Classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake: the Easy Recipe for a Delicious Dessert to Try!

Total time: 1hr.
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 8 people
By Cookist

Classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is a retro American dessert recipe from the 1960s with an impressive look and a delicious flavor. This beautiful cake is covered with a caramelized brown sugar topping and zippy canned pineapple slices. For the upside-down effect, simply assemble and bake the fruit layer on the bottom of a baking dish, then flip it upside down and serve. Fruity, caramelized and buttery, this pineapple upside-down cake is tender, moist on the inside and beautifully caramelized on the edges. It's perfect for tea time with friends, and it's also an ideal snack for kids any time of the year, like today, in occasion of Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake's History

Pineapple upside-down cake boasts a charming history that dates back to the early 20th century. Its creation was facilitated by the mass production and availability of canned pineapple, introduced by companies like Dole in the 1900s. The cake gained popularity in the United States when it became a frequent feature in cooking contests and community cookbooks, showcasing the convenience of canned pineapple. The recipe was further popularized by its inclusion in a 1925 promotional recipe booklet by the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, which led to its iconic status in American baking. Characterized by its caramelized pineapple topping, which beautifully browns and sweetens in the oven, the cake is both a visual treat and a delightful dessert, embodying a perfect blend of simplicity and sweetness from an era of innovative American cooking.

Tips and Variations

Ensure that the caramel is spread evenly across the bottom of the mold before adding the pineapple slices. This helps in achieving a consistent flavor and a beautiful golden color across the cake top.

– Arrange the pineapple slices tightly together to prevent them from moving when pouring the batter. This ensures that the design remains intact.

– When mixing your batter, ensure all ingredients are at room temperature to achieve a smoother, more homogeneous mixture which will bake more uniformly.

– Be gentle when folding the egg whites into the batter to keep the mixture light and airy. This helps the cake rise better and maintain a fluffy texture.

– Since oven temperatures can vary, check the cake’s doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready.

– Try substituting pineapples with other fruits like peaches, plums, or even mixed berries for a different taste and a colorful appearance.

– Add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg to the caramel or batter to add a warm, spicy note that complements the sweetness of the pineapple.

– Add lemon or orange zest to the batter for a citrusy zing that brightens the overall flavor of the cake.

– For individual servings, make this recipe in muffin tins for mini upside-down cakes. Just reduce the baking time accordingly.

– Sprinkle crushed walnuts or pecans over the caramel before laying down the pineapple slices to add a crunchy texture to your cake.

Is It Better to Make Pineapple Upside-Down Cake The Day Before?

Yes, it's perfectly fine to make a pineapple upside-down cake the day before. Preparing it ahead of time allows the flavors to meld together nicely, and the cake often becomes moister and more flavorful as it sits. Just be sure to store it in an airtight container to keep it fresh.

When Should You Flip the Upside-Down Cake?

You should flip a pineapple upside-down cake shortly after it comes out of the oven, usually within 5 to 10 minutes. Waiting allows the cake to set slightly, which helps it hold together when flipped, but don’t wait too long or the caramel might harden, making it difficult to remove the cake cleanly from the pan.

How to Prevent Pineapple Upside-Down Cake to Not Stick to The Pan?

To prevent your pineapple upside-down cake from sticking to the pan, make sure to:

  • Use a generous amount of butter or non-stick spray on the bottom and sides of the pan before adding the caramel and pineapple.
  • Although not always necessary, lining the bottom of the pan with parchment paper can be an extra precaution to ensure the cake releases smoothly.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 5 to 10 minutes after baking. This helps the caramel to set slightly without hardening, making it easier to release the cake.
  • Before flipping, run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake.

More Upside-Down Cakes You Might Love

Apple Upside-Down Cake

Tangerine Upside-Down Cake

Strawberry Upside-Down Cake

Cherry Upside-Down Cake

Banana Upside-Down Cake

How to Store Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

You can store Pineapple Upside-Down Cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 days. Before serving, reheat it for a few minutes in the microwave. You can also keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Find out how to prepare the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake by following our step-by-step procedure and advice.

Pineapple slices
Pineapple juice
550 ml
310 grams
200 grams
4 tbsp
Melted butter
110 grams
Egg yolks
Egg whites
Baking powder
12 grams
4 tbsp
For the mold
Melted butter
baking paper

How to Prepare Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Cover a circular baking mold with parchment paper and, using a kitchen brush, coat it with melted butter.

Pour the 4 tbsp of sugar and water into a pan, and let it cook without stirring, until it caramelizes.

Pour the caramel into the bottom of the baking mold.

Then, arrange the pineapple slices neatly on top of the caramel.

Inside of a glass bowl, beat the egg yolks and the sugar together until they mix together.

Add the melted butter and keep mixing to incorporate it.

Add the flour and the baking powder, sifting them to prevent lumps from forming.

Add the pineapple juice to the mixture and beat with an electric whisk to combine all the ingredients together, until they form a uniform and homogeneous mixture.

In a separate glass bowl, beat the egg whites until they are stiff.

Transfer them to the mixture and fold them gently inside of it, with movements from bottom to top.

Pour the mixture on top of the pineapple slices. Bake for 45 minutes at 320°F (160°C).

Wait for 5 to 10 minutes for the cake to cool, then remove it from the baking mold, flipping it on a plate, so that the pineapple slices are on top.

Serve and enjoy!

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