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Easy Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Recipe

Easy Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Recipe

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Making this cake is easier than you think

If you don’t like cherries, simply omit them when making this cake.

Pineapple upside-down cake, a cake that originated in the 1930s, is so named because pineapples are layered on the bottom of a cake pan, cake batter is placed on top, and once the cake is baked it is inverted so that the pineapples are on top. Though it may sound complicated, pineapple upside-down cake is actually relatively easy to make.

You can use fresh pineapple if you like but the cake is traditionally made with slices of canned, cored pineapple. It’s also common to include a maraschino cherry in the center of each pineapple ring on the bottom of the cake pan.

We like this easy pineapple upside-down cake recipe because the cake comes together easily in one bowl. After lining the cake pan with pineapple (and cherries, if desired) simply combine the other ingredients in a bowl until the batter forms. The trick to good pineapple upside-down cake is, once you bake the cake and flip the pan over, leave the pan on the cake for a few minutes so that the sugar mixture can drizzle over the cake.

Click here for an easy pineapple upside-down cake recipe.

Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is a simple, sweet dessert with an easy buttery homemade cake topped with delicious caramelized pineapple toping and even a cherry on top! Perfect spring and summer dessert!

This cake recipe is flavorful and moist. The cake is baked in a single layer and topped with pineapple rings and maraschino cherries. Canned pineapple and maraschino cherries are a couple of no-fuss ingredients that will make this impressive, decadent dessert. The cake is supremely moist with loads of pineapple flavor and the topping is caramel sweet with tender pineapple rings and juicy cherries.

It is a great recipe for bakers who are looking for an easy but unique cake to make at home.

Cook's Notes:

This is a very easy cake to make. A young person could make it with some parental guidance with the pineapple cutting and handling of the hot pan.

This cake is not as sickeningly sweet as some pineapple upside-down cakes and not as greasy because less butter and brown sugar are used to prepare the pan.

I use frozen cranberries or frozen pitted cherries instead of maraschino cherries, because I don't like the taste or artificial coloring of the maraschino cherries. But something red on the cake makes this one still look traditional.

You can use canned sliced pineapple instead of fresh, and vanilla bean paste instead of vanilla extract.


I use Dunkin Hines pineapple supreme cake mix.

I always use 1 cup of pineapple juice instead of water. Delicious!

I use a cast iron skillet and have made this wonderful birthday cake for the last 59 years. My husband's favorite. thank you Duncan Hines.

Why does the recipe call for an 8 X 13 inch pan but cake in photo is circular ?

@lurleen. You can use the pineapple juice. I use it every time.

why can't you use pineapple juice in batter -LMB

I make this with fresh bananas. Same method but instead of pineapple cut bananas lengthways in butter sugar base. Top with cake mix. Wonderful warm with ice cream

I made this one last week and my hubby love it!

I made this one day. Was kind of dissapointed that it didn't rise up more. Not sure if it was something that I did wrong or not. Still it was good. :> A much faster way to make then one from scratch.

It's been 10 years, maybe you know the difference between then and than now. but then.

Know your meme: THEN is used for time: First I stole a panda bear, then we drank malt liquor together. THAN is used for comparison: I'm much better at holding my liquor than a panda bear. These are different words.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus 3 tablespoons (cut into small pieces) for preparing the top
  • 1 cup sugar, plus 2/3 cup for preparing the top
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 7 thin rounds cored pineapple

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream 6 tablespoons butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla beat until combined. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with the milk in 2, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix just until combined

In a 10-inch cast-iron (or ovenproof nonstick) skillet over low, add remaining sugar and butter and cook, stirring, until the mixture is a light caramel color. Remove from heat and top with pineapple rounds.

Carefully spoon batter over pineapples in skillet. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Let cake cool in pan 5 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake, then carefully invert onto a platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Origin

One of the earliest mentions of upside down pineapple cake is in a 1925 Gold Medal Flour ad, which featured a golden-brown cake with pineapple slices, cherries and a brown sugar glaze. Pineapple upside down cake is often rooted with the story of Dole Pineapple producing a contest for pineapple recipes after their invention of a pineapple ring cutting rig around 1920.

