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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. 
4.67 from 3 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8
Calories: 443kcal
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


Recipe Rating


Sunday 10th of February 2019

Made it, loved it!

Rachel Ballard

Tuesday 12th of February 2019

So glad to hear that!

C Jordan

Wednesday 7th of March 2018

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

Rachel Ballard

Thursday 8th of March 2018

Oh excellent! I'm glad you enjoyed it. It didn't stick in that bundt pan? You're braver than I am! --Rachel

Amy Griffin

Friday 10th of February 2017

Such a classic dessert!


Wednesday 20th of January 2016

Will definitely be making this for my husband for Valentine's Day. Beautiful photo. Pinned. Thanks for sharing.

Rachel Ballard

Thursday 21st of January 2016

I'm proud to be part of your Valentine's Day Mary! I hope you and your husband enjoy it. Nothing says love like pineapple. Hahaha!

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