Fresh Pineapple Upside Down Cake

A lovely pineapple upside-down cake recipe that’s extremely simple to make. We love this vanilla cake topped with fresh pineapple baked in brown sugar and butter. 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

Use Fresh Pineapple for the Best Pineapple Cake

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

Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Fresh Pineapple

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.

A layer of fresh pineapple on the bottom of the cake pan.

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.

Spreading the cake batter over the pineapple.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why separate the eggs? The recipe asks that you separate the eggs, and then add the yolks at a different time as the whites. This method produces the best cake texture.

For this recipe, you do not need to whip the egg whites (a common technique when separating eggs for use in light and airy cakes.) Instead, we are going out of our way not to whip the whites, which is why they are added at the end. We have tried this recipe using whole eggs and found it to be inferior (the batter also overflowed the cake pan).

Can I double the recipe? We have only tested the recipe as written, however, you should be able to double the recipe and use a 9-inch by 13-inch pan.

Can I use canned pineapple? We prefer fresh pineapple in this cake, but canned pineapple can be used. For the best results, use canned pineapple in a light syrup. Heavier syrups make the pineapple sweeter, which will then make the cake too sweet.

More Recipes

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

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

We love this simple pineapple upside down cake! For the best results, use fresh pineapple. If you only have access to canned pineapple, use pineapple in the lightest syrup you can find. Otherwise, we have found the cake becomes too sweet for our taste.

Why separate the eggs? The recipe asks that you separate the eggs, and then add the yolks at a different time as the whites. This method produces the best cake texture. For this recipe, you do not need to whip the egg whites (a common technique when separating eggs for use in light and airy cakes.) Instead, we are going out of our way not to whip the whites, which is why they are added at the end. We have tried this recipe using whole eggs and found it to be inferior (the batter also overflowed the cake pan).

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 fine sea salt

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

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

Directions

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

    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.

    In a medium bowl, whisk or sift the flour with 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

  • 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 database 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

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter with easy, delicious, and fresh recipes and receive our eCookbook with 16 of our most loved recipes for free! Click Go to signup for free!

100 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Trish September 22, 2021, 9:48 am

    I made this for my mom’s 85th birthday cake! She asked for pineapple upsidown cake. I’ve made so many cakes but never this. Thank you so much. This was so perfect! I added chopped walnuts per her request. I cannot tell you how delicious it is!i wanted to post a picture for you, but it doesn’t look like I can.

    Reply
  • Amy June 6, 2021, 11:25 am

    It’s in the oven… smells amazing! Top tip though… don’t use a spring- release tin with a loose bottom… the syrup is all leaking out! (V glad I put it on a baking tray…

    Reply
  • Marshall May 30, 2021, 2:32 am

    This recipe is awesome. I followed the recipe exactly as written, except I also added maraschino cherries to satisfy the children (i.e. me!). I have another great idea for using up excess pineapple. Throw it in the blender, add coconut milk, simple syrup, rum, and ice. Blend well. Frozen Pina Colada. Yummy.

    Reply
  • Althea May 12, 2021, 8:27 pm

    Absolutely delicious with melt in your mouth velvety, smooth texture. Also very easy and quick. The lemon zest adds a nice tang to the sweetness of the pineapple & brown sugar topping. Goes very well with vanilla ice-cream.

    Reply
  • Rachel Hirst March 3, 2021, 12:03 pm

    Just made this and its beautiful very light and fluffy. Best sponge base I have every tasted. A big hit with all the family and very easy to make bonus !!!!!

    Reply
  • Jenn January 27, 2021, 9:49 pm

    Just tried this out and it came out so delicious! Very light and fluffy cake. The cake itself is not too sweet, which balances the sugary pineapple top. I tried the yogurt swap with Greek yogurt (since I didn’t have sour cream) and it worked out perfectly.

    Reply
    • Joanne January 28, 2021, 3:19 pm

      That’s wonderful, Jenn! So happy you enjoyed it.

      Reply
  • deanna sinopoli January 21, 2021, 1:56 pm

    I haven’t made this yet but plan to. My question is if you don’t have to whip the egg whites what is the point of separating the yolks from the whites.

    Reply
    • Joanne January 28, 2021, 3:23 pm

      Hi Deanna, It’s all about the texture of the cake. We have made this cake with whole eggs and with separated eggs (with unwhipped egg whites) and we preferred the cake with separated egg whites.

      Reply
  • Kerryn P January 5, 2021, 10:58 pm

    I hade this dairy free by subbing Nuttelex for butter and coconut milk for sour cream. Flavour is great, texture is possibly a little different but I like it just fine. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Joanne January 28, 2021, 3:20 pm

      We are so glad you were able to adapt it to be dairy-free! Thanks for sharing.

      Reply

Leave a Comment/Review

All comments are moderated before appearing on the site. Thank you so much for waiting. First time commenting? Please review our Comment Guidelines. You must be at least 16 years old to post a comment. All comments are governed by our Privacy Policy & Terms.

* Required fields (Email address will not be published)

Did you make it? How was it?:

 

Previous Post: Next Post: