oven.  *sigh*  wish me luck.

      1. So, it actually turned out better than I expected.  It was slightly dense, and had it been a traditional vanilla cake with frosting, I probably wouldn’t have been happy with the results.  As it was, the density wasn’t much of an issue, and actually complimented the syrupy pineapple quite nicely.  Dryness wasn’t a factor at all; it was still very moist.  Maybe because of extra thick, fresh pineapple slices?

        10/10 will make this again.  It’s the mark if a truly fabulous recipe when something goes horribly wrong and the end product is still amazing.

        And when I use this recipe for cake with frosting I will definitely remember the milk.


  25. This looks awesome! I just have a couple questions. 

    I would like to incorporate rum, but not sure how to go about it. I would like to make a rum syrup/sauce and brush/soak the cake in it, but I’m worried I’ll over do it. Could a glaze/syrup work or would you recommend just adding 1 tbsp to the cake? 

    I also was wondering the difference between using pineapple juice and crushed pineapple for the cake. Is there a difference in flavor/moisture? 


  26. hi Sally..please i want to know if there is a particular or special tin or dish for baking pineapple upside down?

  27. Doubled the recipe and made it for my best friend’s surprise 18th. 
    Birthday cakes in my experience tend to be politely nibbled as part of a party ritual, but this one dissapeared in a heartbeat! SO GOOD.

    Sending you lots of love from Hong Kong Sally, the quality of your recipes, writing and photography are unbelievable, what a kickass woman you are! 

  28. I made this for my father, who is a pineapple upside down cake aficionado, and he absolutely loved it. I did too! Thanks for the great recipie, I’ve used several of your other recipes and my family and I have loved every one!

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally