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Pineapple upside-down cake is one of those classic recipes that we just keep coming back to. There’s a sense of tradition that we love, plus, the flavor is something we can never get enough of: perfectly simple butter cake with caramelized pineapples baked into the top…sounds like a dream to us!

While some recipes call for separated eggs, with the whites beaten into stiff peaks, we like to avoid the extra hassle and stick to the basics. Trust us, the result is even better than you can imagine and just see if that pineapple and cherry-topped confection doesn’t bring a smile to your face!

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Yields 1, 9-inch cake



  • 6-8 slices canned pineapple, juices reserved
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • maraschino cherries, as needed, optional


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350º and generously grease a 9-inch round cake pan.
  2. For the topping, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat and sprinkle brown sugar over the top.
  3. Cook until sugar is melted, mixture darkens slightly in color and bubbles start appearing around the edges.
  4. Pour mixture into cake pan and carefully arrange pineapple slices and cherries (decoratively) in the butter.
  5. For the cake, combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  6. In a large bowl or mixer, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy and lightened in color. 3-5 minutes.
  7. Beat in egg until incorporated, then mix in vanilla extract and pineapple juice. Once incorporated, stir in the milk and sour cream.
  8. Gradually mix in dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated. Batter will be thick.
  9. Pour batter into prepared cake pan, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 25 minutes.
  10. Remove aluminum foil and bake for another 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean.
  11. Let cool 15 minutes before inverting cake onto a serving tray and serve at any temperature.

Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

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