Pineapple Upside Down Cake

If you don't have a high-sided 10-inch cake pan, you might try making this in a springform pan. Line the inside with foil so the caramel doesn't leak, and bake on a rimmed baking sheet just in case it does.

My dad's alternative caramel topping: 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, 1/4 cup light corn syrup, 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup butter. Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a medium saucepan. Heat on medium until all sugar is dissolved. Boil until syrup becomes warm amber in color (5 to 10 minutes). Remove from heat. Add 1/4 cup butter, carefully as it will foam up a bit. Swirl the pan so that the butter is all incorporated, stirring with a wooden spoon if necessary. Pour out into cake pan. Continue with recipe as noted.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 12 to 14 servings


For the topping:

  • 1 cup (200g) of firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 can (20 oz) of pineapple slices (Dole brand works best)

For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups (200g) all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons (55 g) cake flour
  • 6 tablespoons ground almonds (from about 2 oz or 56g of blanched almonds)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups (350g) of sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sour cream


  • 8 candied or maraschino cherries

Special equipment:


1 Grease the pan with butter: Generously grease (with butter) a 10-inch diameter non-stick cake pan with at least 2-inch high sides.

2 Make caramel topping: Heat brown sugar and butter in a medium sized saucepan on medium heat until sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbly,  several minutes. (After sugar melts, don't stir.)

3 Pour into pan, top with pineapple slices: Pour the caramel mixture into the pan. Arrange pineapple slices in a single layer on top of the caramel mixture.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake from Scratch - Pouring the caramel into the pan How to Make Pineapple Upside Down Cake - Adding the pineapple rings

4 Preheat oven to 325° F.

5 Make cake batter: Whisk the flours, ground almonds, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the sugar and butter together until light. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

Add dry ingredients alternately with sour cream in 2 additions each, beating well after each addition.

6 Pour cake batter over caramel and pineapple in pan. Spread the cake batter over the pineapple and caramel so that it is smooth on top.

Pour Cake batter over pineapple and caramel

7 Bake: Bake the cake at 325°F until a tester inserted into the center comes out mostly clean (internal temperature of about 205°F if you have an instant read thermometer), about 1 hour.

8 Turn out cake: Cool cake in pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a platter, after the cake has cooled for 5 minutes, and while the cake is still warm.

If some of the topping sticks to the cake pan (it often does), just scoop it out with a butter knife and patch the cake.

9 (Optional) Add cherries: If you want to add candied or maraschino cherries for decoration, just put one in the center of each pineapple round.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Click on the comments you'd like to print with your recipe. Grayed out comments will not print.


  • Cindy

    Okay so Im guilty of never leaving reviews but I had to leave one for this cake. It’s amazing! The cake itself is dense but still airy, how is that even possible. I added some bourbon to the glaze and a splash of pineapple juice to the batter, along with a pinch of cinnamon. This will be my go to recipe from now on. Thanks so much for sharing!


  • Christine

    This is the best pineapple upside down cake I have ever had! I simplified the recipe by doing the topping differently. I poured the melted butter in the pan and sprinkled the brown sugar on the butter, rather than cooking them together. I also subbed strained yogurt for sour cream because I didn’t have any. It was deeeeelicious! Unlike most recipes for pineapple upside down cakes, this one is not too sweet.


  • Lisa

    This cake is a show stopper! Made this for my husband after returning from a trip to the Florida Keys as a welcome home treat. Easy to make, beautiful when turned out from the pan, and absolutely delicious. It’s a winner!


  • Glenn

    Made this at a Boy Scout summer camp for the Beast Feast food competition. Took first place in the dessert category.

  • Holly

    This turned out really well! The cake was delicious, smooth, tasty, and moist. The toping however was still runny when I turned it over. Do you know what I did wrong? I used the brown sugar recipe.


    • Summer Miller

      Hi, Holly! I’m glad you liked the cake! It’s difficult to know exactly why the topping was a bit runny without being in the kitchen with you. My only thought is maybe you didn’t cook the caramel long enough to properly thicken. Give it an extra minute next time and see if that helps.

  • Cynthia

    Absolute crowd pleaser! I had to use cashews vs almonds so I split the vanilla to 1/2 almond flavoring. & didn’t have quite enough light corn syrup, but I used what I had and added 1 teaspoon of molassas. Please thank your father!


  • Marcie

    Can I substitute almond flour for cake flour?

  • Patricia

    Just like my great granny made it !!! I miss the smells from her cooking always from scratch!!!


  • Susan Avallon

    Thanks Carrie! My mom used to make them when I was a kid and I remember the cake itself being tastier. Maybe I made some mistake. I ended up throwing out half the cake because my kids would not eat it.

  • Susan Avallon

    The pineapple topping is absolutely scrumptious, but we found the cake itself kind of bland and disappointing. I followed the recipe exactly so I don’t know why this is true.


    • Carrie Havranek

      Hi Susan! I’m sorry you thought the cake was bland. I don’t know if you have made a pineapple upside down cake before, but with this kind of dessert, the cake is a bit of a foil for the upside down, ooey-gooey-caramelly deliciousness.

  • Dan

    There’s slight bitterness in the cake. I think there’s something on the caramel that’s just wasn’t right. What could be it?

