This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, read my disclosure policy.

This Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe is a classic cake recipe that is so soft and moist with a caramelized pineapple topping with maraschino cherries. It’s an easy cake to make and is a pretty dessert that looks more difficult than it actually is!

Overhead shot of pineapple upside down cake on a white rustic plate


Easy Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe

We’re going old-school today with the best pineapple upside down cake recipe that you are going to love! Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve made one, or maybe you never have – either way, you are going to love this easy recipe.

Pineapple upside down cake is a wonderful dessert that is a combination of moist and soft cake, with a juicy pineapple and brown sugar topping. Add a few maraschino cherries, and you get a cake everyone is going to love. 

Why this recipe works

  • This is a pineapple upside down cake recipe made from scratch. It’s a simple vanilla cake flavored with pineapple juice. The juice is what makes the cake so soft and moist. 
  • Of course, the star of the cake is the topping. The topping is assembled in the bottom of the pan, and the cake bakes on top of it. When it’s done, you flip the cake over so the bottom becomes the top. The pineapple bakes in a brown sugar and butter mixture that gives the cake its signature caramelized topping.
  • This easy recipe has been tested so many times, and it always works. You don’t need to worry about the topping getting stuck to the pan or the cake collapsing.
One slice of pineapple upside down cake on a plate with fork

Ingredients Needed

  • Unsalted Butter: You’ll need butter for both the cake and the topping.
  • Brown Sugar: This is for the caramel-like topping.
  • Canned Pineapple Rings and Maraschino Cherries: For the pineapple topping. Buy a 20 ounce can of pineapple and get cherries without stems.
  • Granulated Sugar: For sweetening the cake
  • Milk and Pineapple Juice: The moisture in the cake

Be sure to see the recipe card below for full ingredients & instructions!

cake pan with pineapple rings and pineapple

How to Make the Topping

You make the topping before making the cake and layer it in the bottom of the cake pan. What’s even better: no bowl needed to make the topping!

  • Melt the butter: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Once it’s heated, place the sliced butter in a 9“ round cake pan. Place the baking dish in the oven, so the butter melts. 
  • Layer the Topping: Once the butter is melted, take the pan out of the oven and sprinkle the light brown sugar evenly over the top. Place the pineapple slices on top of the sugar and arrange the cherries to fill the holes and gaps. Set the pan aside while you make the batter.
3 photos showing how to make cake

How to Make Pineapple Upside Down Cake

  • Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is fluffy and creamy. Mix in the eggs, and then add the vanilla. Mix until smooth. 
  • Add the milk, pineapple juice, and dry ingredients and mix until batter the batter smooth. Pour the cake batter over pineapple in prepared pan.
  • Bake the cake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until it’s golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  • As soon as you take the cake out of the oven, place a large serving plate upside down on the cake. Carefully but quickly, flip the cake over. Tap on the bottom of the cake pan to release the cake, and then carefully lift the cake pan to remove it.
Overhead shot of pineapple upside down cake on a white rustic plate with one slice being pulled from cake

Tip From Dorothy

Expert Tips

  • This recipe makes a very moist cake which is from the pineapple juice in the batter. If you prefer a dryer crumb, omit the juice and use all milk instead.
  • Turning the cake out can seem a little scary, but it’s not hard to do. You will need a plate that is at least 10 inches, and you should use oven mitts to protect your hands. Flip it quickly but carefully, so you don’t burn yourself.
  • Leftover cake should be loosely covered and stored in the refrigerator. It will keep well for three days.
  • Freeze pineapple upside down cake for up to 3 months.

FAQ

How do you keep pineapple upside down cake from getting soggy?

First, you should blot the pineapple dry before placing it in the pan. Also, be sure to measure the liquid ingredients in the batter accurately. Any extra liquid will make your cake soggy.

Can I substitute pineapple juice for milk in cake?

You can use all milk in the cake and leave the pineapple juice out.

What the origin of pineapple upside down cake? 

