Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

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Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is a classic American recipe with pineapple, yellow pineapple cake and maraschino cherries. Easy boxed Cake version option too!

Let’s face it, pineapple is delicious. From Pineapple Dump Cake to Brown Sugar Pineapple Ham to Grilled Brown Sugar Pineapple, it’s hard to beat delicious, juicy, fresh pineapple.

Pineapple Upside Down CakePINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is a delicious cake you can take to the beach, on a picnic or finish a summer BBQ with.  It’s rich, it’s buttery and, most importantly, it’s simple and easy to make, no cake flour or large.

My Pineapple Upside-Down Cake recipe uses fresh pineapple and maraschino cherries, as well as a quick and easy homemade mix of recipes instead of a cake mix, and only takes about 50 minutes to prepare and bake. My version of classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake looks perfect on a fancy serving platter or on paper plates and is great for any occasion.

How to test if it is done:

Since you can’t press the top of the cake to see if it springs back I recommend the toothpick test to make sure it has cooked all the way through before you take it out to cool. Once the timer dings, take an ordinary toothpick and insert it into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean of cake batter when you pull it out it means that the center is solid and ready to cool. If it comes out with cake batter stuck to it, it needs to cook a bit longer.

You can make this recipe manually or you can use an electric mixer. If you use the electric mixer, make sure to keep it on low speed when adding in the wet and dry ingredients so you don’t end up wearing them. Once everything is mixed, make sure to use a rubber spatula to get the parts of the cake batter trapped by the electric mixer’s paddle attachment, or the measurements could end up being off.

Once the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is done cooking, pull it out and set it on a serving plate to cool before dishing it up. If you want a quick way to make it look fancy, dust some powdered sugar over the top. You will probably be good with a single layer of sugar, but you can always add more as needed.

If you want to dress your cake up a little bit, try it with delicious, Homemade Pineapple Topping.

CAKE MIX PINEAPPLE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE RECIPE

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 20 ounces pineapple slices in juice, drained, juice reserved
  • 8 maraschino cherries without stems
  • 15.25 ounce Yellow cake mix (mixed like the box says with oil and eggs but don’t add the water)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a springform pan with baking spray.
  2. Melt the butter and brown sugar in a microwave safe bowl then mix together and pour into the bottom of pan.
  3. Add pineapple slices to the bottom of pan then place cherries in the middle of the circles.
  4. Make the yellow cake mix as directed on the box but use 1 cup of pineapple juice in place of the water it calls for.
  5. Spoon batter carefully into springform pan and bake on a baking sheet for 45 minutes.
  6. Place plate or cake stand upside down on springform pan and flip over quickly while still warm.

slice of pineapple upside down cake

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  • Cupcakes: How do you turn Pineapple Upside-Down Cake into pineapple upside-down cupcakes? Pour the batter into a muffin tin and follow the rest of the directions, using smaller slices of fresh pineapple and a single maraschino cherry for each. These cupcakes are fun and shareable, which makes them perfect for parties and get togethers. To give it an even punchier taste in smaller form, add just a tiny bit of vanilla extract to the cake batter.
  • Add-ins and toppings: If you want your Pineapple Upside-Down Cake to have a more complex flavor without mixing it up too much, add in cranberries or mango slices. You can also arrange them on top to add a bit of color. Also try sliced pecans, walnuts or cashews on top of the cake to make it look extra fancy without spending hours decorating it.

More Classic Dessert Favorites:

Try Pineapple Upside-Down Cake served up with a scoop of Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream or topped with Homemade Whipped Cream.

HOW LONG IS PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE GOOD?

  • Serve: You shouldn’t let your Pineapple Upside-Down Cake sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours. 
  • Store: Put your leftover Pineapple Upside-Down Cake in an airtight container or wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge. It should be good for up to 5 days before you should make a new one.
  • Freeze: Once again, you want your Pineapple Upside-Down Cake to be stored in something airtight, like plastic wrap. In the fridge it should last up to 1 month.

Top down view of pineapple upside down cake

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Pineapple Upside Down Cake

  • Yield: 10 servings
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Course: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is a classic American recipe with pineapple, yellow pineapple cake and maraschino cherries. Easy boxed Cake version option too!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar , packed
  • 20 ounces pineapple rings in juice , (reserve 1/4 cup of juice for cake)
  • 7 maraschino cherries , stems removed
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1/2  cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice

Instructions

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a springform pan with baking spray.
  2. Melt the butter and brown sugar in a microwave safe bowl then mix together and pour into the bottom of pan.
  3. Add pineapple slices to the bottom of pan then place cherries in the middle of the circles.
  4. To your stand mixer add butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, for 1-2 minutes.

  5. Add in the egg, vanilla extract, sour cream and pineapple juice on low speed until combined.
  6. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt then add it into the stand mixer on low speed until just combined.
  7. Spoon batter carefully into springform pan and bake on a baking sheet for 40-45 minutes.

  8. Place plate or cake stand upside down on springform pan and flip over quickly while still warm.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 10 servings, Amount per serving: 261 calories, Calories: 261g, Carbohydrates: 42g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 134mg, Potassium: 102mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 28g, Vitamin A: 306g, Vitamin C: 1g, Calcium: 47g, Iron: 1g

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About the Author

Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

See more posts by Sabrina

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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Comments

  1. I love a good pineapple up-side down cake! This one looks very like the one I have used since I was a child. The only real difference is the sour cream. I’m wondering what the sour cream does for the cake. Does it change the flavor or texture?

    Also a yummy alternative my family enjoys is swapping the butter in the batter for softened, solid, coconut oil. It makes the cake a bit healthier and tastes a bit more tropical. It does make the cake a little denser than normal, it still tastes amazing though.

    1. The sour cream adds a bit of flavor and also helps the cake stay really moist. Love your recipe swap – is there a more perfect tropical pair than pineapple and coconut?

  2. Thank you for giving 2 versions of this classic. Very generous and thoughtful to offer 2 versions. This brings back memories from high school. We used to make this after school. Think we only had 1 cookbook that we used…the classic old school red Betty crocker cookbook. Was so delicious. Need to make this again. I’m sure it is still delicious?