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. Would this be enough batter to make two 9in cakes? I wanted to make a double layer pineapple cake this year. Or should I double the batter? Thank you!!!

  2. I have a question. In step two instead of using yogurt can I use 2% milk which i have or will it be better to use buttermilk? I actually have powdered buttermilk that you whisk with water to turn it into the liquid version. Second question. In step three, when calling for milk, i assume that means use more milk? I just dont want to flood the recipe with too much milk. So that i why i asked. I really want to try this as it looks so yummy. Thank you Sally.

    1. This recipe calls for 1/4 cup yogurt and 1/2 cup milk. You can use 3/4 cup buttermilk in their place. 3/4 cup 2% milk may work, but a nice thick milk is key.

  3. Hi Sally,

    I love your recipes!
    Tomorrow I was planning on making the Pineapple upside down cake for my Husband’s birthday, and was wondering if you ever have made this in a bundt pan, and if I will need to adapt the recipe for that?

     Thank you!

     Ilana

  4. For a bundt cake, I doubled the cake recipe (perfect!).
    I also made the cake vegan, using vegan yogurt, shortening,coconut milk and egg replacer
    ( 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 tablespoon water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, per egg).
    Just put in the oven and it looks promising!

  5. I made this cake for a small group get together where everybody brings a dessert. It was amazing! I made it in a cast iron pan since I didn’t have any 2 inch high cake pans. It turned out well but I let it cool longer so that it wouldn’t fall apart. When I finally turned it out the sides fell off on one side but when I turned it it looked fine. This was a delicious moist cake that I would definitely make again.

  6. I tried this recipe last weekend, YUM! I used cake flour and creamed the butter and sugar for a fluffier cake. I also used a square 8 inch pan since I didn’t have a round one that was deep enough. The cake was wonderfully moist and sweet. I always like corner pieces and in this one, the sort of caramelized sides were to die for! I think I’d like to try these in cupcake form just to get more surface area with that effect.
    I used dark brown sugar since that’s all I had on hand and my cake was quite dark. There was some concern that my 3 year old nephew wouldn’t eat a cake that color that had fruit, but he ate up the whole piece and demanded more! I’ll be making this again, maybe with all white sugar or light brown sugar.

  7. Yummy. My cake came out perfect. The aluminium foil was timed perfectly. 

    The instructions covered everything that might have been questioned. My batter was thick but pourable and I had a ceramic pan that I’d never baked in that was the perfect height.

    I can see why the pineapple is going to sink; that cake is really moist. I’m not sure who will eat it besides me but someone has to do it. Twist my arm.

  8. I just made this for my husband’s birthday – We haven’t cut it or anything yet but it looks awesome! It was my first attempt of making a cake unaided 😀 

    Let’s hope it tastes as good as it looks! 

    I had one little foible – when I flipped the cake, some of the pineapple rings and cherries got stuck to the base and I had to peel them off and place them on the cake – it doesn’t look quite as cute as it could have done. Any tips to avoid this?
     

    1. Excited for you to try it! I wonder if you sprayed the cake pan with nonstick spray before adding the butter. OR line with parchment. Either should help!

  9. The absolute best pineapple upside down cake ever!  I used coconut Greek yogurt.

  10. This cake was super easy to make and was delicious. My boyfriend’s father loves pineapple upside down cake and he said this one was the best ever. I made it in a cast iron skillet.

  11. This recipe is exactly what I was looking for! My uncle’s favorite dessert is Pineapple Upside Down Cake, so I wanted to make one for his birthday. I’m not much of a cook, but it turned out perfectly!

    I used a whole-wheat all-purpose flour, which turned out to be delicious and have out a great texture – I will DEFINITELY be making this again!

  12. I halved this recipe and the batter came out thin for some reason. I wish I could have seen a picture of the batter on this website so I could see the thickness and how far up it came in the pan before baking Flavors were delicious though. .

  13. Hi Sally, 
    I baked this in a 9 inch deep cake pan, My cake came out amazing in flavor but the texture was not the best. It seemed a lot more dense than your cake, and too moist, almost gummy. I baked for 50 minutes and a toothpick came out clean. I also used an oven thermometer so I know it was at 350. I’m not sure what I did wrong, if you have any suggestions please let me know. Thanks so much and I love your blog! 

    1. Hi Anna! I’m so sorry the texture was off, but I’m glad you loved the taste. How about using cake flour next time? Same amount. This will lighten up the texture.