    • Summer Miller

      Hi, Dan! It sounds like you might have cooked the caramel a smidgen too long. If you try this again, I would just remove the caramel from the stove a minute or so sooner. Good luck!

  • Sjs

    This is one of the best cakes till date!!!! Awesome! Thank you so much!!! This recipe is a keeper!


  • Jackie

    Has anyone used this recipes and added cherries in the middle? Never made a pineapple up side down cake but always see the cherries

    • Beverly

      I just made this and didn’t even realize it omitted the cherries! I just added them to the top like I have done before. OH MY GOSH. The cherries with the caramel topping is just to die for.

  • Helene

    Moist and delicious. Husband loved it and as I was making it for his birthday that was a good thing. Served it with thickened cream and ice cream. Superb!


  • Maureen P

    I am wondering if this has been tried as cupcakes? I would like to make this for a Luau party but with 80 guests I thought cupcakes would be easier to serve than cake.

    • Carrie Havranek

      I’m not sure how that would work, Maureen. I’m thinking if you make a few of these it might be easier in the long run; otherwise you might be individualizing this cake x 80, since you’d have to work quickly with the caramel topping in each cupcake slot. But you can certainly try it!

    • daniel

      love to try it in muffin tins

  • Audrey

    My mother always made pineapple upside down cake for Easter. So I wanted to start the tradition again and scoured the internet for a recipe candidate. Yours won for a test run because of the dark brown sugar. This was the best pineapple upside down cake I have ever had. The addition of almond flour gave the cake more body and denseness. Love the flavor it added also. The dark brown sugar definitely made the caramel portion have a great depth of flavor! It disappeared from the table in minutes!


  • B Harman

    I misread the instructions and did not grease the pan but it came out beautifully. Thank you for my new go-to Pineapple Upside Down Cake recipe. It is a keeper.


  • John

    I just served this as part of Easter lunch. Wow! It’s amazing, and not hard to make either. I used a 12” spring form cake pan (lots of butter around it) and it came out perfect.


  • Andrea

    We like the topping a little thicker and firmer. What can I do to achieve that? Thanks!

  • Caraline Milliken

    Hello, I’m so appreciative of your recipe, and thank you for sharing. zI was curious, what’s the difference in the outcome of the first topping recipe vs. the alternate recipe at the bottom?

  • Gary

    Really 10″ pan – any way you can downsize to a 9″ pan. No local source for 10″ – nonstick round cake pan.

    • Jackie

      I just made it in a 9” and it overflowed

    • Donna

      I used an old Guardian Service Ware 10″ skillet, it’s a heavy cast aluminum, turned out perfect.

  • Maryann

    This cake was delicious! I make pineapple upside cake every year for my boyfriend and this was by far the best. I’ve tried walnuts and pecans but the ground almond is definitely a winner! I doubled the recipe and felt it needed 1/4 tsp more vanilla. I also covered the layers in cream cheese frosting.. very yummy.. Thank you :)


  • Sara


    This recipe sounds amazing and look forward to trying it very soon. If I was to use only cake flour, do you recommend removing the sour cream? Or should I keep the recipe as is? Also, what would be the measurement using only cake flour please?


    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Sara, I recommend making the recipe as directed. It’s one of our favorites, I wouldn’t change a thing.

  • Savitri

    I baked this cake for my husband, who rated this recipe to be best ever. Thank you for sharing it.


  • Laura

    I’ve been using your recipe for the last 9 years, its amazing and love the sour cream inside!! :)


  • Dorothy

    Easy recipe! I made it for my husband’s birthday, he and the whole family loved it. So moist, top is beautiful! Thanks.


  • Lawrenceene

    I’ve made this cake several times. It’s so moist and delicious. Thank you for sharing your awesome recipe. I appreciate that it’s from scratch no box cake mix.


  • JoAnn Kalenak

    I’m not a baker and wanted something delicious for a friend’s birthday. This recipe resulted in a sumptuous delight. The cake was so moist and everyone was terribly impressed. Sending thanks to you AND to your dad!


  • Agnes

    Love this cake! The ground almonds add flavor and texture. I think the cake is especially delicious when eaten warm. Will make this again!


  • Alesa

    This is my favorite cake now. The cake batter has great flavor and after making it ywice, I decided to reduce rhe sugar for the caramel to 1/2 cup…and I tend to be a sweets fanatic but the frosting for the recipe was too dense. Yet still 5 stars. Also, the recipe does well in a bundt cake pan too , especially if you dont have a spring pan or otherwise deep pan.


  • Amy S

    This is a seriously divine cake. So many of the upside down recipes available out there are the boring “use a cake mix” as a base format. I love this one from scratch, start to finish. It’s a very rich rendition with tons of butter, copious amounts of sugar and the sour cream (think: special occasions, moderation). The addition of cake flour and almond flour (ground almonds) makes it extra moist. I had Italian chestnut flour on hand and it was a perfect substitute for the almonds. The only other changes I made were to use my 10″ skillet that I greased with extra virgin coconut oil and I added some tart cherries from my tree. Oh my gosh – it was perfect. And it came out of the skillet just fine with no major mess. Love it!


