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How to Make Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

If you are looking for a classic and delicious dessert recipe, look no further than the pineapple upside-down cake recipe. This delightful dessert is made by cooking a mixture of pineapple, brown sugar, and butter over the stove top. The ingredients are layered with a cake batter. The cake is then baked and flipped to reveal the caramelized brown sugar, butter, and pineapple. The result is an amazingly delicious and moist dessert that has been crowding the dessert table for generations.

What is a pineapple upside-down cake?

A pineapple upside-down cake is a delicate cake with a sweet, saucy fruit topping. One of the best parts of making this cake is that it’s super easy to make, and you can use your favorite cake recipe. This specific recipe makes a white cake.

What ingredients are used?

Pineapple upside-down cake ingredients

Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is essential to this cake because it creates a caramelized and saucy topping. Brown sugar should be used as opposed to white granulated sugar as it has molasses that provides a warm brown color and a softer texture.

Pineapple Slices

 There is no Pineapple-Upside Down cake without pineapple slices! This tropical fruit is the most necessary ingredient for this classic cake. Use canned pineapple slices. These will give you the most consistent flavor and perfectly round pieces.

Maraschino Cherries

A retro cake must have all of its elements. Maraschino cherries are iconic for this cake.

Pineapple Juice

Use a bit of pineapple juice in the cake batter. This brings a little extra flavor you would not typically get in a white cake. It will always make the cake moister.

The remaining ingredients are typical for a white cake. The recipe includes butter, sugar, eggs, milk, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Troubleshooting Tips

Tip #1 Remove access moister from the sliced pineapples and cherries. This is important because the additional liquid can make your topping messy and runny. Lay the fruit on a paper towel and blot it to remove the moisture.

Dried pineapples

Tip #2 Keep the oven temperature low. This cake will brown while baking due to the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and fruit caramelizing during the baking process. The low oven temperature will help the cake not brown too quickly. You can also tent some aluminum foil over the cake halfway through the baking time. This can stop the cake from browning too much.

Baked pineapple upside-down cake

Tip #3 Refrain from mixing the topping ingredients. Pour the melted butter into the baking pan and crumble the brown sugar evenly over the butter. The sugar does not need to be stirred into the butter.

How to make a pineapple upside-down cake?

First, you start with a brown sugar topping by pouring melted butter into a pan. This topping is super easy to make! Sprinkle brown sugar on the warm butter and gently arrange your fruit on top.

Next, begin with the white cake recipe. Sift the dry ingredients and cream together the wet ingredients. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until they combine well.

Lastly, pour the cake batter over the brown sugar and pineapple topping.

Pineapple upside-down cake batter

Bake in the oven until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Here is a classic and delicious pineapple upside-down cake recipe. This delightful dessert is made by combining pineapples, cherries, brown sugar, and butter over a fluffy white cake.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Cooling Time 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 1 9 inch round baking dish
  • 1 electric mixer
  • 1 mixing bowl


Brown Sugar Topping

  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 20 oz can canned pineapple slices dry slices with a paper towel
  • 12 oz jar maraschino cherries

Cake Batter

  • ½ cup softened unsalted butter 1 stick
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • cup whole milk
  • cup reserved pineapple juice from can
  • cup sour cream
  • cup cake flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Preheat the oven to 325° F.
  • Melt butter and pour into a 9 inch round baking dish. Distribute the brown sugar evenly across the butter. Do not mix or stir. Arrange pineapple slices and cherries on top of the brown sugar. Set aside.
  • Sift together cake flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, cream together softened butter and brown sugar. Add in the vanilla extract and eggs one at a time and continue mix.
  • Pour reserved pineapple juice into the milk.
  • On a low speed, alternate the flour and milk into the creamed butter mixture. Begin with the flour and end with the flour.
  • Fold in sour cream with a spatula.
  • Pour the cake batter evenly on top of the pineapples and cherries that are in the 9 inch baking dish.
  • Bake the cake about 1 hour. Be sure to check the cake for doneness with a toothpick about 40 minutes into the cook time. The cake is ready when inserted toothpick comes out of the cake clean.
  • Optional: To prevent browning on top of the cake. Remove the cake after about 30-40 minutes of baking and tent a piece of foil over the top. Return the cake to the oven and continue baking.


  • Allow the cake to cool for about 15 minutes.
  • The cake will still be warm. Place a cake stand on top of the dish. Use oven mittens to flip to cake over.
  • Slowly and gently remove the baking dish from the cake.
  • Enjoy your warm pineapple upside down cake!
Keyword cake, dessert, homemade

Additions to Pineapple-Upside Cake

This cake is so flavorful and delicious on its own. But a little vanilla ice cream takes it to another level!

You will also want to give these toppings a try. Click on the links below to get the recipes.

Homemade Caramel Sauce: This luscious sauce pairs well with a slice of pineapple-upside down cake that has come to room temperature.

Homemade Whipped Cream: Dollop a spoon full of this cool treat over a warm slice of pineapple upside-down cake. Thank me later!

Pineapple upside-down cake slice

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