Pineapple Upside Down Cake pairs a moist pineapple-flavored cake with an irresistible layer of buttery caramelized pineapple slices and cherries. This recipe starts with a box of yellow cake mix, so it’s super easy to make!
Pineapple Upside Down Cake is one of those recipes that’s a classic for a reason: it’s just so dang good!
It has that tropical-inspired flavor thanks to the pineapple, the cake is deliciously moist with a super tender crumb, and the caramelized brown sugar and pineapple topping take it all to the next level. Just add a dollop of homemade whipped cream for the perfect dessert!
Best Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe
Because I love boxed cake mix hacks (see my Strawberry Cake and Copycat Portillo’s Cake!), I wanted to make an easier version of Pineapple Upside Down Cake that tastes just as good as the original.
To do this, I started with a box of yellow cake mix. We doctor it up with pineapple juice, butter, and eggs to take the flavor up a notch. The rest of this Pineapple Upside Down Cake is made the traditional way.
Basically, you get everything you love about classic Pineapple Upside Down Cake, without having to fuss with measuring all-purpose flour, vanilla extract, sugar, salt, and baking powder!
(Can’t get enough pineapple? Make my Pineapple Casserole next! Or, for an even easier version of this cake, make my Pineapple Upside Down Dump Cake.)
See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Unsalted butter – Melt butter in the microwave or in a saucepan.
- Brown sugar
- Canned pineapple
- Maraschino cherries
- Yellow cake mix – Use any brand you like!
- Pineapple juice – Reserve this from the canned pineapple, then add water to reach 1 cup if needed.
- Eggs – Here’s the easiest way to crack an egg!
How to Make Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease a 9×13 cake pan with butter or cooking spray. (This recipe wasn’t developed for cast iron skillets, so it won’t fit in an iron skillet—you’ll need a rectangular baking dish! No 9×13 pan? Read this: Baking Dish and Casserole Conversion Guide)
2. Make the Pineapple-Cherry Topping
Pour the butter into the baking dish and add the brown sugar, spreading it evenly. Set the pineapple rings into the pan, then place a cherry in the center of each pineapple.
3. Make the Cake Batter
Prepare the cake mix in a large bowl with the reserved pineapple juice, butter, and eggs. Slowly pour this into the prepared pan, being careful not to move the pineapple rings.
Place the cake in the oven and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
5. Invert the Cake
Place a heatproof plate or platter on top of the baking dish and carefully turn it over. (You can run a knife along the edge to loosen it a bit first if you’d like.) Leave the plate on top for a few minutes, then remove the pan. Cool for 30 minutes, then serve.
How to Store Pineapple Upside Down Cake
This cake can be stored wrapped or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
To freeze, allow the cake to cool completely and wrap tightly with 2-3 layers of plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
This cake gets its name from the way it’s made: the pineapple and cherries are placed in the bottom of the pan, and then the cake batter is poured over top. Once it’s baked, you flip it over so that the pineapple and cherries are on top!
There are two common reasons why your cake might be soggy in the middle:
You didn’t bake it long enough. Be sure to bake it until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
You used too much pineapple juice. When measuring the pineapple juice, make sure you don’t use more than what’s called for in the recipe.
Yes, you can make pineapple upside down cake the night before. Simply prepare the cake according to the recipe instructions and store it in an airtight container in the fridge overnight.
You should flip an upside down cake when it’s done baking and while it’s still hot. This will help the sauce run down into the cake, making it moist and delicious!
More Classic Cake Recipes
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
- ⅔ cup packed brown sugar
- 9 slices of canned pineapple juice reserved
- 9 maraschino cherries stems removed
- 1 box of yellow cake mix
- 1 cup reserved pineapple juice add water to reach 1 cup if needed
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9×13 baking dish.
- Pour the butter into the baking dish and add the brown sugar, spreading to evenly cover the entire dish.
- Place the pineapple rings into the dish over the brown sugar. Place a cherry in the center of each pineapple.
- Prepare the cake mix with the reserved pineapple juice, butter, and eggs. Pour the batter into the baking dish to cover the pineapple and cherries.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Place a heatproof plate or platter on top of the baking dish and carefully turn it over. Leave the plate on top for a few minutes to allow the sauce to drain. Remove the baking dish.
- Cool the cake for 30 minutes. Serve warm.
Should any oil or melted butter be added to the cake mix? If so how much.
Just wondering. Thanks!
Kasey…I feel really stupid…I reread your instructions & see that melted butter is added. I am so sorry! Thank you!
It’s ok! haha! Glad you found it!