  • Rachel

    I have made this recipe so many times and everyone always raves about it. The cake is perfect and the caramel layer is insanely good. Any time I bring this somewhere, it always gets raves and always gets eaten. :)


  • Mary Anne

    I’ve made this probably 50 times since 2010. A belated thank you for this wonderful recipe. When my stepfather was dying this is the only thing he would eat, so I was making 3 per week. It brought him a lot of joy during a very difficult time.


    • Elise Bauer

      Hello Mary Anne, thank you for sharing your story. I’m so happy that this cake was able to offer your stepfather some happiness. Blessings to you.

  • Robert

    Hi, what is cake flour? And how important is it vs. regular flour? I don’t want to buy too much stuff if it’s not critical. I’m just a guy, not a baker, help me out, please.

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Robert! Emma here, managing editor. Cake flour has a lower protein content than regular flour, which helps make cakes with a more delicate, tender crumb. You can substitute regular flour, but the cake will likely be a little more dense and firm, closer to quick bread (like banana bread) than actual cake. If you do use regular flour, be very careful not to over-mix or the cake will be chewy — mix only until you can see no more dry flour. Hope this helps!

  • Nancy

    I just made this cake with fresh pineapple chunks and it is the most delicious Upside Down Cake I have ever made! The cake is moist and flavorful and the brown sugar and butter caramel is just the right sweetness to enhance the juicy pineapple chunks! I was worried when I first turned it over and it was kind of runny in the middle of the caramel, so I poked the cake with a skewer hoping that all that goodness would just soak through to the cake like a poke cake. Not to worry though, the caramel firmed up as it cooled and it really is so delectable and yummy and perfect!! This is the cake I imagine when I think of really good Pineapple Upside Down Cake!!


  • Ambika

    I made this cake for a dinner recently and it was delicious
    I had one issue thought on the bottom pineapple layer there were pockets of almost unbaked very gooey batter even though the rest of the cake was fully cooked….so I used a spoon and scooped it out. Should I bake it for longer with just the bottom heat setting towards the end for it to cook more? Am scared that it will burn the caramel layer.
    Or will it help if I layered the bottom with baking paper. Any advice would be great as I would love for the pineapple layer to look pretty like yours in the picture!!


    • Elise Bauer

      Hello Ambika, sounds like you just needed to cook the cake longer if there was still some unbaked batter. I wouldn’t worry about the caramel layer, it should be fine unless you seriously overcook the cake.

      • Ambika

        Thank you! Am going to cover the top loosely with a bit of foil and bake the cake for a bit long the next time I make
        it. This recipe will now be my go to for any kind of upside down’s too good!

  • Lora

    Made this cake the night before serving in a rectangular 13x19x2 and followed recipe to a tee- it was perfectly baked and very delicious however, found it to be dense & very moist in texture- is this related to the cake pan size?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Lora, it is quite dense and moist, which is one of the reasons we love it!

      • AnnMarie

        Exactly it’s the best cake ever!!!!!

  • Jessica Hickman

    This is officially my favorite dessert recipe EVER!!! HUGE THANKS to you & your dad

  • Suzanne Chilson

    This is my husbands favorite cake, I will bake it tomorrow for his birthday, he will be so happy. I’ve baked this cake about a dozen times, I’ve always used regular flour and salted butter and it has always come out perfectly. We always have it at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Yummy can’t wait until tomorrow!

  • Alison

    Hi! I cant wait to make this. Can u please tell me a substitute for sour cream? Very hard to find in my area

  • Neha

    Hello, for cake, is it 3/4 cup of sugar or 1 and 3/4 cup of sugar. Thanks.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Neha, it’s 1 3/4 cups, which means 1 cup plus 3/4 cup.

  • Neha

    hello, what can i substitue for 6 tbsp of ground almonds. making this for someone with nut allergy. thanks.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Neha, just use regular flour as a substitute.

      • Jessica Hickman

        I just used a really tasty granola/nut mixtur & it turned out REALLY incredible!!!

  • Sara

    Hi Elise, I’ve been enjoying your recipes for years now, and want to try to make this amazing-looking cake for my parents’ 80th birthday party this weekend. However, can I make it a day in advance and then transport it? Will the topping bleed into the cake too much? Should I store it in the fridge or in room temp overnight? Thanks!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Sara, with this cake you want the topping to bleed into the cake, it’s caramel! We just put plastic wrap over it and store it at room temp (70-75°F) when we make it and have leftovers. Lasts a couple days without a problem.

      • Sara

        Perfect. Thank you!

  • Lee Hemming

    Yum! I’ve made this recipe many, many times and it always turns out to be the best ever. Thanks for sharing your great recipes

    • Elise Bauer

      Thank you Lee, I’m so glad you like it! It is the most requested recipe from our family for special occasions. Keeps my dad busy. ;-)




  • Rania

    I love it. It’s the best recipe foe the upside down pineapple cake ever .. so delicious .. I’ve tried so many other recipes, it’s the best. thank you

  • Aimen

    This is one of the best cakes I have baked – except the second and third time, the syrup soaks into the sponge instead of forming a toffee layer at the top with the pineapples. I cook the brown sugar in butter tills its really really done, it doesn’t taste the same as the first one! though the sponge is perfect each time! please help me out!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Aimen, no idea why this is happening, so many things can affect the results of a baking recipe.

