If you could taste a hug from mom, it would taste like this warm sweet pineapple upside down cake.
There are a few variations from the classic pineapple cake recipes you may have enjoyed in your childhood, but honey let me tell you – they take this recipe from standard to stupendous! I’m confident this is one of the best fruit cake recipes you’ll ever try.
Don’t get me wrong – I like a pineapple sheet cake and pineapple sunshine cake is worth its weight in gold but there’s just something special about this upside down cake. Cherry pineapple dump cake is great for birthday parties and festive gatherings but this pineapple upside down cake is an homage to grandma’s classic recipe.
- Brown sugar and rum
- Rich and delicious
How To Make Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe
Serving up this rich flavor-intense upside down cake is easier than you think.
First, you’ll soak your pineapple rings in rum and melt your brown sugar in a cast-iron skillet. Arrange your pineapples and pecans in the brown sugar skillet before pouring your batter in.
Bake it up in the oven and flip onto a serving plate while still warm. Voila!
Try not to overmix the batter for this pineapple cake. Overmixing strengthens gluten which can make your cake tough and chewy. The batter will be thick, so I like to spoon it into the pan rather than dumping. It also helps keep your pineapple and pecans in place, so they look pretty on the finished product.
Tips For Making The Perfect Pineapple Upside Down Cake
This cake cooks best in a cast iron skillet. It’s the perfect size and shape. Plus, they conduct heat evenly and efficiently. Just be careful inverting the cake onto the serving plate because the skillet also holds heat well.
Upside Down Pineapple Cake Ingredient Notes
The ingredient list for this upside down cake is about what you’d expect. Just a few things to point out.
Pineapple – Fresh pineapple rings are best but canned will work in a pinch.
Sugar – We use dark brown sugar for this recipe to keep it rich and moist.
Rum – You’ll want a dark smooth rum to soak your pineapple in.
Molasses – A mild-flavored molasses works best here you don’t want it too strong.
Buttermilk – Using buttermilk instead of whole milk gives your cake a moist richness that’s virtually indescribable.
Pecans – We swap maraschino cherries for pecans to give the cake an addictingly delicious soft crunch but cherries are just fine too.
Can You Freeze This?
Absolutely! This pineapple upside down cake freezes really well but I like to serve it warm, so I typically don’t freeze mine.
Just slow thaw it in the fridge overnight. You can even pop it into a warm oven to heat it up a bit.
Upside-Down Cake Make Ahead Tips
Like I said, I think this pineapple upside down cake is best fresh out of the oven, but it’ll stay good for a couple of days. Just make sure to protect it from the air so it doesn’t dry out. It should go into the fridge since it has fruit on it and it’s traditionally served cold anyway.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
Your pineapple upside down cake will stay fresh and yummy in the fridge for 3 days if stored correctly. I’ve never had one last that long, though. Once the FAM descends on it – it’s gone! It’s also probably best to reserve the FDA recommended 2-hour serving rule.
Tools to Make
You only need a few things to create this little bite of heaven but they’re essential!
- An 11×14 baking dish to marinade pineapple rings
- A 9 ½ inch cast iron skillet to build the cake in.
- It helps to have an electric mixer for the cake batter
- Whether this cake reminds you or your grandma, grandma’s fruit cocktail cake and grandma’s applesauce cake will complete your memories of your childhood!
- Let’s go back to the ’70s and try baking sock it to me cake!
- It’s time for a taste of the islands with pina colada sheet cake.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
- 5 Rings Fresh Pineapple Cut Into 1/2 Rings
- 1/2 cup dark rum
- 6 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 ⅔ cup dark brown sugar packed, divided
- 1/3 cup pecan halves
- 1 ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 egg large
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon mild flavored molasses
- 2/3 cup buttermilk well shaken
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Pour rum in a 10X14 pyrex baking dish. Place pineapple rings in rum and flip them to coat. Let stand for about 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a 9 1/2 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup of the brown sugar and whisk until sugar dissolves and syrup boils about 2 minutes. Drain pineapple and arrange in a skillet in a nice pattern. Tuck pecan pieces into spaces.
- Whisk flour, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Beat 1/2 cup butter and 2/3 cup brown sugar in a large bowl. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and molasses. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions alternating with 2 additions of buttermilk. Spoon batter over pineapple.
- Bake in preheated oven about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of the cake comes out clean.
- Allow cake to cool for about 5 minutes. Place a large plate over the cast iron pan and flip it over. The cake should pop right out. Be careful! I don't think anything is hotter than cast iron!
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Here are some other fruitcake recipes you may enjoy.
- Hummingbird Cake – sweet bananas, tart pineapple, and a bright cream cheese frosting!
- Apple Dump Cake Recipe – Tender fruit and a rich, buttery cake covered with crunchy crumbs
- Harvey Wallbanger Cake – the 70’s cake!
- Caramel Apple Sheet Cake – super moist, deliciously spiced cake
- Banana Pound Cake – forget all about regular ‘ole banana bread
This pineapple upside down cake is a rich and decadent version of the classic recipe. It’s so good I can’t believe it ever went out of style. This is one of my absolute favorite fruit cake recipes and I just know you’re gonna’ love it too!