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Easy Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

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  • Prep 15 min
  • Total 1 hr 40 min
  • Servings 12
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Super moist, cake that’s both soft, and perfectly fluffy, a pineapple upside-down cake is a delicious and festive one-layer cake dessert that gets assembled and baked with juicy pineapple slices and sweet cherries on the bottom, and vanilla cake batter on top. Turned upside down after baking, the glistening, now caramelized fruit, magically becomes the impressive cake topping!
This timeless pineapple upside-down cake recipe is one of our very favorites to make. Pineapple, brown sugar, and cherries add even more flavor and moistness to our already amazing yellow cake mix. The pretty color of the fruit stands in for both frosting and garnish, making this cake a breeze to prepare.
It is easy enough to make any night of the week and impressive enough for gatherings of any size or occasion, no matter what the season. This cheery dessert is as equally perfect as a coffee cake for breakfast or brunch, as a snack cake for after school or for a wow dessert for an anniversary, baby or wedding shower or an amazing end to a holiday meal.
Updated Mar 10, 2024
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How to Make the Best Pineapple Upside Down Cake

With just a few steps this easy pineapple upside down cake recipe, made with Betty Crocker Super Moist yellow cake mix, canned pineapple slices, brown sugar, and cherries, will turn out perfectly and bring a lot of raves from those who get to enjoy it!

Here’s how to make our easy Pineapple Upside-Down Cake:

Make the Glaze: Melt butter in the bottom of the cake pan and sprinkle with brown sugar.

Arrange the Fruit: Arrange pineapple slices and maraschino cherries on the brown sugar.

Make the Cake: Pineapple juice from the can of pineapple is used to make the cake with the cake mix. It will infuse the cake with tropical flavor! Pour the batter over the fruit in the pan.

Bake the Cake and Flip it Over: It is easy to flip the cake over onto a heatproof platter. See the recipe for simple directions.

Making Easy Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Cake Mix

Making pineapple-upside down cake with a cake mix means there is only 15 minutes of prep required to get it into the oven. With a cake that quick to put together, you can make it any time you want. The 5-star rating from nearly 1,000 of our fans will attest to the quick prep and amazing flavor.

What makes this cake special, is instead of adding water with the vegetable oil and eggs that are called for on the cake mix box to make the cake, all the pineapple juice leftover from the can of pineapple slices is used in the cake to replace some of the water. That means you won’t waste anything from the can of pineapple and the cake takes on a delicious, pineapple flavor without the need to buy any additional ingredients!

If you want to make pineapple-upside down cake from scratch, we have also got a 5-star rated Pineapple Upside-Down Cake made with your own pantry ingredients. Whichever recipe you choose, you will love the results from recipes well-tested by professionals in the Betty Crocker Kitchens.

The Most Delicious Pineapple Upside Down Cake Toppings

The classic toppings of pineapple and cherries in a buttery-rich, caramelly glaze on old-fashioned Pineapple Upside-Down cake are so pretty, you don’t have to frost the cake with any kind of frosting or add any other decorations to make this cake any more attractive! The pineapple slices and maraschino cherries are arranged before the cake batter is added, so that they create an eye-catching top once the cake is flipped over.

If you want a show-stopper dessert, you can top pieces of the cake (or put it on the side, so the cute top of the cake still shows) with a simple pineapple upside down topping such as either a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.

You can make your own Homemade Whipped Cream, use frozen (thawed) whipped topping or whipped cream from a pressurized aerosol can. The rich dairy flavor of the cream will make the caramel and pineapple flavors of the cake even more decadent.

What Ingredients Do You Need for the Best Pineapple Upside Down Cake?

These easy-to-find Pineapple Upside-Down Cake ingredients come together to create the best pineapple upside-down cake recipe our fans rave about:

Butter: Not only does butter add a rich flavor to the caramelized topping, but it also coats the bottom of the pan, so the cake will not stick to it.

Brown Sugar: Mixed with the butter, these two ingredients form a simple caramel-like glaze that coats the fruit with amazing flavor.

Canned Pineapple: Not only are the slices of pineapple used for this cake, but all the juice as well, infusing the cake with tropical flavor.

Maraschino Cherries: Bright and sweet, these cheery little gems add a lot of color to the top of the cake as well as flavor.

Super Moist Cake Mix: Starting with a well-trusted cake mix means less measuring for you and assurance your cake will bake up perfectly, no matter your baking skill level.

Vegetable Oil and Eggs: Vegetable oil adds moistness and tenderness to the cake while eggs give it structure and lift. The cake turns out fluffy, tender, and moist, so you won’t want to miss eating even a crumb of it.

How to Store Pineapple Upside Down Cake

For the freshest flavor and the best cake texture, it’s best to make and serve this cake on the same day. If you have any leftovers, here is how to store them so that you can continue to enjoy it over the next few days:
Store pineapple upside-down cake covered in the refrigerator to retain the texture and moistness as much as possible and enjoy it within 2 or 3 days. As the cake is stored, the top will become less moist while the cake around the fruit will continue to absorb juice, making the texture softer and less cake-like.

We do not recommend freezing this pineapple upside-down cake recipe as the freezing and thawing will also change the texture of the cake and the moistness.