  • Romina

    Hi I was wondering if you could use fresh pineapple instead of canned?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Romina, yes you can use fresh pineapple, though the rings tend to be a bit larger.

      • Bebe

        I use Dole pineapple rings in heavy syrup. We usually eat the pineapple in light syrup or juice, but these work out the best. Because the rings are smaller they are easier to position on the cake. They are also a little thinner. Larger rings can be cut in half and placed in kind of a spiral, but it isn’t as pretty as this or as easy to cut.

        The topping is supposed to soak into the cake. That is what upside-down cakes are all about!

  • Candice Atkinson

    It was really enjoyable, students tried it for the first time and it was super for them. The right pan is needed to prevent dripping of the syrup.

  • Hayley

    Thank you for this excellent recipe. I made two cakes. One cake was your recipe and the other a gluten free version. The same recipe except with Gluten free flour and 1/4 teaspoon of Baking Soda and 1 1/4 teaspoon of Baking powder. I left out the cake flour mix. I made them both in a 12 inch Skillet and baked them in the skillet. They were amazing! This recipe got voted number one on the desserts list! Which I was very proud of.
    I also added coconut to the caramel mixture before laying down the pineapples which added extra toffee crunch.
    The gluten-free version came out really light and fluffy which was excellent and your recipe came out more dense, people loved both for different reasons.
    Such a delicious recipe. Adding it to the fav’s list! thank you!!

  • Gerry

    When we made this, we put red glacee cherries in the pineapple holes

  • Nathan

    Do I have to use the 6tbsp of cake flour? I am going to use almond flour which is easier than grinding almonds. Can I use some extra almond powder instead of the cake flour?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Nathan, I haven’t tried subbing out the cake flour, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you.

  • Ilovetobake

    I made this cake but with out the bakers flour( I used an unbleached flour)AND I used a bit less sugar, I replaced the all purpouse with oat flour(I do this with everything that is sweet) and I added pecans.
    It was divine! Heavenly!
    I used the fathers version of topping because the first try was the brown sugar and it burned into a hard pancake!
    My dear sweat mother would have so enjoyed this recipe!

    Wonderful recipe! 5 stars!!!!

    Thank you!


  • Danita & Wayne

    Attention viewers! If you are thinking about printing this recipe, do it. It is the best pineapple upside-down cake we both have ever tasted. I did do something different. After the cake came out of the oven I took some of the juice from the pineapple and spooned it over the bottom and let it soak in. Also we used pineapple chunks. Delightful! 5 Stars.


  • Anonymous

    For those who want to follow the recipe and don’t have cake flour on hand. I found the following substitution:

    For 1/2 cup of cake flour: put 1 tbsp of cornstarch in a 1/2 cup measuring cup and fill the rest of the cup with all purpose flour. This will give you a total of 1/2 C of cake flour. Mix well and set aside. Make sure you measure out 6 tbsp for the recipe since this mixture makes a bit more than the recipe calls for. It’s the first time trying this recipe. It’s in the oven now, so we shall see…

  • Janie Guetzow

    I have used many of your recipes over the years, and this one was another great success! It is a beautiful and delicious cake. Pineapple upside down cake is my husband’s favorite, so that’s what I made for him for his b-day this year. I was worried that it would be too dense as the batter appeared very heavy, but boy, was I wrong! It was perfectly sweet and moist and gone in one day! Thanks again!

  • josette

    Love this cake! I have made it over 15 times. I cut the almond out (my daughter is very allergic to almonds). I also use pineapple tidbits instead of rings. I like it better. I have used coconut on top also very good. I make it all in a le creuset skillet and make the topping first and reduce the liquid some then add the cake on top throw it in the oven and it comes out beautiful! Thanks for the wonderful recipe!!

    • AnnMarie

      I like your skillet idea!!! But I’ve made this same cake many times over the years and I’m wondering how on earth do you flip the skillet to get the cake out in one piece?? The skillets are quite heavy!!!!

      • Bebe

        You have to put a large plate across the top of the skillet and hold the whole thing together as you flip. Calls for strong hands!

  • Denise Fawcett

    I made this tonight for my partner who recently got back from Iraq. Needless to say I am now the cat’s meow. I didn’t have a 10″ cake pan, so used a 9.5 x 13″ cake pan and it came out wonderful. Thanks for this recipe Elsie…definitely it’s one for the books.

    • Amanda

      Hi! Did you change the baking time?

  • Rosie Brown

    my son saw this cake on the intenet and baked itit cake out vry good thanks rosie brown

  • Ania

    I made this cake for the first time today for a friend’s dinner party. I actually doubled the recipe and made two cakes, at first I was worried that I was going to ruin the cake but I am very pleased that the cake turned out so yummy! Thank you for sharing your dad’s recipe! I can’t wait to share this with my family and friends!

  • Coach Jackie

    I have made several different pineapple upside down cake recipes and this is by far the best. I do call this cardiac cake when I serve it, however, given the ingredients ;-)

  • Melanie Y

    I absolutely love this recipe! Thank you so much Elise for sharing this with the rest of the world!! It has become a family tradition – immediate & extended ask for it at EVERY holiday LOL

    I have a question: Do you think there is any way I could add the pineapple juice into the batter without messing up the chemistry of it all?

