Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake is a retro dessert that should (and is) making a comeback.  What could be better than moist, almond-scented cake topped with buttery, caramelized pineapple and cherries?  It’s as pretty as it is delicious and sublime with a cup of hot tea – especially for breakfast.

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Homemade Pineapple Upside Down Cake cooling on a wire rack.

Growing up, this cake made an appearance every Easter and for all the summer parties the family had that year.  My mom would make 3 or 4 cakes at a time for each event and there were never any leftovers.  Everyone loved it.

This is her recipe and I love sharing her recipes and memories with friends and family.

Ingredients Needed

I’m betting that you have most of the items in your pantry.

  • Butter
  • Dark brown sugar and granulated sugar
  • Cinnamon, vanilla extract, and almond extract
  • Canned pineapple slices and a jar of maraschino cherries
  • Cake flour, baking powder, and salt
  • Extra-large egg
  • Buttermilk and sour cream
  • Vegetable oil

Slice ofhomemade Pineapple Upside Down Cake on a white plate.

Steps To Make This Cake

This lovely dessert is MUCH easier than you think, but with just a few steps you can have a delicious treat in no time. The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the cake to cool before diving into it.

  • Pour melted butter into a springform pan and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • Arrange the pineapple and cherries over the sugar.
  • Stir together the cake, bake, and unmold when cool.

In the words of my culinary idol, Ina Garten, “How easy is that?”

Closeup of a homemade Pineapple Upside Down Cake cooling on a wire rack.

More Cake Recipes To Try

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Slice of Pineapple Upside Down Cake - almond-scented cake with a buttery, caramelized fruit top.


  • Author: Millie Brinkley
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x


Pineapple upside-down cake is a vintage recipe that is easier to make than it looks.  With moist, buttery cake, and a caramelized fruit topping, your family will love this easy dessert.



For the fruit layer:

  • ½ cup salted butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 can (20-ounce) pineapple slices, drained
  • 7 maraschino cherries

For the cake layer:

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 extra-large egg
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ⅓ cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Make the fruit layer.

In a small glass bowl, melt the butter in the microwave.

Pour the butter into a 9-inch springform pan and swirl it so that it greases the sides of the pan (it doesn’t have to go all the way to the top).

Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon over the melted butter.

Arrange the pineapple slices in the pan, followed by the cherries.

Set aside.

Make the cake layer:

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a smaller bowl, whisk the egg, buttermilk, sour cream, oil, vanilla, and almond extract until smooth.

With a spatula, fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture until it is just combined.  Don’t overmix the batter.  You may have some small lumps in the batter that will dissolve while baking.

Carefully spoon the batter over the fruit.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.

Run a spatula or knife around the edges of the pan.  Gently unhinge and remove the side of the springform pan.

Invert the cake onto a serving platter.  Carefully remove the bottom of the cake pan.

Use a spatula to scrape any caramelized sugar from the pan bottom and spread it on top of the fruit.

Serve alone or with a dollop of whipped cream.

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: pineapple upside-down cake, desserts, vintage recipes, easy desserts, pineapple, maraschino cherries, cake recipes, cake

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