Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

When life turns upside-down, that’s usually not a good sign. But when cake turns upside-down, prepare to be amazed. 

Two fruits epitomise the existence of summer: watermelon and pineapple. Personally, I favour the latter.

The Pineapple. One of the most attractive natural culinary treasures, encased in a criss-cross yellow-green coating, hatted with leaves that resemble a fountain. Sticky, sweet-sour bits of bright yellow are exactly what you need during the sweltering heat (which unfortunately only increases with each successive year- global warming, people).

I enjoy snacking on pineapple in its natural form. However,  I do make an exception when it comes to this pineapple upside-down cake.

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If you’re looking for a fuss-free recipe dressed to impress, this one is it. 1 layer, no frosting, no exotic ingredients (besides the pineapple, of course) – super easy to put together.

This pineapple upside0-down cake is a basic vanilla cake with a caramelised pineapple layer. If you can purchase a good pineapple, I would use that in this recipe, but obviously canned pineapple works just as well. I find that canned pineapple has less of a prominent taste compared to fresh, but it still works beautifully.

The best pineapple upside-down cake recipe. #hotchocolatehits

The pineapple adds a nice, sharp contrast to the subtlety of the vanilla. You can arrange the pineapples however you’d like, but because I like to maximise the amount of fruit in this recipe, I like to cut it into small pieces so that I can fit as much pineapple into the cake pan as possible and up the sides.

This cake is lovely warm, plain or with some ice cream.

The best pineapple upside-down cake recipe. #hotchocolatehits


Pineapple Upside Down Cake



  • 1/4 cup (55 g)  butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (100 g)  brown sugar
  • Around 3/4 of a fresh pineapple, but you can also use canned


  • 1/3 cup (75 g) butter
  • 2/3 cup (130 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (150 mL) buttermilk
  • 1-1/3 cup (160 g) all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 9-inch dish with butter.
To make the topping: 
  1. Combine together the melted butter and brown sugar in your prepared cake pan. You should be left with a thick, caramel coloured mixture.
  2. Spread the mixture as evenly as possible to cover the bottom of the cake pan, then set aside while you prepare the pineapple.
  3. To cut the pineapple, chop off the top and bottom, then trim off the skin.
  4. I like to slice the pineapple vertically (to get disks), then I cut each disk into cubes leaving out the centre-part, but you could also use a cookie cutter to cut out the centre part use rings of pineapple instead of pieces.
  5. Arrange the pineapple pieces over the brown sugar mixture. I also like to add pineapple pieces up the sides of the cake pan.
  6. When you're happy with the arrangement of pineapple pieces, set the cake pan aside while you prepare the vanilla cake batter.

To Make the Cake:

  1. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  2. Next, whisk in the egg and vanilla.
  3. Add in the baking soda and salt.
  4. Next pour in the buttermilk. The mixture may separate and this point, but it will come together once you add the flour.
  5. Toss in the flour, stirring slowly, just until combined.
  6. Once the batter comes together, spread it atop the pineapple brown sugar mixture.
  7. Bake the cake for 25-30 min or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the top is a nice golden brown.
  8. Let the cake cool for several minutes, then gently loosen it with a butter knife.
  9. Work quickly, as the sugar-butter mixture will begin to solidify, making it more difficult to release the cake from the pan.
  10. Place a plate on top of the cake dish, making sure that your hands are well protected.
  11. In one swift motion, flip the cake over, tapping on the bottom of the cake pan to release it.
  12. Let it sit like this for several minutes, then gently pull up the cake tin.
  13. It is fine if some of the pineapple pieces stick to the cake tin, if this is the case, just remove them from the pan and arrange them back on top of the cake - no one will notice!
  14. This cake is delicious served warm. The slice of cake on the video was done while the cake was cold because it was difficult to get a clean cut when it was still warm.
  15. Store the cake in the refrigerator, it will last for up to a week.
Loosely adapted from Betty Crocker and this banana upside-down cake recipe 

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