    No. Perhaps if you boiled down the pineapple juice until it was just a syrup, and added no more than a tablespoon of that to the batter. Otherwise you will be throwing off the ratios too much. ~Elise

  • Janine

    So I have made this a couple times and it always turns out great. I use “Just Almonds Meal” from Trader Joe’s for the ground almonds. Concurrently I have found that that makes a great addition to many cake recipes… For Thanksgiving I am planing on adding chopped cranberries throughout and whole cranberries in the center of the pineapple circles. I think I may be playing with fire, but if it turns out good it could be amazing…

  • Kimberlee

    I’ve made this cake three time and has always turned out wonderful! my husband just loves the buttery caramely goodness on top. My daughter who wont touch sweets asked for this for her next birthday and my jaw almost dropped to the floor.

    As for the pan thing issue people are having. I use a bundt cake pan for this and it turns out WONDERFUL each time. Moist and perfect. My mom and grandmother have always used bundt pans for PUDC, so i never thought twice about it.

    I just love this cake and have shared it with many people. Thank you so much for posting!

  • Vicki Drake

    I made this for my husband’s birthday … he always asks for a pineapple upside down cake! This one is his favorite and was even a big hit with our 6 yr old grandson who’s more into traditional cakes with lots of frosting. Only change I made was to add 1/4 tsp of almond extract in lieu of nuts because the birthday boy does not like nuts in baked goods. Definitely do NOT undersize the baking pan.

  • Amy

    Mmmmm…delicious! This was my first time making pineapole upside-down cake, and it turned out great. However, the topping was not as hard/crispy as I would have liked. I used the original (not alternative) topping recipe. Also, in my excitement and inpatient-ness, I probably let it cool for 5 min tops. The topping was just a bit gooey.
    Can someone give me suggestions for a harder topping? Is that the difference with the alternative recipe? Or is it because I didn’t let it cool in the pan long enough? Also, I used my nonstick 12 x 8 x 2 in cake pan (and everything fit perfectly), but I doubt that was the reason the topping didn’t turn out. Otherwise I followed the directions completely. I was wondering if I should have taken my cooking torch to the top of it.
    I’m a fairly novice baker, so any suggestions are appreciated.

    The topping of this cake is supposed to be a big gooey. It is not supposed to be hard or crisp. ~Elise

    • Bebe

      Its gooiness is what makes it so wonderful! It melts into the cake a big and makes a yummy layer around the pineapple. Don’t mess with success!!!! :-)

  • Paul McNair

    I made this recipe as “cupcakes” and they are amazing! The mini cakes have pineapple chunks (rings too big) on the top with a cherry in the middle of each.

    I followed the recipe exactly except that I used fresh pineapple chunks soaked overnight in rum (my friends love alcohol), cherries soaked in rum, and instead of using a 10″ pan I used a muffin pan to make two dozen “cupcakes” (recipe works pretty much perfect for two dozen). I was afraid that the cupcakes would rise too much since the batter came up almost next to the rim, but I baked then at 325 for about 30 – 35 minutes and they didn’t rise much or overflow, which was great since I flipped them all over (very carefully) anyway. I did have to shake my pan up and down after pouring the batter over the fruit and before baking to evenly distribute the batter.

    The one downside was that the little cakes were kinda delicate, the fruit can fall of easily if you jerk it around, so you just need to be careful with transporting.

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  • pineapplefan

    Made this as my first cake and love it! Husband enjoyed it, too…it’s his favorite. I definitely burned the caramel on the first try, so I used a dash or water as the alternative recipe suggests. As for the cake batter, I omitted the almonds due to personal preference….followed everything else as is and it came out lovely!

  • Eff

    Delicious! Perfect! Thanks for posting this!

  • Sarah

    Elise, is it possible to replace the eggs ? I’m vegan but would love to make a pineapple upside down cake.. maybe by using silken tofu or bananas as an egg substitute? Thanks a lot, great site by the way !

    Hi Sarah – no idea. You might want to consult a vegan website or baking book. ~Elise

  • Monica

    I’ve made this recipe many times before and love it! Its my go to recipe when I don’t know what else to make for dessert. I made it again today, but used the alternate caramel recipe (2 c sugar, 1/2 c water and 1/4 c butter and the caramel totally hardened. It stayed in the pan when I flipped it. I’m sure it will be fine, but not sure what I did wrong. Did I overcook the caramel?

    No, as long as you added the butter, you should have been fine. Perhaps you waited until the cake cooled too much before flipping? ~Elise

  • Martin

    This was stunningly good – like a hybrid between a pineapple upside down cake and a sticky toffee pudding.

    I strongly recommend putting foil underneath the cake pan – bubbling over caramel makes a mess ;-)

  • NoatakGirl

    My dinner party of 8 loved this — everyone had seconds. This was my second time making it and I did increase the topping by 50% to make it more moist/sweet. I used 1.5 cups brown sugar and 3/4 cup butter. If I was making the cake for myself, I would probably cut back on the topping a little to 1.25 cups brown sugar and + 5/8 cup butter (still more than the original recipe), but as I noted, the above batch was a definite hit. Great recipe!! So much better than something from a box.

