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Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

in quick and easy whole grain dairy free gluten free overnight guaranteed classic

Author: Sue Gray

Gluten-Free Pineapple Upside-Down Cake   Recipe

Finally, those of us on gluten-free diets can dig into this classic cake, based on our Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix. Its moist, flavorful topping of pineapple rings and cherries (nuts optional) has made it an American favorite since 1911, when a Dole engineer invented a machine that would slice pineapple into perfect rings. This cake is wonderfully buttery/brown sugary, and VERY tasty.

At a glance

2 cakes: one pineapple, one plain


Choose your measure:


  • 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, juice saved
  • candied red cherries or maraschino cherries
  • diced pecans or walnuts, optional


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • 1 box King Arthur Gluten-Free Yellow Cake Mix
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup pineapple juice (from the can of pineapple rings)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake this cake in either a 9" round or an 8" square cake pan; there's no need to grease the pan.
  2. To make the topping: Melt the butter, and mix with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. Spoon the mixture into the cake pan.
  3. Drain and save the juice from the pineapple rings. Space the rings atop the brown sugar mixture: eight pineapple rings will fit in a 9" round pan, and nine pineapple rings in an 8" square pan.
  4. Place a cherry in the center of each pineapple ring. If you're using nuts, scatter them in any empty spaces.
  5. Follow the box's directions for making the cake batter, but use 2/3 cup of the juice from the pineapple rings instead of the milk called for. If you don't have quite 2/3 cup of juice, use water to make up the difference.
  6. Spoon half the batter (about 2 1/2 cups) into the pan, spreading it over the fruit to the edges. See tips, at left, for tasty suggestions on how to use the rest of the batter.
  7. Bake the cake for 40 to 45 minutes, until it's firm on top, the edges of the crust are brown, and the internal temperature is between 210°F and 212°F.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven, run a spatula around the edge, wait 3 minutes, then turn the pan over onto a serving plate. Wait another 30 seconds, then lift the pan off. If anything sticks to the pan, just scrape it out and spoon it back on the cake. Best served warm.
  9. Yield: 8 to 10 servings.