Pineapple Upside Down Cake is such a pretty and easy dessert, that anyone can easily make. This homemade version from scratch is absolutely divine! Vanilla sponge cake is topped with juicy caramelized pineapple slices and maraschino cherries to create a delicious dessert everyone will rave about!

There is something extra delicious about the combination of tangy pineapple in a sweet dessert like this pineapple sheet cake, or pineapple rice pudding! But if you are looking for a dessert that is easy to make, yet looks like you spent a lot of time in the kitchen, this cake is definitely a show stopper.

A piece of pineapple upside down cake on a pie server

Pineapple Upside Down Cake


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Delicious Desserts

I love easy desserts, like this timeless Almond Pound Cake and Caramel Apple Poke Cake, which inspired another classic dessert, this Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

The combo of the spiced vanilla cake, juicy pineapple, and cherries cooked in brown sugar, is out of this world. The cake is spiced with just the right amount of cinnamon and ginger to make it extra flavorful. After you see how easy it is to make this cake, it will quickly become a favorite.

What Is An Upside-Down Cake?

An upside-down cake is a cake that is baked with its toppings at the bottom of the pan. Once the cake has been baked and slightly cooled, it is inverted on a serving plate, and the toppings appearing on top.

Pineapple upside down cake with cherry and pineapple on top

How to Make Pineapple Upside Down Cake

From Scratch

This delicious dessert is well worth the effort! It is sweet, moist, and so beautiful. With many of these ingredients being staples in your pantry, you can assemble this cake almost anytime!

  1. Layer pineapple rings and cherries at the bottom of a pan, sprinkling with brown sugar.
  2. Prep vanilla cake batter and pour it on top.
  3. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean.

The tricky part is now to be patient enough to let it cool before inverting it and checking out that beautiful topping!

With Cake Mix

While making Pineapple Upside Down Cake from scratch is delicious, if you are short on time you can replace the vanilla cake layer ingredients with your favorite cake mix.

  1. Prep cake mix according to the box.
  2. Pour on top of the pineapple rings and cherries.
  3. Bake!

Change this recipe by using a yellow cake mix, white cake mix or even chocolate cake mix.


A piece of pineapple upside down cake on a plate with a fork

How to Invert an Upside-Down Cake

  • Once you removed the cake from the oven, immediately run a knife around the inside edges of the pan to loosen cake.
  • It is very important to let the cake cool for about 15 minutes, otherwise, the cake is too tender and it may break if you attempt to invert it hot out of the oven.
  • Don’t wait too long to invert the cake. If you let the cake fully cool in the pan, it will stick to it and you will most likely break when you try to invert it.

Tip: To make sure you won’t have trouble inverting the cake, is adding parchment paper to the bottom of the pan before adding the toppings.

  • Place a serving plate upside down over the top of the pan and using oven mittens, turn plate and pan over. Remove the pan and parchment paper if using.
  • Let the cake cool at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before serving.

It is delicious served warm, with a drizzle of caramel and topped with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on the side.


If you have leftover cake, wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

You can freeze this cake but I doubt you’ll have any leftovers to worry about. Just let cool completely, seal in a zippered bag or airtight container, and freeze for up to 3 months.

Other Great Topsy Turvy Recipes!

A piece of pineapple upside down cake on a pie server
4 from 2 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake is the perfect easy dessert. Homemade vanilla sponge cake is soft and tender, topped with juicy caramelized pineapple slices.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 slices


Pineapple and Cherry Topping:

  • 8 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1/2  cup light brown sugar
  • pineapple rings
  • 20 maraschino cherries

Vanilla Cake:

  • ½ cup butter  softened to room temperature
  • cup sugar
  • eggs  room temperature
  • teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2  teaspoon coconut extract optional
  • 1/3  cup pineapple juice
  • 1 3/4  cups all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger optional
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon optional
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 1/4  cup milk room temperature


Pineapple and Cherry Topping:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Open a can of pineapple rings, reserve 1/3 cup of the juice and discard the rest. Pat dry the pineapple rings with paper towels. Set aside.
  • Add the melted butter to the bottom of a 9-inch square or round baking pan. Grease the sides of the pan as well.
  • Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with brown sugar and arrange pineapple rings over the brown sugar and butter mixture.
  • Place a cherry in the center of each pineapple ring and distribute the remaining cherries equally in the pan. Set aside.

Vanilla Cake:

  • In a medium bowl combine all dry ingredients.
  • Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and creamy in a separate bowl.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and beat to combine. Add vanilla extract, coconut extract and pineapple juice. Beat to combine.
  • Add half of the flour mixture and beat on medium-low speed just until combined.
  • Add the milk and beat to combine, use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Add the remaining flour mixture and beat on medium-low speed just until combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Pour batter on top of the pineapple and cherries. Level the top.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with just some moist crumbs attached, but NOT raw batter. Tent with foil if browning too quickly, then continue to bake until done.
  • Remove cake from the oven and place it on a cooling rack. Cool for 15-20 minutes, before inverting the cake onto a serving platter. It is important to cool the cake a bit before inverting, otherwise it may break.
  • After inverting the cake, let it cool for another 15 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.


4 from 2 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Nutrition Information

Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 204mg | Potassium: 176mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 555IU | Vitamin C: 4.2mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 1.3mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Delicious Dessert Ideas


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Pineapple upside down cake on a spatula with writing

Slice of pineapple upside down cake with cherries and pineapple on top with writing
Piece of pineapple upside down cake on a plate with a fork and on a wooden board with writing



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About the author

Catalina thinks that time in the kitchen should be fun, and we should spend less time cooking and more time eating! As a successful business woman, with a busy career on Wall Street, she develops easy weeknight meals that you can make in 30 minutes or less!. Catalina lives in the NYC metro area with her husband, who is also a great cook, and their 4 year old boy, who gladly helps in the kitchen. Catalina will inspire you to experiment with flavors, try new ingredients and create easy meals with less effort. You can visit her blog Sweet & Savory Meals for more inspiration.
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