Pineapple upside-down cake has been one of the world’s most traditional cakes. It has an authentic taste with the caramelized pineapple that sits at the bottom mixed with the cocktail cherries. This article provides useful information about the cake and how you can make your very own from scratch.

What is a pineapple upside-down cake?
This cake is a yellow cake that has its toppings baked at the bottom of the pan. When baked, it is de-panned and turned upside down. All the ingredients that were at the bottom now on top.

Facts about the cake
Did you know that April 20th is a national pineapple upside-down cake day?
These cakes were first made in cast-iron skillets in America and were known as spider cakes.
Other fruits like Cherries, peaches, and apples are used at the bottom of these cakes too. A mixture of butter and sugar would be heated and poured on the fruits as a glaze. This glaze helps to caramelize the fruits during the baking process.

This cake dates back hundreds of years ago when people in America use to cook on open fires using a cast-iron skillet. When they wanted something sweet, they would put a mixture of fruits in the pan and pour batter on top and turn it over when baked. During that time, the cakes were known as spider cakes because the skillets that were use were called spider skillet. But as technology increased, the use of home ovens came into play, and now the cakes are baked in flat-bottom cast-iron skillets. By the year 1900, the company name Dole immerged producing canned pineapples. This old tradition of making cakes resurfaced using these easily accessible canned pineapples.

When can this cake be eaten?

This cake can be eaten any time of the day as a snack or dessert after a meal. They are great as celebration cakes.

What pairs well with this cake?
Pineapple upside-down cakes pairs well with sweet wines such as Port, sweet muscat, and sherry wine, or add shredded coconut to the batter or a little rum to enhance the flavors.

How do the main ingredients work?
Brown sugar This in the topping helps the pineapples to caramelize and add more flavor to it.
Buttermilk makes the cake moist, tender, and fluffy.
Eggs bine all the ingredients together.

How is it done?

Over medium heat, add sugar, butter, and pineapple juice. Let it come to a boil, then remove and pour the mixture into a greased 9 inches cake pan. Layer the pineapple rings in the bottom of the pan and the center. In each pineapple ring, add one cherry and set it aside. Prepare the batter separating the dry ingredients from the wet. Slowly combine the two in a folding action. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, smooth the top gently and bake for 40-55 mins until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out dry. Let the cake cool completely before attempting to turn it over. To turn the cake, place a 10 or 12 inches plate over the baking tin and de-pan the cake onto the plate. Enjoy the beautifully glazed topping.

Why should you make this cake?
Pineapples symbolize hospitality, generosity, and friendship, so this is a great way to invite friends and family over for this perfect treat. This fruit is also a good source of vitamin c that is vital for our day-to-day activities.

Key term/words

Caramelize This is the process of heating sugar that eventually gets melted and gives a brown appearance and gives a sweeter nutty flavor. White sugar is perfect for this process.

Frequently asked questions
Question Can other cherries be used?
Answer Yes, but the maraschino/cocktail cherries add color and flavor to the cake versus green or fresh cherries.

Question Can milk be used instead of buttermilk?
Answer If you have milk available, add 1tbsp of vinegar to each cup of milk. The mixture will slightly curdle, and this is homemade buttermilk.

This cake is a traditional recipe that dates back hundreds of years ago. It would be great to try it, and when you do, you won’t go back. It’s a simple recipe that takes no fancy ingredients or method to prepare. Try it and give us your feedback. We would love to hear your reviews.


Yield: 8 slices

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Classic Pineapple flavored yellow cake made from scratch

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • Cake ingredients
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • The Topping Ingredients
  • 12 cocktail cherries
  • 1 can pineapple slices
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter


    Pineapple Layer

    1. In a small cooking pot, combine the butter, pineapple juice, and sugar.
    2. Heat until the sugar has been dissolved and the butter melted.
    3. In a 9inches round cake pan, grease the inside with a non-stick spray and pour the sauce into the pan.
    4. Arrange the pineapple slices in the pan having one in the center and placing the others around it.
    5. In each ring add a cocktail cherry
    6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

    Cake Batter

    1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and white sugar in a bowl.
    2. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, 1/4 cup pineapple juice, melted butter, buttermilk, and the pure vanilla extract.
    3. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until it has been evenly distributed.
    4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin with the pineapples. Avoiding pouring too much at a time so it doesn't shift the pineapple rings.
    5. On a foil-lined baking tray, place the baking pan on it and bake for 40 to 55 mins until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    6. Allow the cake to cool for approximately 25 minutes
    7. Using a 10 inches plate, place it on the baking tin and turn the cake onto the plate. You will now see those beautifully glazed pineapples.
    8. Cut into 8 slices and serve.


    The butter that is used in the cake batter should be melted.

    Keep all other ingredients at room temperature for even mixing

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