Fresh Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe

A lovely pineapple upside-down cake recipe that’s extremely simple to make. Jump to the Fresh Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe or read on to see our tips for making it.

Fresh Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe

The batter is lightly scented with vanilla and citrus. The gooey topping is made of butter, brown sugar, warm cinnamon, and fresh pineapple.

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Use Fresh Pineapple for the Best Pineapple Cake

We absolutely love serving this cake warm with a little whipped cream, but ice cream would be just as delicious. Think of this as a “modernized” version of classic pineapple upside-down cake.

There’s no caramel on top, instead  this cake has a moist, delicious, and gooey topping. The cake itself is also a little more airy than the classic.

Use Fresh Pineapple for the Best Upside Down Pineapple Cake

As the cake bakes, the pineapple releases some of it’s juices and sweetness which runs out into the brown sugar topping. So when we can, we use fresh pineapple, which is a little lighter in flavor than canned.

Use Fresh Pineapple

If you’re in a pinch, canned pineapple will work, just be sure to use pineapple in the lightest syrup you can find. Otherwise, we have found the cake becomes too sweet for our taste.

Adding the batter

After serving this to a few friends we were asked where the cherries were (something commonly added to pineapple cakes). For us, we’re happy to skip them, but if an upside-down pineapple cake seems naked without them, add them.

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Recipe updated, originally posted June 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne

Fresh Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe

  • PREP
  • COOK

This is a lovely light cake that’s simple to make. The batter is scented with citrus peel; we like to use lime or lemon. Then the batter is smeared over a layer of softened butter, brown sugar, warm cinnamon, and fresh pineapple slices. The final cake is light, with a gooey brown sugar sauce on top. We love using fresh pineapple here, it’s much lighter in flavor than canned. If you’re in a pinch, canned pineapple will work — just be sure to use canned pineapple in the lightest syrup you can find.

Makes 1 (9-inch) cake, 8 slices

You Will Need

12 tablespoons (170 grams) unsalted butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)

1/2 cup (100 grams) lightly packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons lime or lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

8 ounces (225 grams) fresh pineapple, cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges (about 1/4 pineapple)

1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar

2 large eggs, separated

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (125 grams) sour cream or plain yogurt


  • Make Batter
  • Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 350 degrees F.

    Using the back of a spoon, spread 4 tablespoons of the butter over the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan. Scatter the brown sugar and cinnamon evenly over butter. Arrange the pineapple wedges in one even layer over the butter and sugar.

    In a large bowl, beat the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter, granulated sugar and zest with an electric mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

    Add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat until smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then mix in the baking powder and salt.

    Mix in a third of the flour mixture until only a few streaks of flour remain then mix in the remaining flour. Add the egg whites and sour cream and mix just until smooth.

    • To Finish
    • Spoon cake batter on top of the pineapple and spread into an even layer. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

      Cool cake in the pan for 5 minutes then run a knife around the edges and invert it onto a plate to cool. If some pineapple slices stick to the pan, use a spatula to transfer them back on top of the cake and spread a little of the gooey brown sugar sauce over them to cover it up.

      Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate leftover cake up to 3 days. You can also rewarm slices in the microwave for about 10 seconds.

Adam and Joanne's Tips

  • Apple Upside Down Cake: For apple upside down cake, simply replace the pineapple with apple slices tossed in a little lemon juice.
  • Leftover Pineapple: Beyond enjoying juicy pineapple in fruit salads or alone, you can also broil slices or sear slices in a pan with some butter. Serve warm with a little whipped cream or ice cream.
  • Recipe adapted and inspired from Alice Medrich’s “Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts”
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 1 slice / Calories 429 / Protein 5 g / Carbohydrate 56 g / Dietary Fiber 1 g / Total Sugars 37 g / Total Fat 22 g / Saturated Fat 13 g / Cholesterol 100 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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52 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Jeff June 7, 2020, 6:50 pm

    Just made this exactly like the recipe and it is fresh out of the oven, so I haven’t tasted it yet. But it looks and smells delicious.

  • Amelia Crespo May 28, 2020, 2:48 pm

    I made this recipe last night for a date night and it was absolutely delicious! I followed the recipe exactly and while the batter looked thick when I placed it into the pan, the cake was so light and fluffy with a wonderful taste. It has instantly become one of our favorites. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Paul April 25, 2020, 1:52 pm

    I agree with other comment, most time the flour is mixed with the salt and baking powder. Since it is not in this recipe the instructions should just say mix in 1/3 of the flour, not flour mixture since there is no mixture.

  • Summer April 15, 2020, 8:10 pm

    Delicious and satisfying. I used a bit less butter (1.25 stick total), little less brown sugar, little less sugar and it turned out the right taste of sweetness for my family. Thank you

  • Pete H April 14, 2020, 12:40 am

    Followed recipe with one addition… cherries! The cake was delicious and looked incredible! Very easy; will make this again. One note: I only had an 8 inch cake pan… didn’t matter… worked just fine.

  • April 5, 2020, 12:38 pm

    Absolutely delicious! Light fluffy cake and the fresh pinapple made it a totally different and more elegant flavor than what I remember from my childhood. Husband said it was the best one he had ever had. Thank you for the great refreshing recipe!😃mr.

  • Jody April 2, 2020, 10:53 pm

    My daughter and I made this cake and it was sooooo good!! Everyone loved it. Thanks for the great recipe. It has been many years since I made a pineapple upside down cake. This will become one of our new family favourite desserts!!

  • chef November 27, 2019, 2:35 pm

    I have read this recipe 3 times. You say “add the rest of the flour mixture.” What flour mixture? You mention flour in the ingredients but not in the mixing instructions. You need to fix the instructions.

    • Adam November 28, 2019, 11:04 am

      Hi there, I am assuming you are talking about this sentence: “Mix in a third of the flour mixture until only a few streaks of flour remain then mix in the remaining flour.” We simply mean that it is best to mix in the flour mixture in thirds, this way we don’t over mix the batter and make sure that all the flour is incorporated.

  • A.Sassy.Chica January 21, 2019, 10:28 am

    LOVE comments, made me want to try & it was DELICIOUS! Can’t wait to try more from inspiredtaste. NET!

  • Kathy September 17, 2018, 6:46 am

    Add on to comment, I did not have enough sour cream, so I made the difference up with Vanilla yogurt, which I had on hand, and it was still delicious.


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