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Pineapple Upside Down Cake from Scratch

Learn to make this pineapple upside down cake from scratch and feel confident to toss the boxed mix forever. Tender, moist and oh-so-sweet, it just feels good to make something from start to finish. Get all the details here. 

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pineapple upside down cake from scratch


There are a lot of “homemade” pineapple upside down cake recipes on the web. You read them with high hopes of seeing things like baking powder and flour but uh oh–it says “open your yellow cake mix”…Bummer. Your hopes are dashed. But I have your solution.

I actually went through a couple of recipes trying to find that boxed flavor (because you know it’s good) in a homemade cake. And buddy did I bomb a few. One in particular gives me cold sweat flashbacks to teaching my seven year old what stiff-peaked egg whites look like. He was doing the whipping.

pineapple upside down cake from scratch

Finally, I decided to just settle on a simple yellow cake recipe (you can double this one and make it for your next birthday) over fruit and brown sugar.

And it was just right.

So we won’t mess with a good thing by trying to make it taller, or sweeter or nuttier. Let’s just make it amazing. Here’s your recipe:

Pineapple Upside Down Cake from Scratch

A classic pineapple upside down cake from scratch is hardly more than a yellow cake--but it feels so much fancier when you bake it crusty and golden and buttery with pineapple. Feel good about baking from scratch with this simple classic. 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8
Author Rachel Ballard


  • 1 14 ounce can pineapple rings in juice drained
  • 6-8 maraschino cherries without the stems
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk


  • Preheat the oven to 350.
  • Lightly grease a 10-inch cast iron skillet or a round cake pan (either will work fine)
  • Lay your pineapple rings in the bottom of your dish with the edges just touching. You should be able to fit 7 or so.
  • Add the cherries to the centers of each and sprinkle over the brown sugar; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with your hand or stand mixer until just pale and a little fluffy--about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time and beat between each addition.
  • In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt and stir to combine.
  • Add the flour in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk.
  • You should begin and end with flour. Don't overmix the batter.
  • Gently stir in the vanilla.
  • Pour the batter over the pineapple, coming within 1/4 of an inch of the top of your pan. You may have a little batter left over.
  • Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • It's a good idea to bake yours on a cookie sheet or with a little foil under it in case it runs over.


Calories: 443kcal
Tried this recipe?Tag us on Instagram @feastandfarm and hashtag it #feastandfarm
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


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  1. 4 stars
    I made this cake from scratch but I put it into a bunt pan. It’s Delicious and beautiful. Thanks for the recipe.

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About the Author

Rachel Ballard, RN, BSN brings more than 20 years of professional nursing expertise to Feast and Farm. With a love for nutrient dense foods that support wellness, she works to distill complex health information and current trends into recipes that fuel the best version of yourself. Read more about Rachel here.