If you need a dessert that’s a hit at every party, this Pineapple Upside Down Cake is the perfect recipe! It’s rich buttermilk vanilla cake, topped with sticky-sweet caramelized brown sugar and tart pineapple slices.
I love cakes of all kinds, and a quick glance at my dessert recipes will confirm this.
In my opinion, the best part about a classic cake like this is the fact that so many people are familiar with it.
That makes it a stellar choice for any get together - it's a surefire crowd pleaser.
Not to mention, it's super easy. Especially since no frosting is involved!
This pineapple upside down cake is:
- Super easy to make.
- Ready in just 45 minutes!
- Sticky, sweet, and totally delicious.
While you're here, don't forget to grab a free copy of my Top 15 Reader-Favorite Recipes! It's loaded with delicious vegetarian-friendly recipes that are surefire crowd-pleasers.
How to Make Pineapple Upside Down Cake
- Prep - Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 cake pan.
- Make the sugar mixture - Melt the butter in the microwave. Add the brown sugar to the bowl and mix well. Heat for another minute in the microwave before pouring into the bottom of the cake pan and spreading even.
- Add the pineapple - Place the 8 pineapple slices in the bottom of the pan, reserving the pineapple juice. Place a cherry in the middle of each slice.
- Make the cake batter - In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Add in the eggs, milk, pineapple juice, and vanilla. Mix well. In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Bake - Pour the batter gently over the brown sugar mixture in the cake pan and spread even. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Cool - Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan for about 20 minutes. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
Tips and Variations
Cover the cake and store it in the fridge for up to a week for optimal freshness.
If freezing, place the cake in an airtight container and you can store for up to 2 months.
I would not suggest storing this at room temperature.
If you want to reheat this cake, just cover it with a moist paper towel and heat for a few seconds in the microwave.
If reheating from the freezer, let the cake thaw before following the normal reheating steps.
Let the Cake Cool
It’s important to let your Pineapple Upside Down Cake cool without being disturbed.
The first layer is entirely sugar, so it will be liquid when first coming out of the oven. This also means the cake won’t be physically attached to the bottom layer.
Once cool, the sugar will sink into the cake, allowing the pineapple and the sticky ingredients on the bottom to meld together. At this point, the cake can be inverted onto a serving tray.
Coconut is a great addition to this cake. The flavors work perfectly with the pineapple and the caramelized sugar.
Add coconut flakes straight into the batter or onto the bottom of the cake mixed into the sugar mixture.
FAQs about Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Is the cake supposed to be gooey?
The outside layers of the cake will be gooey. In fact, while cooking, you may see the brown sugar mixture bubble up onto the surface of the cake. This is ok and normal.
Once inverted, only the bottom, pretty portion of the cake will be seen. However, the middle of the cake shouldn’t be gooey. In that case, it means the cake needs to be cooked longer.
Can you leave Pineapple Upside Down Cake out?
If you only plan to leave the cake out for the day, that wouldn’t be a problem. And let's be honest - it won't last more than a day anyway. 😉
However, since it’s a very moist cake, it will go bad or mold quickly if left out at room temperature for longer periods.
You’ll be able to keep the cake fresh or around 2 days at most if leaving it out in room temperature. If you place it in the fridge, the cake will last for a week or more.
Please feel free to let me know about your experience making this Pineapple Upside Down Cake in the comments below!
More Upside Down Cakes
If you love this Pineapple Upside Down Cake, check out these other unique upside down cake recipes:
- Orange Cardamom Upside Down Cake
- Pear & Vanilla Upside Down Cake
- Upside Down Persimmon Cake
- Upside Down Fig Cake
- Chocolate Pear Upside Down Cake
And for more delicious recipes, don't forget to grab a free copy of my Top 15 Reader-Favorite Recipes before you go!
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
For the Bottom Layer:
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar packed
- 1 Stick Butter
- 8 Pineapple Rings
- 8 Maraschino Cherries without stem
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 cake pan.
- In a small bowl, melt one stick of butter in the microwave for about a minute. Add in the brown sugar and mix well. Heat in the microwave for one more minute.
- Pour the sugar mixture in the bottom of the prepared cake pan and spread even.
- Reserve the pineapple juice from the pineapple rings and place 8 on the top of the brown sugar mixture. Three down each side, two down the middle.
- Place a cherry in the middle of each pineapple ring.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and both sugars. Add in the vanilla, buttermilk, eggs, and pineapple juice. Mix well.
- In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
- Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Mix well.
- Pour the cake batter over the brown sugar mixture, gently spreading it to be an even layer.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan for around 20 minutes. Invert onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper or another serving board.