  • Patricia

    First of I would like to say that I have tried many of your recipes and they have all come out great. Okay, so my question is: do you think it’s a good idea to triple the recipe or do you recommend doing single batches and then mixing it all together? Because I want to take it to church.

    Great question. I think if I were to attempt this, I would just make a triple batch and see how it turns out. Then if it worked I would know for the future, and if it didn’t I would make it in single batches the next time. ~Elise

  • bea

    hi im in the process of making this cake but i cant shake the feeling i did something wrong with the brown sugar topping. after i pour it into the pan and it cools is it supposed to still be liquidy or hard. i attempted it 3 times. the first time it wasnt cooked enough. the second it was over cooked. this last time im not sure so im asking. how long exactly is it supposed to bubble for? how do i know the sugar is dissolved?

    It doesn’t matter if it is liquid or hard. When you add the batter and cook it, it will liquify again. You’ll know if the sugar is dissolved if you can no longer see any sugar crystals. ~Elise

    • Bebe

      When I have made a quick PUDC, I would simple melt the butter in my baking dish. add light brown sugar and stir it in to make sort of a wet paste, plop in the pineapple and add the batter. If you don’t try to get too tricky, you almost cannot spoil this simple cake.

  • angie

    i have been making this cake for about a year now. i sell them for 15.00$. i sell 1/2 sheet cakes. it is a great hit. i use crushed pinapple instead of rings. and add a good quality vanilla. i drain the crushed pinapple and use the juice in the cake. everyone loves this recipe. thanks.

  • Alia Poonawala

    Hello Ms. Bauer,

    I made this cake while I was studying abroad in Spain for my señora and she LOVED it. In fact, the whole family LOVED LOVED it.
    It was great.

    For my personal taste, maybe I´d add pineapple chunks to the batter next time or something to just give it some more pineapple-y chunk goodness.

    Have you tried a variation like this?

    :) Alia

    I haven’t, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

  • Megan

    This is the first recipe I have made from your site that wasn’t absolutely amazing. It was good – it was certainly not bad, but it wasn’t great. With that said, we don’t eat a lot of pineapple upside down cake, so I wonder how much of the reaction to the cake was simply because we weren’t sure what to expect. I used the topping in the recipe, not the newer one your dad uses. The presentation was great, the cake looked perfect. Past presentation the taste was slightly dry and not very sweet. Also, I found the cake pan in a craft store and used the food processor to grind the almonds, I couldn’t find them preground. I might try this again, but only after going to a good bakery for a slice of this cake to compare. Since every other recipe I have made from your site is awesome, I am going to assume this was an error I made somewhere alone the recipe:)

  • maryam

    hi, i want to try your recipe because its looks tasty and easy to cook. but i want to know how to cook it in a gas oven, which flame i will gonna open…upper flame or the lower? and for how many minutes? hope you could help me. thanks.

    Not sure what you mean exactly, as you may have an oven that is not common in the United States. But this cake is baked, and baking is done from the lower flame. Hope that helps! ~Elise

  • DKNY

    Hi Elise!
    Thank you for the wonderful recipe. I tried this for my son’s 5th birthday, and he was so happy! It turned out great! I didnt have almonds, but it tasted great!
    I put cherries in the center of each pineapple slice and it looked great.

    Thanks again and I will look up more of your recipes.

  • mary

    I made this cake. It was super easy and super tasty.

    Thanks Elise.

  • Mrs. B

    First off, WONDERFUL cake. Super easy and sooooo good. The one issue I had was something overflowed in my oven. I used a cast iron pot of the same dimensions listed and the only substitution I made was Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. The cake looked absolutely beautiful, so I’m not even sure what overflowed, but I’m assuming the sugar/butter mixture.

    I guess my only point is, put a cookie sheet or piece of foil on the lower rack when you bake this.

    Thanks for the tremendous recipe, it’s definitely a keeper in my household!

  • Audrey

    Yumm! I’m a native of the Pennsylvania Dutch region and growing up this was also MY dad’s favorite cake. We always put a maraschino cherry in the middle of each pineapple slice.

  • Lanie

    Hi Elise,
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I just made this today and to tell you honestly. It was really good Pineapple Upside Down Cake.
    I use your father’s alternative topping and I reduced the sugar to 1 cup only, it came out really good and very yummy. The sweetness of the cake just enough because of the topping that has brown sugar in it. after my friend have tasted the cake and she ask the recipe right away.

    After my husband had a slice of the cake and he said, it’s yummy and tasty. Please tell your father thank you.

    Hi Lanie, I will! Thank you. So glad you like it. ~Elise

  • Jay

    I made pineapple upside-down cake today using this recipe and OMG it tasted perfect. I used the white sugar caramel topping, and also placed maraschino cherries in the middle of each pineapple slice to make it look fancier. I did not add the nuts but added a tsp of almond extract instead. I have to say, I am in-love. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  • Eleanor


    I followed the recipe almost exactly (used a 9″ square pan and a 20 oz. can of pineapple chunks instead of the rings) and it is AMAZING.