But Pineapple upside down cakes have a history born before home ovens, when these “skillet cakes” were baked over a fire. The cake was a modern marvel, since it relied on the recently introduced innovations of canned pineapple rings and preserved maraschino cherries.

Considered a classic American cake, pineapple-upside down cake first appeared when canned pineapple become available. But the method of creating a lusciously caramel-like topping for a cake, pastries (like caramel rolls), or bread has a long baking history.

Pineapple upside-down cake’s popularity peaked in the 1950s, but it’s stuck around, becoming just as much of a classic because it’s so easy to make. While it’s been around for a long time, a good cake never goes out of style, so it’s no surprise that classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake recipe is still going strong after decades of popularity.


Full measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page. Please take a look at the steps and video before attempting this recipe!

Heat the butter and sugar in a saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves (but not after). Bring to a gentle simmer and take off the heat.

Spread the caramel over a lined 9×13 inch rectangular cake tin. Arrange the pineapple slices over the caramel in a single layer, slicing in half if needed, to fit tray.

Add the flour, sugar and raising agents in a mixing bowl and mix together to combine. Top with the softened butter, lemon zest, vanilla extract, milk and eggs. Beat all the ingredients in one bowl using a hand or stand mixer, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl halfway through.

Carefully spread the cake batter over the pineapple and level. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden and springy to the touch.

Cool the cake in the tin for 20 minutes. Lift out of the tray using overhanging paper and put on a wire rack to cool further. Carefully invert, peel lining off and transfer onto a platter (see tips below).

Brush warm apricot jam over the cake to cover. The glaze will protect the cake, add a lovely shiny glaze and add lots of flavour of course!

Add the cherries, if using, Serve warm with custard or ice cream or cold if you prefer. Store the cake in the fridge and eat within a couple of days.


The only very slightly tricky part to this otherwise easy peasy recipe is flipping the cake over to reveal the pineapple topping. Follow my tips for flipping success!

Leave your pineapple upside-down cake to COOL DOWN . If you attempt to flip it while still warm, it will very likely fall apart.

Lift the cake out of the tin using the overhanging liner &ndash I use these reusable cake liners which are sturdy and allow you to lift a large cake in one piece.

Place cake on a wire rack and position a second wire rack over the top of the cake (sponge side). Hold the wire racks securely and quickly flip the cake over. Peel off the liner to reveal the glorious pineapple topping underneath!

Transfer to a cake platter using a cake lifter (as it is a rather large cake).


My cake is sinking in the middle! This could be due to unevenly mixed batter, too much baking powder or over beating the batter. You shouldn&rsquot have this problem with my recipe which uses a very simple all in one method.

How do I know my pineapple upside-down cake is done? Your cake should be golden, well risen and springy to the touch. A knife inserted in the middle should come out clean. If the knife comes out with batter on it then you should bake the cake for a little bit longer and check again after 5 minutes.

My cake is browning too much! This is usually due to the oven being too hot or heat being uneven. Many ovens run slightly too hot (or not hot enough). If your cake looks like it is browning too quickly then tent with foil &ndash but don&rsquot allow the foil to be in contact with the cake.

Can I use self raising flour? I haven&rsquot tested this recipe with self raising flour but you should have absolutely no problems using it provided it is FRESH. If your flour has been gathering dust in the pantry for several years it will have lost its oomph! See recipe notes.

Can I replace the pineapple with another fruit? You can use bananas or mango in the same way using this recipe. Slice the bananas widthways and arrange so they cover the bottom of the tin.

Recipe Summary

  • cooking spray
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • 24 maraschino cherries
  • 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package pineapple cake mix (such as Duncan Hines® Pineapple Supreme)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ⅓ cups pineapple juice
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar for dusting, or as needed

Move an oven rack into the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Spray 24 muffin cups with cooking spray.

Line a work surface with waxed paper.

Spoon 1 teaspoon melted butter into the bottom of each sprayed muffin cup.

Spoon 1 tablespoon brown sugar in each muffin cup.

Press a maraschino cherry into the center of the brown sugar in each muffin cup.

Spoon a heaping tablespoon of crushed pineapple over the cherry and compact it with the back of a spoon into an even layer.

Mix pineapple cake mix, eggs, pineapple juice, and vegetable oil in a large bowl with electric mixer on low speed until moistened, about 30 seconds. Turn mixer speed to medium and mix for 2 minutes.

