Easy Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

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All it takes is five simple ingredients to transform a handful of pantry staples into a delightful treat that’s sure to transport your taste buds to a world of nostalgic flavors. This easy pineapple upside-down cake recipe is a true classic, and it boasts the perfect balance of sweet and tangy, all neatly encased in a moist and buttery yellow cake.

Slice of easy pineapple upside-down cake.

Pineapple upside down cake was a regular around most dinner tables when I was a girl, and it was even a regular in the school cafeteria! The flavor of a buttery cake, topped with brown sugar and that glazed slice of pineapple on top with a cherry in the center – what’s not to love? The brown sugar caramelizes on top of the cake so each bite is fluffy, moist, and so deliciously sweet.

The way I make this cake is as easy as they come and you can pull off a nostalgic showstopper in no time flat! Folks usually ask me how I get it so super moist and the secret is a crazy trick I use. Today, I’m going to share my secret with you, along with the fact that it actually began as a mistake and led me to have the reputation of making the moistest pineapple upside-down cake around! Once you’ve made this you are going to be craving all the different pineapple desserts so make sure you try our Pineapple Poke Cake or Pineapple Cobbler.

Ingredients for easy pineapple upside-down cake.

Ingredients for this Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe

  • Cake mix (yellow cake or pineapple supreme plus ingredients)
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Pineapple slices
  • Brown sugar
  • Unsalted butter

Helpful Kitchen Tools

How To Make This Easy Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe

Melt butter in baking dish in preheating oven.

Turn your oven to 350 and while we are mixing up the cake batter, place a stick of butter in a 9×13-inch baking dish and place it in the preheating oven so it melts.

Save pineapple juice.

Drain the juice from your pineapple can and use that as part of the water. My can of pineapple yielded just over a 3/4-cup of juice so according to my package, I’m going to add enough water to make 1 1/3 cup of liquid (in place of plain water) to add.

From there, simply follow the directions on your box of cake mix to prepare the mix and set it aside. Adding in this pineapple juice is going to make our cake so moist and flavorful!

Melted butter in baking dish.

Once your batter is mixed, remove the pan from the oven. Your butter should be nice and melted like this.

Sprinkle brown sugar over butter in pan.

Sprinkle about a cup of brown sugar over the melted butter in your cake pan.

Brown sugar sprinkled over butter.

Until it looks like this. If you need to use more than a cup you can.

Add pineapple slices to sugar and place cherry in each center.

Arrange pineapple slices on top of the sugar, putting a maraschino cherry in the center of each pineapple ring.

PRO TIP: If you don’t have cherries, don’t feel like you need to go buy them special just for this. Just make it with pineapple slices only and it will still be delicious.

Pour cake batter into baking dish.

Gently pour your cake batter over the canned pineapple slices.

Now place this in your 350-degree oven for about 45 minutes.

Once your cake looks done, make sure you can press on the center and it springs back a bit before you remove it from the oven (or just use the toothpick trick. Insert a toothpick in the center, if it comes out clean your cake is done).

Baked easy pineapple upside-down cake.

Once you remove the cake from the oven, let it sit in the pan for 10 minutes, and then invert the cake onto your surface of choice.

PRO TIP: A cutting board is a perfect thing to serve this cake on if you don’t have a tray or cake holder big enough. I just go with the cutting board because it is sturdy enough for transport.

Insert toothpicks into pineapple upside-down cake.
Cover cake with cling wrap.
Slice of pineapple upside-down cake.
Slice of pineapple upside-down cake.

How do I store pineapple upside down cake?

Store any leftover cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze individual slices for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the fridge overnight when you’re ready to enjoy them again.

Additional Tips for Making Easy Pineapple Upside Down Cake:

Can I use canned pineapple?

While the recipe recommends using canned pineapple for its juice and convenience, you can also use fresh pineapple slices if preferred. Just make sure to capture any juice from cutting the fresh pineapple and incorporate it into the cake mix for added flavor.

Can I make this pineapple upside down cake gluten free?

If you or someone you’re serving has dietary restrictions, you can easily make this cake gluten-free by using a gluten-free cake mix. Be sure to check the labels to ensure all ingredients are gluten-free.

What can I serve this pineapple upside down cake with?

While this cake is delicious on its own, consider serving it with a dollop of freshly whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream to take it to the next level. The contrast of the cold creaminess against the warm cake is delightful.

Enjoy your delicious and moist pineapple upside-down cake!

Slice of pineapple upside-down cake.

More delicious pineapple recipes:

Easy Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

You need only 5 ingredients to make my easy pineapple upside-down cake, which includes a super moist cake with juicy glazed pineapple slices and a cherry on top.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cake, pineapple
Servings: 4
Calories: 58.1kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 box yellow cake mix or pineapple supreme cake mix
  • 1 can pineapple slices
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 jar cherries optional
  • 1 cup brown sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the stick of butter in a 9×13-inch baking dish and put this in the oven while it preheats for just a few minutes until the butter is melted.
    1 stick butter
  • Once the butter is melted, carefully remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle brown sugar all over the top of the melted butter. Place the pineapple slices on top of the brown sugar, reserving the pineapple juice. Place a cherry in the center of each pineapple slice.
    1 can pineapple slices, 1 jar cherries, 1 cup brown sugar
  • Prepare the cake mix as directed on the package, substituting pineapple juice for some of the water. Slowly pour the cake batter over the pineapple slices and cherries.
    1 box yellow cake mix
  • Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean.
  • For an even more moist cake, place toothpicks in the corners and center of the cake and cover it with cling wrap or aluminum foil before it has cooled completely.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 58.1kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!
Pin image for easy pineapple upside-down cake.

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175 Comments

  1. Great recipe but printing it out on my computer was absolutely not printer friendly or I missed the mark some place . Like every comment from back to front. Good-bye my ink.

    1. Hey Jay!
      In the future, anytime you want to print a portion of a website or document, use your curser and hold down your mouse button and highlight what you want to print. Then click Control and C. Open a document on your computer (word or pages, whatever you use), click in that document and hit Control and V. You now have just that portion of the text and can print from the document. 🙂
      This was an old recipe (seven years) from when I had first started the site and it missed being converted to a printable recipe card. I have fixed it now. Thank you and hope you get cake at the end of all of this!

  2. I’d never made a pineapple upside-down cake before in my life, never tasted one either. My husband had requested one for his birthday so I get on pinterest and this. I’m iffy about it but try it anyway. He said it was bar none, the best cake he’d ever eaten. Now it’s a bi-weekly occurrence in my household. Absolutely wonderful.

  3. I love pineapple upside down cake, but I also love orange pineapple. I am thinking about trying an orange cake mix with this recipe. Anyone ever try this?

  4. Can I put coconut in the cake batter!,,,,,,,,,, if so how much. Please answer ASAP need it to bake today. Thank u.

  5. What a super easy cake and the house smells delicious. My kids are hanging around the oven waiting for it to finish baking. (Didn’t tell them it needs a nap before they can devour it). I used pomegranate instead of cherries in the pineapple rings. Hoping it turns out as wonderful as all the previous reviews. Thanks for posting.

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