This pineapple upside-down cake recipe is a quick and easy classic that’s graced tables since the 1920s!

Tangy pineapple slices are caramelized underneath a vanilla cake and then flipped right-side up for a stunningly tasty dessert!

This cake is best served warm from the oven, topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

slice of Pineapple Upside Down Cake

A Favorite Easy Cake!

  • This famous cake is elegant enough to take to a party but simple enough to make and enjoy on any given day.
  • Upside-down cakes like this one are incredibly adaptable for using other fruits.
  • Make in a single-layer cake pan or a cast iron skillet or even a bundt cake pan.

Ingredients for Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Cake – All the basic cake batter components are here except that adding applesauce lowers the amount of both the oil and sugar needed. If you’d like, instead of making a scratch cake use a boxed vanilla or yellow cake mix and make two upside-down cakes.

Fruit – Canned sliced pineapple rings are perfect in this recipe. Try sliced apples, peaches, pears, or plums.

Toppings on the bottom – Maraschino cherries are what make this recipe so sweet and colorful, but red or green grapes, raisins, currants, dried or sugared cranberries can be used, flaked or toasted coconut, and pecans, walnuts, or slivered almonds.

pineapple upside down cake overhead

How to Make Homemade Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

  1. Melt butter & brown sugar in the cake pan. Arrange pineapple rings and cherries on top and set aside.
  2. Prepare cake as directed in the recipe below and gently pour the cake batter over the pineapples.
  3. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes and then invert the pan onto a plate.

Serve warm or cooled with homemade vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream.

pineapple upside down cake slice

Storing Pineapple Upside Down Cake

  • After Baking: Keep the baked cake in the pan and let it cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for 3 days.
  • To Freeze: Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • To Thaw (if frozen): Warm in a 300°F oven for 15-20 minutes just until heated through. Flip and serve.

More Fruity Favorites

Did your family love this Pineapple Upside Down Cake? Leave us a rating and a comment below!

4.93 from 27 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This recipe starts with a layer of caramelized pineapple rings and maraschino cherries, topped with an incredibly moist vanilla cake layer!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cool Time 5 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8 servings
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  • ½ cup butter
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 6-7 slices pineapple
  • 5 maraschino cherries


  • ¼ cup oil
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Place butter in 9" round cake pan or pie plate and put in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F allowing the butter to melt in the pan while warming.
  • Remove the pan from the oven once the butter has melted. Stir in brown sugar (you can do this right in the pan!).
  • Arrange pineapple slices and cherries on top of the butter mixture.


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together oil and sugar. Add applesauce, egg, and vanilla and whisk until combined.
  • Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and stir just until combined. Spread carefully over pineapple in pan, making sure not to disturb the cherries as you spread the batter.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until top of the cake is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan before running a knife carefully around the edge.
  • Place a large round plate on top of the pan, flip and allow the cake to fall out onto the plate before removing the pan.



Cover and store leftover cake in the fridge for up to 4 days. Serve cold or reheat in the oven or microwave. 
4.93 from 27 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 352 | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 258mg | Potassium: 182mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 421IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Cake, Dessert
Cuisine American

More Pineapple Treats You’ll Love

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plated Pineapple Upside Down Cake with writing
plated Pineapple Upside Down Cake and a slice cut on a plate with writing



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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. Is there anything that doesn’t contain milk that I can substitute for apple sauce? I’m out of the country and it’s really difficult to find here. I really want to make this for my in-laws!

    1. Hi Carol, I have only tried this recipe as written so I can’t say for sure. You could try making your own applesauce to use or try using mashed banana or sour cream. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!

  2. I’m 73 years old my mom used to bake every Sunday and pineapple upside down cake was one of my favorites!! I’m not much of a cook I do try new recipes that seem easy Thank you for the memory I’m definitely going to try this one! Thanks for sharing5 stars

  3. If I made this again, I’d use 1/4 cup of butter – there was not enough brown sugar to soak up the 1/2 cup and my cake was swimming in butter. I literally had to drain it halfway through baking. We ate it anyway – flavor was otherwise great – but it was greasy. I especially like using applesauce and oil in this recipe.

    1. Reply to Lisa. Yes, I agree. IF I use this recipe again, I will definitely cut the butter to 1/4 cup. 1/2 cup did not allow the brown sugar to caramelize and the whole cake was just too greasy and not “cake like”. I do like using the applesauce though.3 stars

  4. This was a really moist, delicious cake! My 14 year old son made it for our family of 7. Not a crumb was leftover. Thanks for a great, simple, delicious recipe!5 stars

  5. This is so delicious! The whole family loved it. It is not overly sweet like some pineapple upside down cakes.5 stars

  6. Made it last night and could hardly wait until it was finished and cooled. This cake is delicious !!!

    1. Hi Dianne, we haven’t tried it with crushed pineapple but I am sure it would work. Just make sure you drain the crushed pineapple before placing in the bottom of the pan.