    I tried another “easier” recipe (from the Betty Crocker website) the other week and was really disappointed: I should have just eaten the pineapple out of the can instead of wasting it on that sad cake!

    But this cake is something else, entirely. I was expecting it to be tasty, but the first bite literally brought tears to my eyes. My infant-induced sleep deprivation may be partly to blame for my sensitive emotional state, but this cake really is worthy of a little happy dance and it isn’t hard to make at all.

    I can’t wait to make this my go-to cake for family parties. I’m going to be so popular! :)

  • Sharon McGee

    I made this on a cold wintery day & it “flopped”. But, what a wonderful FLOP, my best Flop ever.
    I used your father’s alternate topping, I was hoping when this didn’t come out amber in color that it would be the only part of the cake that didn’t work out. The sugar solution seemed to crystalize into large granules (small rocks) of sugar. The sugar coated the stainless pan on the sides & I knew I was in trouble. But since it was only for me & my roomies I forged ahead putting the butter in & spread the mixture in the baking pan. In the end product the sugar seemed to melt again, mixing with the butter from the cake.
    The cake itself was delicious, so rich with eggs & butter, but it “flopped” too. It seemed too buttery & but it saved the sugar disaster above.
    But I must say again, it was the best “flop” I have ever had. I will definitely try this again, maybe reducing the sugar somewhat, as it seemed very sweet. My sweet tooth isn’t as sweet as it was when I was younger.
    Thanks for posting this recipe!!

  • Ramya

    Came across this recipe when searching on google :) Can I substitute AP flour for the cake flour? Or is it necessary to use cake flour only? I want to bake this for my daughter


    You can use AP flour, though the cake will be better with cake flour. ~Elise

  • Kristina


    I made this for my family the other day, and before my mom tried it she said it couldn’t possibly be as good as her mother’s pineapple upside down cake, who has been making it for 65 years…. but as she ate it, she ate her words! Hands down the most delicious pineapple upside down cake any of us have ever tasted. We did not include the ground almonds.

  • Nazanin

    Hi Elise,
    I’ve made this cake three times and the taste turned out great every single time and people loved it a lot. Although I can’t make the top crunchy and the color doesn’t turn out carameli. It comes out soft. I’ve tried leaving it in the oven more or cooking it on the stove for a few minutes after I take it out of the oven but no luck. Do you have any idea what I’m doing wrong here and how I make the bottom (top) crunchy. (the part with the pineapple.

    The top should not be crunchy, it should be soft. If you want the top to be crunchy, do not add any butter when you are making the caramel sauce. Just cook the sugar until it is golden brown. ~Elise

  • AnnMarie

    You have to try this….the best Cake ever…!!! I will be making it for Christmas with a twist..I will make my pineapples green with food coloring..I made this cake for my husband for our 21st wedding anniversary and he loved it and is still saying it is the best he has ever had. Thank you for posting it.

  • Arlene Brassil

    Followed the recipe to a T and have to say it came out fantastic looking and fantatastic tasting. Baked in 10″ non stick free cake pan. Cut 10″ round of parchment paper and stuck it on with tiny spread of butter and cut 3″ strips for the sides. Cake slid right out, looking just as beautiful as in the picture.

  • Eric

    I have made this recipe many times and it’s always a HUGE hit. I’ve done it with light and dark brown sugar and my grandmother is particularly fond of it. It’s always been a no fail recipe!

  • June

    Fabulous cake Elise. This was our “sweet treat” this week and we’ve enjoyed it very much. I made a few changes – (all purpose flour for cake flour and shortening for butter in the cake), but I think the result was on par. The caramel is awesome and the cake superb! Would make it again in a heartbeat.

  • Camille

    I baked this about a year ago and thought it was BY FAR the best thing I’ve ever made (all down to such a great recipe). Today I found another recipe by a british chef with far less ingredients and made it and it was just rubbish compared to this one. I almost want to throw the one I made in the trash and make yours again tomorrow because it’s just SO GOOD. Thanks a million for posting.

  • Barb

    I just made this cake to bring into work for birthdays. I doubled the recipe and made 2 9×13 cakes and they were perfect. Rave reviews.

  • Camren S

    I need to make a cake for my family reunion. Needs to be enough to serve 50 maybe more. It is a Hawaiian themed reunion so this recipe is perfect. Only thing is, with the number of servings I would need to make five ten inch rounds and I’d rather not. Any ideas? I was hoping to find something around a 20x30inch square pan. Haven’t found a pan that size though. Also I’m not sure how I would adjust the recipe and bake time for that. Reunion is at the end of this month so if anyone has an any ideas that could help me out that would be great. Thanks

  • Anne

    This cake has made me famous!!! lol..
    It’s a slice of my childhood ’cause my Mom used to make this exact cake & when I ordered it at a restaurant recently, I knew that I had to try to make it for myself & my kids.

    Now everyone that I’ve ever baked it for keeps asking me when next I’m going to make it. I don’t like the caramel sauce amendment. Maybe I just didn’t do it right but when the cake was done it got stuck to my pan where there were no pineapple slices. The original sauce without the water never stuck so I’m sticking with the original.

    I’m definitely baking this for my son’s 5th birthday party. It’s the most amazingly delish cake that’s beyond easy to make but looks like you’ve spent hours baking lol… love it!

