Pineapple Upside Down Cake

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Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 9" cake, 8 to 10 servings

Recipe photo

This classic cake, with its moist, flavorful topping of pineapple rings and cherries (nuts optional), has been an American favorite for at least 90 years. It became popular after an early 20th-century Dole engineer invented a machine that would slice that company's signature product — pineapple — into perfect rings; the first recipe appeared in print in 1923.

This particular recipe, baked in a 9" round cake pan, makes a thin layer of cake topped with perfectly spaced pineapple rings. Baking in an 8" pan would yield a taller cake, but the rings would be crowded together. Either way, the cake is buttery, brown sugary, and VERY tasty.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

star rating (19) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 9" cake, 8 to 10 servings
Published: 12/17/2010

Ingredients

Topping

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 20-ounce can pineapple rings in juice, drained
  • candied red cherries or maraschino cherries
  • diced pecans or walnuts, optional

Cake

Directions

1) Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9" round cake pan.

2) To make the topping: Melt the butter, and mix with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan.

3) Space the pineapple rings atop the brown sugar mixture. Place a cherry in the center of each ring. If you're using nuts, scatter them in any empty spaces.

4) To make the cake: Beat the butter and sugar until fairly smooth.

5) Beat in the egg, then the salt, baking powder, vanilla, and coconut flavor.

6) Add the flour alternately with the milk, mixing at medium speed and beginning and ending with the flour. Once the last of the flour is added, mix briefly, just until smooth.

7) Spoon the thick batter into the prepared pan, spreading it to the edges of the pan. It may not cover the pineapple entirely; that's OK.

8) Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

9) Remove the cake from the oven, wait 3 minutes, then turn the pan over onto a serving plate. Wait 30 seconds, then lift the pan off. If anything sticks in the pan, just lift it out and place it back on the cake.

10) Serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings.

Reviews

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  • star rating 02/20/2015
  • member-cmarias from PA
  • Very quick and easy to make. I used the NordicWare pineapple upside down cakelet pan and the cake's texture was perfect for picking up the details of the pan. I personally didn't think that it was overly sweet or rich...just right! Perhaps next time, though, I'll add the "optional" coconut flavoring which should bring it up a notch.
  • star rating 01/17/2015
  • Nancy Foster from Clemson, SC
  • My husband just can't shut up about this one. Better than his mother's. Best he's ever had. Et cetera. I agree, it's decidedly yummy. I made it exactly as written and baked it for 35 minutes in the nordicware upsidedown cake pan my husband gave me for Christmas. (I wonder if that was a hint.)
  • star rating 11/14/2014
  • crystal from brownsville
  • Delicious!!! Made them into cupcakes. Soft and moist--- Used 100% whole wheat red flour, pure sugar cane, some honey, diced pineapple.... it was great. Had to bake it 2 days in a row. Big success!! We only use real ingredients-not fans of substitutes--- we loved it!!!
  • 06/27/2014
  • Shannon from Florida
  • I have your unbleached cake flour. Will that work for this recipe? Thank you.
    The unbleached cake flour should work, but all purpose flour will give you a slightly hardier cake that may stand up better in this recipe. Barb@KAF
  • star rating 12/31/2013
  • Ingrid H from South Burlington, VT
  • There's nothing about this recipe that's not to like! I use KA white whole wheat flour and it turns out perfect, every time.
  • star rating 12/30/2013
  • cydmelcher from KAF Community
  • I made this for my husband's birthday cake yesterday and it became an instant favorite with both my stepdaughters asking for the recipe. I think I'm going to be making it frequently in the future. (I didn't have cherries so I put pecan halves in each of the pineapple holes.)
  • star rating 04/22/2013
  • Connie from No. Idaho
  • I can only make it once a year for hubby's bday because he is diabetic. but when I do I use Splenda and Splenda brown sugar blend and try and raise the fiber with a little white wheat. Also I only make it in a 10 inch cast iron skillet. Then the it gets nice and caramelized. I will have to try it with the coconut, that is something new.
  • star rating 04/20/2013
  • fitzie63 from KAF Community
  • Looks sinfully delicious so make certain you increase your fitness activities so you can have just one normal size portion which is ONE TENTH of the cake. I calculated this recipe, substituting SPLENDA BROWN SUGAR BAKING BLEND & TRUVIA BAKING BLEND instead of the regular brown sugar and regular granulated sugar. Plus, substituting 2% milk instead of whole (4% butter fat) milk. A 1/10 size portion, using my lowered calorie converted recipe = 211 calories. If you choose to make it with no reduced calorie products, you would likely be consuming close to 500 calories for a 1/10 size portion. Think about it and....SHARE it.
    As we continue to bake, we all try our best to balance portions, calories and activity/exercise. Thanks for sharing your variation of this recipe - happy baking! Irene@KAF
  • star rating 03/30/2013
  • Rita from Toronto, Canada
  • Just made this cake and it is absolutely delicious. It was quick and easy to make (almost fool proof) and the results were outstanding. I will definitely add this to my go-to recipe list.
  • star rating 12/25/2012
  • Paula from Easton, MA
  • This recipe was a big hit . I baked it for 30 minutes. The instructions were perfect and I was thrilled when I removed the pan and it all came out :).
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