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The Best Pineapple Upside Down Cake

We think this is THE Best Pineapple Upside Down Cake recipe! This cake is moist, sticky, delicious and full of pineapple flavour! Serve for dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Yum.

If you’re looking for a rich and tasty pineapple cake recipe, this Pineapple Upside Down Cake is a winner! Whenever I make it I always get asked for the classic recipe. It’s really just SO good. Moist, pineapple-y and delicious.

a top down image of a sliced pineapple upside down cake

About This Cake:

This is a homemade pineapple upside down cake, made from scratch, with no box cake mix! The cake is a sweet vanilla cake loaded with crushed pineapple, baked over a delicious layer of pineapple rings and maraschino cherries, and smothered in a delicious pineapple sugar glaze. So so so so good. And it’s easy to make this retro cake, I promise!

a top down image of a pineapple upside down cake

Pineapple is the star of this show!

This moist cake has a full 398 mL (14 oz) can of crushed pineapple in the batter, plus a can of pineapple rings for the top. So if you want sweet pineapple flavour, this cake has it.

a top down image of a pineapple upside down cake with a slice out of it

Perfect for any time!

This is a great cake for birthday parties, any party or any time you feel like cake…cakes don’t just have to be for special occasions! Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

a slice of pineapple upside down cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe Tips

  • PINEAPPLE: Use a 398 mL (14 oz) can of crushed pineapple (not pineapple chunks) for the cake, and a 398 mL can of pineapple rings for the top of the cake. A note about fresh pineapple: I have never made this cake with fresh pineapple, only canned pineapple, so I don’t know how fresh would work.
  • DRAIN THE JUICE: Drain the can of crushed pineapple well. I set a wire mesh strainer over a glass bowl to do this. You want to drain as much excess liquid as you can so the cake doesn’t end up soggy. BUT keep the juice for the optional sugar glaze.
  • SUGAR TOPPING VS. SUGAR GLAZE: The brown sugar topping is added with the pineapple rings and cherries (don’t skip this). The sugar glaze is added to the cake after it has baked. If you feel like your baked cake looks like it has enough sweet syrup, then you don’t have to add the extra glaze. I always do just because it’s just so yummy, and adds extra moisture to the cake.
  • PAN SIZE: Use a 10-inch pineapple upside down cake pan or a 10-inch round cake pan. I’ve never tried using a bundt pan to bake this cake but I imagine that you could. I would just follow the recipe as listed below in the recipe card, but watch the bake time. Depending on how deep the batter is in the pan it could take less or more time to bake).
  • PREPPING THE PAN: When adding the 1/4 cup melted butter to the pan, make sure to swirl the butter to reach the sides of the pan. This ensures that the cake will slide out of the pan easily when it’s done baking.
  • MAKE IT AHEAD! This cake tastes even better the next day, so feel free to make it a day ahead of when you want to serve it! You can keep it on the counter at room temperature or in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • FREEZING: This cake freezes well. Just remove the cake from the pan, let it cool completely, then put it in a tightly freezer bag and keep in the freezer for 3 – 4 months.
  • FLAVOUR OPTION: If you love pineapple and coconut together, feel free to sprinkle some sweetened shredded coconut on top of the cake with the sugar glaze.

How to put together a pineapple upside down cake:

If you happen to have an actual pineapple upside down cake pan then assembling the topping of the cake is so easy. I found this pan at a garage sale (score!) and it’s very self-explanatory. But if you’re using a round cake pan (as most people are), you just assemble it the same way.

a top down image of a pineapple upside down cake pan

Add the melted butter and brown sugar.

a top down image of a pineapple upside down cake pan with pineapple slices and maraschino cherries laid out in it

Lay out the pineapple slices and place a maraschino cherry in the center.

a top down image of an unbaked pineapple upside down cake

Add the cake batter, smoothing it out.

a top down image of a pineapple upside down cake

Bake, cool and flip out onto a serving plate. Then add the sugar glaze.

a top down image of a pineapple upside down cake

I mean, just look at that gooey delicious pineapple topping. So so good.

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The Best Pineapple Upside Down Cake

a top down image of a sliced pineapple upside down cake

We think this is THE Best Pineapple Upside Down Cake recipe! This cake is moist, sticky, delicious and full of pineapple flavour! Serve for dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Yum.

  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking

Ingredients

Units Scale

Pineapple Cake:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1398 mL (14 oz) can crushed pineapple (drained well, set juice aside)
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Pineapple Sugar Topping:

  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar (golden or dark brown sugar both work)
  • 1 (398 mL) can pineapple rings (this size can has 8 rings)
  • 78 maraschino cherries (depends on how many pineapple rings you use)

Pineapple Sugar Glaze:

  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 4 tbsp pineapple juice

Instructions

Making the cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Use a wire mesh strainer to drain the juice from the crushed pineapple. I put the strainer over a small bowl to keep the juice, which you can use later for the glaze. Set everything aside.
  3. Using an stand mixer cream together the butter and sugar.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Mix in the vanilla.
  6. Add the drained crushed pineapple and mix well.
  7. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  8. Add the flour mix to the pineapple mix, and stir to combine.

Putting it all together:

  1. Now make the ‘Pineapple Sugar Topping’: Melt the butter then pour it in to a pineapple upside down cake pan or a 10-inch round pan. Make sure to tip the pan so some butter gets onto the sides of the pan.
  2. Sprinkle on 1/2 cup brown sugar.
  3. Lay out the pineapple rings in a single layer on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add a maraschino cherry to the centre of each pineapple ring.
  5. Now add the cake batter, making sure to smooth it out to the edges of the pan.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes. NOTE: At the 30 minute mark check the cake and if the top looks like it’s browning too quickly tent it with a piece of aluminum foil.
  7. The cake is done when it is golden in colour and a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  8. While the cake is baking, you can make the glaze.
  9. Combine 4 tablespoons of pineapple juice with 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar. If you want it thicker just add more powdered sugar.
  10. Once the cake has completed baking, remove it from the oven then let the cake cool in the pan for about 10-15 minutes. After this time turn the cake out onto a plate. To do this I lay a serving plate over the open part of the pan and then turn the cake upside down onto the plate.
  11. If you want to add the extra glaze drizzle it on now.
  12. The cake should cool for at least an hour before serving.
  13. Enjoy!

Keywords: pineapple upside down cake, pineapple cake

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I hope you love this easy pineapple upside down cake recipe as much as we do! Have a delicious day!

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