Pineapple Upside Down Cake


Pineapple Upside Down cake just never goes out of style.

This is a dessert that reminds me of my childhood since my mom made it quite regularly.

It sort of scream 1970’s! But here we are in 2016 making it better than ever!

This is a recipe I have been using exclusively for Pineapple Upside Down Cake for over 2 decades! Yikes! Who said that!?

But you will see why this recipe has ultra staying power when you try it for yourself!

It is super moist and light and when it soaks up just the right amount of that buttery – sugary glaze it makes every single bite begging you to have more!

It’s a good thing I made these in individual portions so you can know when to stop!

You can of course make the entire thing in a family style cake in an 8″ cake pan; but I do love the look of these miniature bundts if you have to pan!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Prep time
Total time
Generously grease the mini bundt pans (or muffin tins) withPan Grease (or if using a cake pan grease and line with parchment paper) Divide the sugar mixture (recipe below) equally into each cavity or spread evenly in the bottom of a cake pan. Place a pineapple slice in each cavity on top of the sugar glaze (or arrange in the cake pan)
Serves: 6 Mini or 1-8" cake
  • Unsalted Butter 6 tablespoons (85g)
  • Light Brown Sugar ¾ cup (158g)
  • All Purpose Flour 1½ Cup (188g)
  • Baking Powder 1¾ teaspoon
  • Salt ½ teaspoon (3g)
  • Unsalted Butter 6 Tablespoons (85g)
  • Granulated Sugar ½ cup (100g)
  • Egg Yolks 2 (36g)
  • Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon (5ml)
  • Egg Whites 2 (60g)
  • Granulated Sugar 2 tablespoons (28g)
  • Buttermilk ½ cup (120ml)
  • Canned Pineapple Slices drained of juice 1 can (or 6 rings- you will have extra)
  1. To make the sugar glaze: Melt the first measure of butter over a low heat in a heavy bottom sauce pot.
  2. Once it is fully melted and just under a boil, remove from heat and stir in brown sugar.
  3. Stir to a thick sandy like texture and fill each cavity of the mini bundt pan equally until all is used up
  4. To make the cake batter: Cream the second measure of butter with the first measure (½ cup) granulated sugar until light and fluffy for about 5 minutes.
  5. Combine the egg yolks with the vanilla extract and add it to the creamed butter mixture.
  6. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt and add about ⅓ of it to the creamed mixture and mix just until combined.
  7. Add ½ of the buttermilk while mixing on low speed then repeat the process with the flour and remaining buttermilk, ending with the last addition of flour.
  8. In a separate clean bowl, whip the egg whites to frothy and then slowly add the second measure of granulated sugar (2 Tbs) to form a medium peaked meringue.
  9. Fold the meringue into the cake batter then portion the cake batter on top of the prepared sugar glaze & pineapple slices
  10. Bake in a preheated 350°F for approximately 16-20 minutes or until they are springy to the touch when gently pressed in the center. (For the full cake it will take closer to 30-40 minutes)
  11. Let cool slightly in the pan and then un-mold onto a serving platter while still warm so the sticky sugar glaze does not cool too much or you will not get them out easily.
  12. Cool completely before filling each center withwhipped cream (this is an optional step)
Pineapple Upside Down cake can be stored for up to 4 days at room temperature in an airtight container.

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  1. I forgot about this classic Easter cake but I’m definitely using your recipe (with my usual dairy-free alternatives). What a great idea mixing the brown sugar and butter together for the bottom. The method I knew was to slather butter on the bottom then sprinkle brown sugar over it, hopefully evenly…of course, that never happened. Can’t wait to make this.

  2. I grew up with this cake too and made it many times, but it’s been years since I’ve made it and didn’t have the recipe anymore. Your recipe looks better than the old one I had and I can’t wait to try it. Yum!!

  3. I love the idea that you did the individual cakes, it makes them more special especially for a summer cook out or party.

  4. I plan on making these Saturday for a brunch on Sunday. I’ll top with whipped cream and cherry when I serve. Will the cake part hold until then?

  5. I just finished making these in individual bundt pan. I’m not typically a fan of pineapple upside down cake but wanted to make these because they are so cute. Well, now I’m a fan; the cake is absolutely delicious! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and recipes!!!

  6. just made this cake and it was absolutely delicious!!!love love love it! will definitely make again 🙂

  7. Hi Gretchen, that seems like lot of brown sugar.a 158 gms brown sugar seems to be more than 1 cup. So which one should I follow? 158 gms or 3/4 cup?


    1. Hi Thanks for pointing out a possible error!
      I am seeing the blog post written as follows: Light Brown Sugar ¾ cup (158g)
      Perhaps the confusion is that brown sugar is always measured “PACKED” so it may seem like more since you are not packing it down?

  8. Made this today and it’s sooooooo yummmmm!!!!!

    Can we add pineapple juice to the cake ? May be 1/4 cup buttermilk and 1/4 cup pineapple juice? Will it work?


  9. Hey Gretchen, I am curious if you ever sold the little cakes in your bakery and if so how much did you charge? I made these for my husbands office and they got into an argument about how expensive they should be!

      1. Well…they think they should go for much more 🙂 some suggested up to $5.00. Another hit thanks to you Gretchen!
        P.S. I did the stabilized whipped cream using vanilla pudding, another trick I learned from you. Perfect flavor complement and it’s great when you have to travel from Frig to Frig…you are the best girl!!

  10. Gretchen,
    I made this cake. And it was an instant hit. I loved it. Everyone was happy.Thanks for posting this recipe. Is there any other similar cake which follows this above recipe?I found this better than all occasion downy yellow butter cake.

  11. Hi Gretchen

    Another question about buttermilk. It’s not usually available where I am, so it’s the main reason I haven’t tried this recipe as yet.

    Any options for a substitute? Is straight milk or cream possible?

    Thanks a lot

    1. You can make your own by adding 1 Tbs apple cider (or white) vinegar to regular milk, let it stand to sour for about 10 minutes, then proceed

      1. Thanks, I’ll try that. But just for my curiosity, will there be a problem if I substitute the buttermilk with plain milk?

        Thanks again.

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