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5 from 8 votes

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Recipe

An easy American classic made with canned pineapple and a moist yellow cake.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, pineapple, upside-down
Servings: 8
Calories: 458kcal
Author: Tricia


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.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. When multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.


Calories: 458kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 89mg | Sodium: 361mg | Potassium: 119mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 631IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 136mg | Iron: 2mg