Homemade Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe

Homemade Pineapple Upside Down Cake is one of those classic Dessert Recipes from the 1930s that deserves a comeback! It's so delicious and easy to make it's no wonder it's back on the rise.

It's the perfect recipe for spring entertaining because it's so simple to put together but creates such a WOW factor! It would be great to serve for Easter or Mother's Day. 

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe on a pink cake stand

For more easy cake recipes you might also like my "Cheater" Strawberry Shortcake Charlotte or my Triple Berry Campfire Cake.

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A slice of Pineapple Upside Down Cake in a black bowl with ice cream

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My Grandmother's Recipe 

My grandmother and her sister used to make it all the time and according to my dad "Homemade Pineapple Upside, Down Cake" was a family mainstay at all get-togethers. Why buy it when you can make it from scratch?

Apparently, there was a little "friendly competition" between the sisters, but according to my dad, my grandmother (on the right) made the best one. But he may be partial?

A vintage photo of Two Italian Women in fancy dresses

I was excited to receive my grandmother's original recipe, from my Aunt Nancy (the family recipe historian!) complete in her own handwriting. In today's world of blogs, Instagram and Pinterest, it isn't often we receive a handwritten recipe. So this, of course, made it extra special.

Another cherished family recipe is my grandmother's Cheese Manicotti Recipe, which makes for a fantastic Sunday night dinner! 

I've never been a big fan of maraschino cherries and for some reason, the combination of pineapple and cherry has never appealed to me, so I elected to leave them off, but you could certainly add them if you wish.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe hand written on a recipe card

Step#1: Prepare the Pan

You'll begin by spraying a 10" cake pan with baking spray. For extra precision placing your pineapples, you can use a Pineapple Upside-down cake pan! Yes, there is such a thing!

Exterior of Pineapple Upside Down Cake Tin 

You can find my favorite Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Pan online.

Interior of a Pineapple Upside Down Cake tin

Step#2: Add Butter, Sugar, and Pineapple

Add the melted butter, brown sugar and pineapple rings to the cake pan. This will create the sticky top of the cake.

Pouring Melted Butter into a cake pan

It looks like a ton of sugar but as it mixes with the butter and bakes into the cake, it becomes better distributed and creates the most fantastic flavor.

A layer of brown sugar spread on a cake pan

TIP: I find canned pineapple works the best for pineapple upside-down cakes!

Sliced pineapple rings in a beige bowl

The Benefits of Canned Pineapple

  • Not only will the canned rings give you uniform sizes, but the texture is softer making it easy to eat once baked into the cake.
  • Arrange pineapple slices in a single layer in the pan.
  • This is also why I like the canned pineapple because it helps to line up the pineapple and assure they are equally distributed. 

Pineapple Rings in the bottom of a Pineapple Upside down cake pan

Step#3: Beat Eggs and Sugar

  • In a standing mixer beat the eggs and granulated sugar on high until a soft pale yellow mixture forms.
  • Then add the vanilla extract.Don't skimp on this step, this is what makes the cake so light and airy!
  • You should beat for at least 5-7 minutes in order to get the best volume.

Adding sugar to a stand mixer

Step#4: Add Dry Ingredients

Then you'll mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. I use just regular all-purpose flour and the texture is still light and delicate, so no need to cake flour in my opinion. Add the flour mixture to your batter slowly until combined. Don't overmix or you'll deflate your lovely voluminous mixture.

Mixing Dry Ingredients in a glass bowl

Step#5: Pour in Batter and Bake

Pour the batter over the pineapple and bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Could this be any easier?! Even the baking time is quick!

Pouring Batter onto Pineapple Rings for a Pineapple Upside Down Cake

How Long Should You Wait Before Flipping The Cake?

If you are serving this cake right away, wait at least 15 minutes before trying to flip the cake.

Pineapple upside down cake cooling in pan

It needs some time to set, in order to stick the pineapples to the cake,  otherwise, the hot pineapples will slide off your cake! Not a good look. 

Flipping a pineapple upside cake onto a pink cake stand

How To Flip an Upside Down Cake?

