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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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42 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Leisa December 19, 2014, 6:07 pm

    We have just had the years crop of pineapples picked from the backyard and i was looking for a recipe that i could use. Well….this was a winner. I pressed some glazed cherries inbetween the chunks of pineapple, mainly just for decoration. It was a winner!!
    The man in the house commented that his first cake he baked was a pineapple upside down cake and whilst it had slightly more gooey goodness on top, he said it tasted just the same and that my cake still had the caramalised top. Now i am making it again for tonights Christmas party. Just make sure your pineapples are ripe to very ripe as the juicier they are, the sugar content mixes with the butter mixture and goes all gooey and delicious!!

  • Delia April 6, 2014, 10:30 am

    I would love to give this a try but I’ll be making it for a crowd (16 adults and children). Could I just double it and bake it in a 9×13 glass dish instead?

    • Adam April 8, 2014, 11:46 am

      You can try, it should work. (We have never doubled this recipe, though). Just keep an eye on baking time — it might be a little different.

  • steven March 23, 2014, 10:14 pm

    K…I just made this and it has been in the over for 55 minutes and it’s still doughy. Anyone else experience this? No rating because I haven’t tasted it yet…

    • Joanne March 24, 2014, 9:50 am

      Hmm, we’re not sure why the cake hasn’t fully baked in that time. It is possible that your oven is slightly off (ours used to run hot and it is very common that ovens run either hot or cold). Hope the cake baked eventually.

  • Tanya January 7, 2014, 2:37 pm

    I’m in the UK and although we use different measurements I managed to adapt to produce a delicious tantalising cake!
    I will be showing this off when I next entertain- thanks for sharing and Happy New Year!

  • wendy December 24, 2013, 7:03 pm

    I have a 9in pan but its roughly 1.5in deep will this be ok

    • Joanne December 30, 2013, 12:06 pm

      Hi Wendy, You should be okay. We suggest placing the cake pan on a baking sheet just in case it overflows a little (we have used a 1 1/2 inch pan with success, though).

  • Glenda Payne November 9, 2013, 1:26 pm

    This is a really tasty teatime treat or dessert and so easy to make. I used an 8 inch tin and it turned out just fine although it took longer to cook.

    • Joanne November 11, 2013, 11:07 am

      So happy it worked out for you!

  • Tess July 8, 2013, 8:48 am

    Tried this recipe yesterday and it came out soooo good. This is the most delicious pineapple upside down I’ve baked. Got major compliments. Thank you

  • Mary Beth Elderton July 4, 2013, 5:22 pm

    O. M. Goodness! I pinned this recipe a while back and just baked it today for the holiday–This is one of the best cakes I have ever baked! It is absolutely beautiful and so delicious! Thank You!

    • Adam July 6, 2013, 5:47 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it 🙂

      • Mary Beth Elderton August 30, 2013, 2:16 pm

        So here it is Labor Day weekend, and I was being wishy washy on what to bring–everyone is asking for this cake again! It is that good! So I am about to bake two 🙂

        • Joanne August 30, 2013, 2:26 pm

          Nice! Have a wonderful holiday 🙂

  • John@ The Bread Makers July 3, 2013, 3:55 pm

    This recipe looks really good. I can’t wait it give it a try.

  • Aggie June 17, 2013, 5:47 pm

    One of my all time favorite cakes! I haven’t made one in AGES. Have to change that now 🙂
    This looks delicious!

    • Joanne June 17, 2013, 7:31 pm

      Neither had we, now we want it every day!


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