Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Spring break, what an American classic. Oh, I remember it well. That time of year when college students from all over the U.S. head to warmer climates to blow off a little steam. I suppose blowing off a little steam is actually putting it very mildly. As I remember, it’s Girls Gone Wild and doing everything your mother told you never to do. When I was in college on the east coast, we would head to Ft. Lauderdale for spring break and I still shudder at the thought of the madness and mayhem that would ensue. Ah, good times!

I knew spring break was fast approaching for son #2. I wondered with great apprehension how he planned on spending HIS time off.  He called yesterday to tell me he was on his way home for the week, and he planned on using that time to look for a summer job. YES I thought, we just dodged a bullet, a mayhem-free vacation. Before he got off the phone he asked, “oh, and mom could you bake me something, there’s not much real food up here at school”.  So here it is, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, another American Classic!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake right out of the oven

Pineapple Upside Down Cake right out of the oven

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

From King Arthur Flour


  • 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
  • 3 tablespoons, chopped pecans

Cake Batter

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon coconut extract, optional
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Melt about 1 tablespoon of butter and using a pastry brush, lightly grease a 9″ round cake pan. You want to use a 9” pan because the pineapple rings will fit perfectly in this size pan.
  2. To make the topping: Melt the butter, and whisk it together with the brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and evenly smooth it out using a small offset spatula.
  3. Space the pineapple rings atop the brown sugar mixture. Place a cherry in the center of each ring. If you’re using nuts, press them into the empty spaces.
  4. To make the cake: I used a hand mixer and a medium-large bowl to make this batter. Beat the butter and sugar until fairly smooth.
  5. Beat in the egg, then the salt, baking powder, vanilla, and coconut flavor. Be careful not to over-mix the batter or it will result in a tough cake.
  6. Add the flour alternately with the milk, mixing at medium-low 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 with the offset spatula. 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 to the pan, just lift it out and place it back on the cake.
  10. Serve warm or at room temperature.

8 to 10 servings.

Preparing the pan for Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Preparing the pan for Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Pineapple Upside Down gooey goodness

Pineapple Upside Down gooey goodness

Recipe: Easy

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44 Comments on “Pineapple Upside Down Cake”

  1. Perfection. I can taste the crunch of the pecans.

  2. Katie says:

    Pineapple Upside Down Cake is my absolute favorite! YUM! Love the addition of pecans!

  3. I have not made a pineapple upside down cake…ever! It looks so good and easy! My son is also coming home for spring break. Lucky us and yay for appreciation for home cooked meals :)

  4. Joni Grubb says:

    Sheryl, my Mom made this every year for our Easter dinner. Brings back wonderful memories. I love the pecans!

  5. Rita Horn says:

    This post brought back so many great memories of my “Other Mother” Yvonne.
    Pineapple Upside Down Cake was her favorite! Good Times and thoughts about her!
    Thanks Cheryl, for big smile on my face today!

  6. Lovely post with great photos, as usual. This was the very first cake I learned to bake. :)

  7. Beautiful, as always! And how wonderful your son is so responsible. He deserves LOTS of Mama’s goodies while he’s home! I made a PUC recently with thinly sliced fresh pineapple, which caramelized so nicely. But this is the classic version, and I’m sure it turned out as good as it looks….

  8. This is a beautiful cake Sheryl and I love your photos!

  9. Michelle says:

    Such a yummy cake. Takes me right back to childhood. And I love that top photo!

  10. Greg Vassalotti says:

    As Easter approaches, my thoughts go back to the days of homemade easter breads and ricotta pies. I sure wish I would have learned how to make them the way Mom made them. I was wondering if you would give these treats a whirl?

    • Hi Greg, I bet your mom was a great cook! I have never made a ricotta pie, but I will ask my good friend Carol Tac if she has a recipe for that. Her mom was quite the baker and she still has all her South Philly recipes. Let me see what I can come up with!

  11. I’ve never eaten or made a pineapple upside down cake before. It’s such a classic – what’s wrong with me? I feel like I’m unfulfilled, like there’s something missing in my life. I’m just going to have to make this, asap. Your son is one lucky guy!

  12. Clover says:

    Your son sounds like a smart guy wanting to come home to your always-tasty food, Sheryl! The PUC is gorgeous and I love the pecans! Haven’t had it that way….must try! :)

  13. Love that your boys get ‘real food’ from their mama (and of course) school food is never going to be the same as home. I love the slightly retro-esque colours and rings of sunny pineapple. In my book a glacé cherry never goes astray either.

  14. Now why have I never tried to make an upside down cake? And one with pineapple, my fave! [insert head shaking]

    Thanks for another great treat!

  15. mydearbakes says:

    This is such a marvelous looking bake! =D

  16. ohlidia says:

    What a TRULY BEAUTIFUL cake!! Not only are you a great baker, but you are a wonderful photographer too!!

  17. Carolyn Chan says:

    That caramelised pineapple looks sooo good ! The entire cake would be so moist and delicious.

  18. df says:

    Oh, such a pretty looking cake. I’m really loving the inclusion of pecans too! Beautiful photos Sheryl.

  19. Yum, yum, yum! I would love a slice of that cake for dessert! ^_^

  20. perfect looking cake… marvelous !!!

  21. ocelot81 says:

    Looks soooo good! :)

  22. themondaybox says:

    You not only dodged a bullet but hit the jack pot. Your son came home to spend his time, he requested your food, AND he is looking for a job! Pats on the back to mom and son (said with all sincerity from the mother of a college sophomore son!) This is a celebration cake! Its a beauty! I hope your family enjoyed spring break time together!

  23. tania21 says:

    Oh my God… I love your blogsite.. Makes me wanna bake and cook more and more!!! A mouth watering bliss… Fantastic work!!! :)

  24. Zee says:

    This is one of my favorite cake! Will try and bake them soon :)

  25. la Greg says:

    It’s my husband favorite! My mother-in-law makes it with nuts but without cinnamon, ginger and cherries…I will definetely have a try using your recipe

  26. leovlad says:

    This came out so beautiful. I haven’t seen anyone do such a perfect example of this confection ever. I am drooling. And I love the addition of ginger and nuts. Kudos!

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