Pour pineapple cake batter into the muffin cups, filling them to the top do not overfill.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Allow cupcakes to cool at least 5 minutes before inverting muffin cups onto the waxed paper to release. Serve with pineapple and cherry sides up. Sprinkle cupcakes lightly with confectioners' sugar.

How To Make Easy Pineapple Upside-Down Cake from Scratch

Yield Serves 8 to 10 , Makes 1 (9-inch) cake

  • shellfish-free
  • kidney-friendly
  • fish-free
  • alcohol-free
  • low-potassium
  • vegetarian
  • peanut-free
  • pork-free
  • pescatarian
  • tree-nut-free
  • low-sodium
  • red-meat-free
  • Calories 355
  • Fat 16.1 g (24.8%)
  • Saturated 9.2 g (45.8%)
  • Carbs 50.4 g (16.8%)
  • Fiber 0.7 g (2.8%)
  • Sugars 34.7 g
  • Protein 3.4 g (6.9%)
  • Sodium 115.6 mg (4.8%)


For the topping:

pineapple rings in pineapple juice

For the cake:

(1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature


Large and medium mixing bowls


Heat the oven and prepare the pan. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray set aside.

Melt the butter and sugar for the topping. Melt the butter and sugar in a small frying pan over medium heat, stirring frequently. The mixture is done when the sugar is bubbly and slightly more brown.

Pour the sugar mixture into the baking pan. Pour the sugar mixture into a prepared cake pan and spread into an even layer to cool slightly.

Arrange the pineapple slices and cherries in the cake pan. Remove the pineapple rings from the can and reserve 1/2 cup of the juice. Set a single ring in the center of the pan, then arrange 6 to 7 rings around the center ring. Place a maraschino cherry in the center of each ring and set the pan aside.

Whisk together the dry cake ingredients. Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl set aside.

Cream the sugar and butter together with a hand mixer, then add the eggs. Place the sugar and butter in a large bowl. Using an electric hand mixer, beat on medium speed until lightened and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs and beat until smooth, about 1 minute more.

Add the flour mixture and pineapple juice in alternating batches. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the reserved 1/2 cup pineapple juice, in this order: Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add 1/2 of the pineapple juice, mixing until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add another 1/2 of the remaining flour and mix again for about 30 seconds, followed by the remaining pineapple juice and 30 seconds of mixing. Finally, add the remaining flour mixture and mix until completely smooth, about 1 minute total.

Spread the batter over the fruit. The batter will be thick, so use a large spoon to dollop large spoonfuls of the batter evenly over the fruit in the pan. Smooth the batter with an offset spatula, then tap the cake pan lightly on the counter to settle the batter.

Bake the cake for 45 minutes. Bake the cake until dark golden-brown and a cake tester comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Cool the cake for 10 minutes and then invert the cake onto a serving plate. Remove the warm cake from the oven to a cooling rack and cool for 10 minutes (do not wait longer or the cake will not come out of the pan). Invert a plate over the cake pan and, using kitchen towels or oven mitts to grasp onto both the plate and the cake pan, flilp both the pan and the plate over so the pan now sits on top of the plate. Slowly lift the cake pan away. Serve the cake warm or cool before serving and storing.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.


  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 can (20 oz) pineapple slices in juice, drained, juice reserved
  • 1 jar (6 oz) maraschino cherries without stems, drained
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • Vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box


  1. Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). In 13࡯-inch pan, melt butter in oven. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over butter. Arrange pineapple slices on brown sugar. Place cherry in center of each pineapple slice, and arrange remaining cherries around slices press gently into brown sugar.
  2. Add enough water to reserved pineapple juice to measure 1 cup. Make cake batter as directed on box, substituting pineapple juice mixture for the water. Pour batter over pineapple and cherries.
  3. Bake 42 to 48 minutes (44 to 53 minutes for dark or nonstick pan) or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately run knife around side of pan to loosen cake. Place heatproof serving plate upside down onto pan turn plate and pan over. Leave pan over cake 5 minutes so brown sugar topping can drizzle over cake remove pan. Cool 30 minutes. Serve warm or cool. Store covered in refrigerator.

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