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No mixer Pineapple Upside Down Cake recipe!
A Pineapple Upside-Down Cake recipe that’s easy to make and loaded with flavor!
With plenty of pineapple flavor in both the topping and batter, it’s easy to see why this Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe has stood the test of time.
Easy skillet cakes with fruit on the bottom have been around for ages. Back in the early 1900’s Dole invented a way to slice and can fresh pineapple, thus creating an easy and convenient way to incorporate more pineapple into our recipes. Check out this interesting article on the history of Pineapple Upside-down Cake.
For this Pineapple Upside-Down Cake recipe we use canned pineapple packed in 100% juice.
Canned pineapple is one of those convenience foods I really enjoy using when cooking and baking. It’s easy to pop open a can of sliced pineapple and add some to both sweet and savory recipes like our Grilled Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich and this easy Orange Barbecue Grilled Chicken recipe.
We use the delicious 100% juice to enhance the pineapple flavor throughout the entire recipe. For our cake we use one 20-ounce can of Dole brand pineapple rings. Dole canned pineapple is sugar free, all-natural and rich in Vitamin C. Any brand will do but make sure you buy pineapple rings packed in juice, not syrup.
Ingredients needed to make Pineapple Upside Down Cake
For the pineapple topping:
- light brown sugar
- unsalted butter
- pineapple juice from the canned pineapple
- canned pineapple slices in juice
- maraschino cherries
For the pineapple cake:
- all-purpose flour
- baking powder
- baking soda
- granulated sugar
- eggs, room temperature
- buttermilk, well shaken
- reserved pineapple juice
- unsalted butter
- vanilla extract
How to make Pineapple Upside Down Cake
First, prepare the pineapple fruit layer:
- Combine brown sugar, butter and pineapple juice in a small saucepan. Heat until the butter and sugar are melted. Pour into a prepared 9-inch can pan.
- Place seven pineapple rings in the pan with one in the middle. Cut the remaining six rings run half and place around the center pineapple ring. Add a cherry to the center of each ring and set aside.
Next prepare the pineapple cake:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Melt butter and set aside.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and set aside.
- Whisk the egg with the buttermilk, pineapple juice, vanilla and melted, cooled butter.
- Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and gently fold together until blended. The batter will be thick and lumpy but this is okay.
- Gently dollop scoops of batter over the pineapple rings. Gently smooth the top of the batter. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with no wet batter.
- Allow the cake to cool for 15 to 20 minutes, then invert onto a platter.
- Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
I’ll never forget the first time I tried this iconic American classic.
While in middle school I spent many nights at my best friends house. Her father was a neurosurgeon, a classical pianist and an accomplished baker. He made the best Pineapple Upside-Down Cake recipe and served it to us slightly warm, topped with whipped cream.
I never knew that working dads could bake or cook, so it really stuck with me. And, I couldn’t believe my mom had been holding out on us! I can’t imagine why this luscious cake wasn’t on her list of must-makes.
This Pineapple Upside-Down Cake recipe is easy to make and has nice visual appeal. We love the naturally sweet, moist pineapple rings arranged in a circle with bright red cherries over a classic yellow cake.
Serve Pineapple Upside-Down Cake slightly warm topped with lightly sweet whipped cream.
That first taste of warm Pineapple Upside-Down Cake sets the bar pretty high. While this cake is very good served at room temperature, it’s that slightly warm, moist cake that thrills me. A topping of lightly sweetened whipped cream is a must for my slice!
One of my favorite things about our Pineapple Upside-Down Cake recipe is that it’s not overly sweet. While it’s not dripping in a brown sugar butter mixture, it has plenty of flavor and great texture. I hope you’ll give it a try!
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Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Recipe
For the pineapple topping:
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons pineapple juice, from the canned pineapple
- 1 (20-ounce) can pineapple slices in juice, drained, reserving juice
- 7-11 maraschino cherries
For the cake:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup reserved pineapple juice
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To prepare the pineapple layer:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a 9-inch cake pan (must be at least 2-inches deep) with vegetable cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan combine the brown sugar, butter and 2 tablespoons of pineapple juice. Warm over medium heat until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Pour the warm sauce into the prepared pan.
- Place seven pineapple rings in the pan starting by centering one in the middle. Add the remaining six rings around the center pineapple ring. Or cut 5 or 6 rings in half and arrange as seen in the photos. Place a cherry in the center of each ring. Set aside while preparing the cake batter.
To prepare the cake batter:
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and granulated sugar. Make a well in the center and set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl lightly whisk the eggs. Add the buttermilk, ¼ cup reserved pineapple juice, the melted cooled butter and vanilla. Whisk until blended.
- Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and gently fold together with a spatula until the flour is incorporated. The batter will be thick and lumpy, this is okay. Gently scoop dollops of batter into the prepared pan taking care not to move the pineapple rings. Gently smooth the top.
- Place the cake pan on a foil lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F until a toothpick comes out with no wet batter, about 45-50 minutes. Tent the cake with foil if over-browning. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes.
- Invert a serving platter over the cake pan. Invert the cake pan and platter together, then lift off the cake pan. Cool to room temperature, slice and serve.
- It may seem like there is too much cake batter but if you use a deep or high-sided cake pan, you will be fine. Also, it may appear as if the cake will overflow while baking, but it shouldn’t spill over the edges. You can use a deep springform pan for this cake if you prefer. Make sure you have a good locking springform pan and wrap the bottom in foil just to make sure. It would be very messy if the brown sugar pineapple mixture leaked into your oven.
- If you prefer more pineapple goodness and less cake, cut the recipe in half but be sure to adjust the baking time.
Here are a few more recipes you might also enjoy:
Pineapple Pound Cake ~ with plenty of crushed pineapple baked inside, this Pineapple Pound Cake is a moist, tender tropical treat! Finished with a drizzle of simple icing made from pineapple juice and powdered sugar for pure pineapple perfection.
Try our easy-to-make Orange Olive Oil Cake with a light, fine textured, luscious crumb and a crackly sugar topping for added sweetness.