 The secret to flipping upside-down cakes is to first place the cake stand on top of the cake, then with one fluid motion, flip the cake stand and the cake pan at the same time and it will land right side up on your cake stand.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe

Does the Cake Need to be Refrigerated?

  • If you are not serving the cake right away, allow to cool completely, cover, and refrigerate in the tin.
  • Then moments before serving, place the cake in its tin in a 300F oven for 10 minutes or until warmed through.

Serve Warm or Cold

  • Personally, I like to serve this cake warm, with a big scoop of coconut ice cream drizzled with some homemade caramel sauce (recipe below).
  • I think the warm pineapple cake and the flavorful ice cream are just divine together!
  • But you could also serve this cake chilled or at room temperature too.

Slice of Cake with Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce with a person\'s fork taking a bite

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a slice pf Pineapple Upside Down cake with Ice Cream

Homemade Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe

Yield: 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

This homemade Pineapple Upside down Cake is a a delicious spring dessert recipe that uses minimum ingredients but delivers maximum results! So easy and delicious!


For topping:

  • 1 cup (180 g) brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoon (60 ml) melted butter
  • 7 pineapple rings, canned variety

For Cake:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup (200 g) of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla
  • 1 cup (120 g) of flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) salt

For Serving:

  • Coconut Ice Cream
  • Beth’s Caramel Sauce (see below)
  • 2 tablespoon (30 ml) Unsweetened Coconut flakes

For the Caramel Topping:

  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream (AKA double pouring cream)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) unsalted butter
  • ⅛ teaspoon (.75 ml) sea salt


  1. Spray a 10” (25 cm) cake pan with baking spray. Then pour the melted butter into pan, sprinkle with the brown sugar until evenly distributed. Place pineapple rings on top filling the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the egg and the sugar on high for 5-7 minuets until doubled in volume and pale yellow. Add vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add slowly to the egg mixture until just combined.
  4. Pour batter on top of pineapples and bake at 350F (175C) for 30 mins until golden brown and set.
  5. Allow to cool for 15 mins and then reverse the cake onto a cake stand.
  7. Heat white sugar in a deep saucepan. As it heats the sugar will melt and begin to caramelize. Keep swirling it in the pan, lowering flame if needed so that it does not burn. Once it reaches a caramel color, add the heavy cream allow it to bubble and then it will settle down. Add butter and salt. Use immediately. Or transfer to a heat safe container and refrigerate until ready to re-heat and serve.
  8. Cut cake into slices and serve with coconut ice cream drizzled with caramel sauce and topped with unsweetened coconut flakes.


Be sure to spray the pan well with baking spray for easy release and flip once the cake is baked!

This cake can be made the day before serving. Cover and refrigerate in the tin. Re-heat in a 300F oven for 10 minutes, allow to cool for 15 minutes and then flip and serve.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 146mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 4gSugar: 24gProtein: 5g

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  1. Hi Beth, This recipe looks great and I'd love to try it! I have a fresh pineapple, not a can. Any recommendations for improving the texture of the pineapple prior to baking it so it'll be nice and soft once baked?

    1. Oh sure I would definitely remove the core, which can be tough, and simmer them in shallow water first to soften them up. Then pat dry and proceed as directed. Should be great! I hope you enjoy it!

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  3. I live in Australia I love to si you cooking I cook some of you recipes turn fantastic. Thanks for yous delicious recipe.

  4. My father-in-law's favorite dessert was pineapple upside down cake. I plan to make your recipe in his memory for Easter family brunch. Thanks.

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  6. What beautiful women!
    This recipe, on the cards looks like the one I inherited from my grandmother (an awesome cook and baker). Similar recipe, but we cooked it in our cast iron pan (10"). That cast iron pan was used for everything from Irish soda bread to meatloaf. I'm pretty sure half the flavor in our dishes comes from the pan's history.

    Thank you Beth. As always, your videos are pleasures.

  7. Thanks so much for sharing your family's recipe. I haven't had this since the 1960s, so I'd say it's due. I'm amazed at how much your grandmother's handwriting looks so much like my grandmothers handwriting. I know everybody wrote in beautiful cursive in those days (I still use a fountain pen and care about penmanship), and it's nice you have this hand-written keepsake. Thanks again.