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Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Our Pineapple Upside Down Cake is perfect to make for the summer holidays or when you want a slice of cake with a tropical twist. This cake is easy to prepare and makes a beautiful presentation!

We enjoy tropical flavored foods year-round, not just during the Summer. A few of our other tropical go-to’s are our Pineapple Salsa, Key Lime Martini, and Mahi Mahi Tacos.

Whole pineapple upside down cake on a platter.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe

The classic pineapple upside down cake has been around for quite a while and we’re still here for it!

A pineapple upside down cake is a cake that has pineapple rings and cherries arranged in a design on the bottom of the pan, and then Cake batter is poured over it. When you invert the cake onto a plate, the pineapple and cherries are on top making a beautiful presentation!

This cake first originated in the 1920s and was made popular by the Dole Company. They had a recipe on the back of their canned pineapple rings that helped make this cake a household name and is still popular today!

This recipe is simple to follow and uses pantry ingredients along with canned pineapple rings and cherries for a refreshing and easy-to-make cake you can serve in the warmer months, or any time of the year!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • The entire cake is made with simple and budget-friendly ingredients.
  • The pineapple and cherry presentation sits great on a picnic, bbq, or potluck table.
  • While it looks like it took a lot of effort to make, this cake recipe is simple and easy to follow.
  • It tastes like a little piece of summertime!

Ingredients You’ll Need

Pineapple Layer:

  • Melted Butter – Poured on the bottom of the pan to help keep the fruit from sticking to the bottom while giving the top a rich buttery flavor.
  • Brown Sugar – Sprinkled on the butter layer to add caramelization on top of the pineapples.
  • Canned Pineapple Rings – Gives the cake its pineapple flavor and aesthetic presentation.
  • Maraschino Cherries – Adds a pop of red color and cherry sweet flavor.

Cake Batter:

  • All-Purpose Flour – Makes up the main structure of the cake holding the rest of the ingredients together.
  • Baking Powder – Gives the cake a slight rise when baking.
  • Salt – Activates the baking powder allowing it to create air in the batter.
  • Vegetable Oil – Adds a rich and dense texture to the cake batter.
  • Granulated Sugar – Sweetens up the base of the cake mixture.
  • Eggs – Binds all of the ingredients together and helps them set while baking.
  • Vanilla Extract – Adds a rich vanilla flavor that pairs well with pineapples.
  • Pineapple Juice – Adds a light pineapple flavor to the base of the cake.
  • Greek Yogurt – Gives the cake a moist and dense texture that is perfectly satisfying.

How to Make Pineapple Upside Down Cake:

  1. Prepare for baking: Preheat the oven to 350°, and grease a round 9×2-inch cake pan.
  2. Arrange the pineapple layer: Carefully pour melted butter into the prepared pan. Then sprinkle with an even layer of brown sugar. Arrange the pineapple slices over the sugar, and place a cherry in the center of each pineapple ring. Place the remaining cherries in the gaps between the pineapples and the sides of the pans. Set aside, and prepare the cake batter.
  3. Assemble the cake batter: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate large bowl, combine the oil and sugar. Add the eggs in one at a time and whisk until combined. Then add the pineapple juice and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  4. Mix wet and dry ingredients: In batches, add 1/3 of the dry mixture along with the Greek yogurt to the wet mixture. Mix with a rubber spatula just until combined, but don’t overmix.
  5. Bake and cool: Pour the cake batter on top of the pineapple layer. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake rest for 15 minutes on a cooling rack.
  6. Remove the cake: While the cake is still warm, run a knife along the edge of the cake to loosen it. Then place a plate over the cake and invert to flip the cake onto the plate using oven mitts. Tap the bottom of the cake pan to ensure the pineapple layer releases.
Collage showing how to make a pineapple upside down cake.

Recipe Tips

  1. Make sure the pineapple rings and cherries have been dried on a paper towel before creating the bottom layer as moisture will make it harder for the cake to stick.
  2. When mixing the wet and dry ingredients, be sure not to overmix as this will make the cake tough.
  3. The best way to release the pineapples from the top layer if they get stuck is to use a toothpick and insert it around the edge of each pineapple then lightly twist to loosen.
  • Salted butter is a great substitute for unsalted butter. Just make sure to omit the 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
  • Dark brown sugar is a good replacement for light brown sugar. However, because of the extra molasses in dark brown sugar, the cake may have a darker color than the light brown sugar.
  • You can use 1/2 cup softened butter to replace the oil. You would just need to cream the butter and sugar together with an electric hand mixer on medium speed. The cake will have a slightly different taste and texture.

Variations

  • Add a tablespoon of lemon or lime citrus zest to the cake batter for an even more refreshing flavor.
  • This cake can be served as is or with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream on top.
Bite taken out of a slice of cake.

Storage

Storing: Store the cake at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Freezing: Freeze the cake in a layer of freezer-safe wrap and foil for up to two months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then bring to room temperature before serving.

Reheating: If you want to serve the cake warm, heat individual slices in the microwave for 15-20 seconds or place the whole cake in a 350° oven for about ten minutes.

Like This Recipe?

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Slice of cake on a spatula.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Cool Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings

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Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • cup light brown sugar packed
  • 7 pineapple rings canned, dried well on a paper towel
  • 13 stemless maraschino cherries drained
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup canola oil or other neutral tasting oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup pineapple juice
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°, and grease a round 9×2-inch cake pan.
  • Pour the melted butter into the prepared pan, and sprinkle the brown sugar around the base of the pan evenly.
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    ⅓ cup light brown sugar
  • Arrange the pineapple slices in an even layer on top of the brown sugar: one in the center, and six around the center pineapple slice. Place a cherry in the middle of each pineapple ring, and one between each ring around the edge of the pan. Set the cake pan aside.
    7 pineapple rings
    13 stemless maraschino cherries
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
    1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, and whisk until they’re combined. Then, add the vanilla extract and pineapple juice. Continue whisking until everything is well mixed. 
    ¾ cup canola oil
    1 cup granulated sugar
    2 large eggs
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    ½ cup pineapple juice
  • Add ⅓ of the dry ingredients along with the Greek yogurt into the wet ingredients, and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add the remaining dry ingredients, and stir until the dry ingredients are just combined and no flour streaks remain. 
    ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • Pour the cake batter evenly into the prepared cake pan over the pineapple and cherries. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Rest the cake on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. 
  • Run a knife around the edge to loosen the cake. Place a large plate or platter upside down over the cake, then flip them both over. (The cake pan will be hot, so make sure to use oven mitts.) 
  • Tap the cake pan to make sure the pineapples release, and slowly lift up the cake pan. (The cake and pineapple rings should come out easily, but if any rings or cherries get stuck to the bottom of the pan, you should be able to peel them off and place them on the cake.)
  • Allow the cake to rest an additional 20-30 minutes before slicing. See post for storage options.

Notes

*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 slice of cake. Actual calories will vary.
 
*For more information, tips, and answers to frequently asked questions, please refer to the post.
 
*Photos courtesy of Alicia Jeanne Photography.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 525kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 141mg | Potassium: 248mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 46g | Vitamin A: 264IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 2mg
Recipe Rating