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 can (20 oz) pineapple slices in juice, drained, juice reserved
  • 1 jar (6 oz) maraschino cherries without stems, drained (about 18 cherries)
  • 1 box Betty Crocker™ Super Moist™ Yellow Cake Mix
  • Vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box


  • 1
    Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Melt butter in 13x9-inch pan in oven. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over melted butter. Arrange pineapple slices on brown sugar. Place cherry in center of each pineapple slice, and arrange remaining cherries around slices; press gently into brown sugar.
  • 2
    Add enough water to reserved pineapple juice to measure 1 cup. Make cake batter as directed on box, substituting pineapple juice mixture for the water. Pour batter over pineapple and cherries.
  • 3
    Bake 40 to 46 minutes (44 to 53 minutes for dark or nonstick pan) or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately run knife around side of pan to loosen cake. Place heatproof serving plate upside down onto pan; turn plate and pan over. Leave pan over cake 5 minutes so brown sugar topping can drizzle over cake; remove pan. Cool 30 minutes. Serve warm or cool. Store covered in refrigerator.

Tips from the Betty Crocker Kitchens

  • tip 1
    Serve pineapple upside-down cake with sweetened whipped cream or an 8-oz container of frozen (thawed) whipped topping (3 cups), if desired. For 3 cups of sweetened whipped cream, in chilled medium bowl, beat 1 1/2 cups whipping cream and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.
  • tip 2
    Sweetened whipped cream is the perfect topping for this delicious dessert.
  • tip 3
    Cooking Vegetarian? Always read labels to make sure each recipe ingredient is vegetarian. Products and ingredient sources can change.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Variations to this Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe?

We have many recipes for variations on this classic cake you can make to mix it up each time you serve it! Try any of these amazing twists off the ever-popular recipe:

Personal Pineapple Cakes: Making our Pineapple Upside-Down Mini-Cakes means no one has to share—they each get their own little cake to devour!

Bake it a Bundt: Give it a fresh look with this bundt recipe for making Pineapple Upside-Down Cake.

A Carrot Cake Twist: Love carrot cake? You can have both pineapple upside-down cake and carrot cake is this amazing carrot variation of cake flavors.

Fall Flavors: Our Caramel Apple version adds the seasonal fall flavors that go so well with sweater weather.

Can you make Pineapple Upside Down Cake ahead of time?

For the best flavor and moistness, it is best to serve the cake soon after you make it. Served warm, the caramel-like glaze melts in your mouth with the tender, moist cake. You can make it earlier in the day and refrigerate it until about 30 minutes before you plan to serve it. Remove it from the refrigerator and let it stand about 1/2 hour to serve it at room temperature. If you make it a day or two in advance, the texture of the cake will change, with the top of the cake being drier than first made and the cake around the pineapple pieces becoming moister as the cake absorbs more of the juice from the pineapple. This will not be objectionable as leftovers, but you may not wish to serve it like this to your guests.

What’s the Best Pan for Pineapple Upside Down Cake?

The best pan to use for pineapple upside-down cake (or any cakes, for that matter) are shiny pans without a coating. They reflect the heat the best, creating cakes that are both tender with a light-colored crust. We test in these pans in the Betty Crocker Kitchens for this reason. A good, sturdy shiny 13x9 cake pan will last for decades. Keep an eye out for them at thrift stores and garage sales. They are a find!
Pans with a dark, nonstick coating absorb heat faster, causing cakes to brown too quickly. That is why we recommend reducing the oven temperature to 325°F to adjust for this. Our testing shows making this one correction for dark, nonstick pans will make a significant difference in how your cake bakes up.

What’s the Trick to Flipping Pineapple Upside-Down Cake?

It’s simple to flip the cake once you know the techniques!

Size Up Your Platter: Turn the empty cake pan upside down on the heat proof platter you intend to use for serving the cake to see that it will fit. The best size platter is one that either has slightly sloped sides or is at least an inch or two bigger than all sides of the cake. Don’t have a platter big enough? You could use a wooden cutting board or a cookie sheet.

Loosen the Cake: Immediately after baking, use a knife to loosen the cake from the sides. While the caramel mixture is incredibly soft.

Top the Pan with the Platter: Place your platter (right side-down) on top of the cake pan. Place one hand (with an oven mitt) on top of the platter and your other hand (with another hot pad) under the cake.

Flip with Ease: Now you can easily flip both the cake and the platter over! Leave the cake pan on top of the cake as directed so every bit of brown sugar goodness can drip back onto the cake.

Why is my Pineapple Upside Down Cake Soggy?

Here are a few reasons your cake might be soggy:
The Right Amount of Liquid: The pineapple juice is replacing some of the water that is used to make the cake. Don’t add all the water called for in addition to the pineapple juice. Add enough water to the pineapple juice to equal 1 cup.

Bake to Doneness: Be sure to bake your cake using the toothpick doneness test and not just the time indicated.

Serve The Same Day: So that more juice from the fruit does not continue to seep into the cake and make it soggy around the fruit, be sure to make and serve it the same day.


360 Calories, 12g Total Fat, 3g Protein, 58g Total Carbohydrate, 42g Sugars

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1/12 of Cake
Calories from Fat
Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Total Carbohydrate
Dietary Fiber
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
1 Starch; 1/2 Fruit; 2 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 2 1/2 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choice
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

More About This Recipe

  • Forget the idea that baking a pineapple upside down cake is time-consuming. This classic favorite has made a comeback, and it's easier than ever to make it when you are using the cake mix you can always count on, Betty Crocker™ Super Moist™ Yellow Cake Mix. This recipe stars a tender cake that gets baked on top of a layer of pineapple slices and cherries in a brown sugar-butter mixture, and when it gets flipped over after baking (it’s easier than you think!), the sweet syrup infuses the pineapple upside-down cake with extra flavor. We love this cake so much that we have developed a complete collection of pineapple upside-down desserts. If making this easy pineapple upside-down cake has you interested in learning more about making everyone's favorite dessert, check out Betty’s Guide to Cake-Making 101. Or for other great cake recipes straight from the Betty Crocker Kitchens, look no further that this cake recipe collection
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