This classic cake has been around since the early 1900s. It was created not long after canned pineapple became widely available, making the fruit more accessible to home cooks and bakers.The first version was a skillet cake in a cookbook, and not long after that, a flour company printed what is now known as pineapple upside down cake.

How do you store pineapple upside down cake? 

Loosely cover it with plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator. It will keep well for up to three days.

Can you freeze it?

Yes, you can freeze it! Let it cool completely, and then wrap it tightly. It will keep in the freezer for up to three months.

Can you make upside down cake in a cast iron skillet?

You can use a 9-inch or 10-inch cast iron skillet in place of the cake pan.

Overhead shot of pineapple upside down cake on a white rustic plate

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe

5 from 6 votes
Pineapple Upside Down Cake is a classic cake recipe that is so soft and moist with a caramelized pineapple topping with maraschino cherries!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield 8 servings
Serving Size 1 serving

Ingredients
 

Topping:

  • ¼ cup (57g) unsalted butter, sliced
  • cup (134g) packed brown sugar
  • 20 ounce can pineapple rings reserve juice
  • 12-14 maraschino cherries stems removed

Cake:

  • 1 ⅓ cups (162g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (119ml) milk
  • ¼ cup (59ml) reserved pineapple juice

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.

Make Topping:

  • Place sliced butter in a 9-inch round cake pan with at least 2-inch sides. Place in oven while it’s preheating to melt the butter. Once it’s melted, remove the pan and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the butter.
  • Arrange 7 pineapple rings on the bottom of the pan. Slice remaining rings in half and arrange around the outside. Fill each hole and gap with a maraschino cherry. Set aside.

Make Cake:

  • Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Cream butter and sugar with a hand or a stand mixer until fluffy and creamy. Mix in eggs then vanilla until smooth. Add milk and pineapple juice along with dry ingredients and mix until batter is no longer lumpy.
  • Pour cake batter into prepared pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until it’s golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Immediately upon removing from the oven, place a large rimmed serving plate (at least 10-inches round) upside down over cake. Being careful not to burn yourself, using oven mitts, flip the cake quickly upside down. Tap the cake pan a few times to release the cake and carefully remove the pan.
  • Cool before slicing and serving. Store loosely covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • This recipe makes a very moist cake which is from the pineapple juice in the batter. If you prefer a dryer crumb, omit the juice and use all milk instead.
  • Turning the cake out can seem a little scary, but it’s not hard to do. You will need a plate that is at least 10 inches, and you should use oven mitts to protect your hands. Flip it quickly but carefully, so you don’t burn yourself.
  • Leftover cake should be loosely covered and stored in the refrigerator. It will keep well for three days.
  • Recipe Nutrition

    Serving: 1serving | Calories: 481kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 277mg | Potassium: 238mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 57g | Vitamin A: 655IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 2mg
    Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
    Course Dessert
    Cuisine American

    Other Pineapple Desserts

    Pineapple Upside Down Cake is an easy cake to make and is a pretty dessert that looks more difficult than it actually is!

    Last Updated on April 3, 2023



    Dorothy Kern

    Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

    Learn to Bake in 4 Days!
    Get my tips, tricks and recipes to take your baking to the next level for FREE!

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Recipe Rating




    5 Comments

      1. I don’t know about the bundt pan, I haven’t tried it, but milk yes any kind of milk works (even nondairy)

    1. I made this and it was fabulous (I used blueberries instead of cherries)– now I want a larger version. Do you know how I could convert this recipe to a 9 x 11 rectangular baking dish?

    2. I was looking for a smaller cake to make for hubby’s birthday, since the kids moved out we don’t need a large double layer cake for the two of us. We celebrated with the kids at a restaurant last night so there really wasn’t a need for cake – today is his birthday and I wanted a small something for him. I can’t remember the last time I made a pineapple upside down cake but I do remember how much hubby liked them. I actually made it in a 9″ glass pie plate (since it was handy lol). There was just a small bit of cake batter that didn’t fit so I made one cupcake out of it. The cupcake was so fluffy and moist, I can’t wait to taste it with the pineapple lol. I can’t wait to see the smile on his face when he sees it later on lol Thank you!