  14. I have a dutchoven cookoff coming up in two weeks have won first place three times before and several seconds always wanted to try pineapple upside down cake found you on line liked your resipe I tryed it on Saturday turns out great am going to make for contest thank you john stinson

  15. It’s hard to find a pineapple upside down cake recipe that doesn’t use boxed cake mix, as I recently found out. I’m glad I found this! I made it with mango instead of pineapple, because I live in South Florida and it’s Mango Season right now. I also doubled the recipe and baked in a 13 x 9 pan. I brought it to work and everyone is going crazy!

  16. Hi Sally, I used a bundt cake pan for this recipe and it turned out perfect, it was my first time to bake a pineapple upside down cake and im so glad i found your recipe, its delicious! And ur website will be my recipe source for desserts 🙂 

    1. I feel like it would be wonderful in place of the pineapple juice. And/or maybe in place of the yogurt as well!

  17. Oh Sally . If only I can tell you how much I respect you !!
    Well I made it yesterday and I am making it tomorrow , the same exact recipe with not a single thing to change!! Weird enough !

    The cake texture is phenomenal . I have been baking for almost 10 years maybe more and never experienced a texture like this one with my cakes . Not too light and not too dense , buttery but not heavy with the perfect amount of sweetness .HEAVENLY!!. I am writing down the ingredients brands just to make sure it will turn out the same each and every time .
    Used yogurt and buttermilk and a creaming method to make the cake . 

    One question though bare with me pls , is there is something I can do for the pineapple not to apply that little force on the fork when having a bite , should I cook them or just cutting them into medium sized slices instead of the full circle , or maybe just changing the brand ( using canned ones) ? 
    And can I double the caramel amount or it will affect the texture?

    Sorry for talking too much but I only comment here when I get something to remember years and years when making a recipe like this one .
    Still I make a lot of your recipes which I like them all to be honest but just few that I LOOOOOVE !! including this one .

    P.s someone here said the corners are to die for , can’t agree more!! 

    1. Thanks so much for the kind comment Osama! I LOVE the edges/corners of this cake! To answer your questions– you could try lightly cooking the pineapple slices on the stove to soften them a bit before layering into the pan. That would be quite a lot of caramel sauce and the bake time may increase because the cake will be so moist, but I think it would be OK. (Maybe only use 3/4 of the sauce though, I do feel like that would be too much buttery moisture.)

  18. Thanks for the recipe Sally. Can I use a 9 inch square pan? My pie dish is shy of the 2 inch depth. Thanks! 

  19. Sorry if this has already been asked but can I use salted butter instead of unsalted or will it eff up the chemistry of the recipe? Thank you, I just discovered your blog/Instagram and will be making some of your amazing looking creations!

  20. Hi sally! Never commented before but I love your recipes! I make you pretzel bites recipe all the time and freeze the leftovers.
    I made a version of this cake with passionfruit last night and it was very good. I dont like pineapples but passionfruit is in season where I live. the cake turned out REALLY good. Our only problem was that without the moisture of the pinepple slices at the bottom, the topping burnt to a crisp, while the rest of the cake was perfectly cooked. We tried to put sliced sour cherries down to orevent that from happeninng but our cherries werr too small and not moist.  Next time we will probably just omit the topping because the base cake was soo good with passionfruit :). Thanks!!

  21. Heyy… just made this cake! The taste was amazing! Next time though i would be making with less suger for the top lol was a little to sweet for me

  22. Sally, can I use 2 reg. round cake pans and devide ingredients between them? I don’t have any deep dish pans. Thanks!

  23. Hi Sally. I can’t believe I’m asking you this…but I have to. My daughter wants a banana upside-down cake for her birthday in two weeks. I made a test one which I did not care for at all (not one of your recipes). I know I can just substitute bananas in the topping but would like to know if I can replace the yogurt and pineapple juice in the cake with a cup of mashed bananas. What do you think? Thank you.

  24. Hi Sally, I’m really interested in making this recipe for a large group of friends (in advance), but I don’t want the presentation to be too messed up. Do you think it’d be possible for me to bake this one day, invert it, let cool, and flip back into the pan for an event two days later so the pineapple slices don’t sink into the cake?

    1. This is definitely not the best cake to make ahead. You can *try* it, but I still think the pineapples won’t look their best.

  25. Hi Sally,

    I am hooked to your recipes now. Carrot cake, marble cake, quiche, upside down pineapple cake.. Tried all and they came out amazing!! Thanks a lot. Planning to do cinnamon rolls tonight. Do keep up the delicious recipes.
    Thanks again!!

  26. This is the best pineapple upside down cake ever.  The texture is perfect for moisture, sweetness, rise. The direction worked to a tee.  I used my 8 inch iron skillet and had 7 mini ones I made in a regular muffin pan.  I agree – lots of cherries.  I used a few pecan halfs in some of spaces, but next time I will used chopped. Thank you!

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