  • Mariam

    Lately I had lost my baking mojo and it’s so back with this cake thanks to you and your dad.

    I didn’t have cake flour so I used all purpose and it was still so incredibly soft, the texture is just light and perfect. The ground almonds made all the difference, you can definitely pick up on the flavor. I made mine in a new 10 inch cheesecake pan and had some left over which I put into muffin tins. Next time I’ll put less in the cake pan because it was pretty tall.

  • Judy

    Does anyone have a recipe for a rhubarb upside down cake that was called “crow’s nest?”

    My grandmother always called it that. I know the rhubarb was not carmel-like; rather it had a little crunch to it.


  • Larry Shing


    Just came back from the market and I dont have all purpose flour! Can I use cake flour for the entire thing?


    Hmm. It may not hold together that well. You could try using half bread flour and half cake flour. Cake flour is low in gluten. Bread flour is high in gluten. APF is sort of halfway in between. ~Elise

  • Amanda

    This looks marvelous. I’ve made pineapple upside down cake for years, but never made a caramel first. I’ve always melted the butter, sprinkled the sugar, then added the pineapple and cherries. I just made it in my cast iron skillet last week, I love it that way, yum!

    • Brenda

      I’d love to make it in my cast iron skillet too. May I ask what size yours is?

  • ella

    Thank you so much! My son asked me to make him a pineapple cake (which I’ve never made before) and I found your recipe which came out fabulous. This cake resembles no other cake I’ve ever made. It’s rich and wonderful. Btw, I’ve made the second version of the caramel (because I didn’t have enough brown sugar) and accidentally used only quarter of the amount of butter to make it (conversion error) but it still came out great.

  • Dale

    Elise-Can this recipe doubled to fit in a 9 x 13 pan? Also, if my pan is not nonstick, would you recommend just buttering or spraying it heavily, or should I line it with parchment?

    No idea on the pan; I would just try it and see. I would butter the pan, not line it. The caramelized sugar melts, and will just melt around the edges of the parchment and then underneath, so I don’t think that would work well. ~Elise

  • Becky

    I made this last week for our anniversary! It is by far the very best pineapple upside down cake that I have ever made. I baked the cake in a 9×13 pan. Worked great!
    I used fresh frozen pineapple that I let thaw a little bit and I didn’t have any almonds, but I did have some Voortmans Almond Krunch cookies, so I just threw a few in my mini food chopper and used those finely ground cookie crumbs in stead of the ground almonds.

  • Kathryn

    Ok, so I searched google and found a video on youtube on how to make caramel using the water, the reason I ended up with the sugar crystallizing and not darkening is because once the sugar has dissolved, YOU CANNOT STIR IT ANYMORE!!!, you are supposed to leave it boil undisturbed until it starts to darken, I hope this helps :),off to try this recipe again!, thanks.

  • Kathryn

    I too used you’re dad’s alternative topping and followed the recipe exactly, the water and sugar mixture never darkened, and the water just ended boiling out/evaporating till in reverted right back to sugar consistency!, I never did get to put in the butter…I don’t know what I did wrong, but I do know that I used granulated white sugar-not salt! lol, and like you’re recipe stated, I used 2 cups of sugar, and 1/2 cup of water, and followed your stove top heating instructions on a standard electric stove…It just made a crazy hardened useless mess, and I gave up continuing with this recipe :(, please let me know what I did wrong, thanks.

  • krissy

    Hi there! Had this recipe in my ‘favorites’ for quite sometime and finally decided to make it TODAY as my friend was here to give me a hand. We just find it too sweet. Too much sugar on the cake mixture. We plan to do it again for our next week’s party with lesser sugar. Thanks anyway and more power.

  • Barbara Ann

    I made this in a cast iron skillet because the only 10″ pan I have is a leaky spring pan. It was AMAZING!


  • Lloyd

    I mixed this with my KitchenAid, and cooked it in my deep cast iron Dutch Oven. Absolutely fabulous!

    My step-daughters are as picky as it gets, and they gobbled it up!

    My wife is a Red Seal Chef, and she loved it!

    Lovely cake! This recipe is a keeper. I think I’ll make it for my Mom next time she comes over. ;)

  • Kimberly

    I was thinking of using my 10″ cast iron skillet instead of a cake pan. Any comments on this idea?

    I made a peach/pecan upside down using this recipe (except, of course, I substituted pineapples and cherries for peaches and pecans) in my 12″ cast iron skillet. It turned out beautifully and tasted great.

    Sounds like a good idea to me. Tarte tatin, an upside down pastry made with apples, is traditionally made in a cast iron pan. ~Elise

  • Brad in Seattle

    I made three cakes following the directions exactly. I used a food processor for the almonds till they were pretty much pulverized to a flour like consistency.I believe the quality of the vanilla will make a difference,also. We bought a jug of Mexican vanilla about 5 or 6 years ago.”LA VENCEDORA” is the name of the vanilla. It is excellent stuff. I also drained the pineapple well before setting it in the glaze. I baked it exactly 1 hour and it turned out fantastic 3 times in a row! Excellent receipe!!

  • Christine

    I just now, this moment, finished making this cake. Looks so pretty on the cake plate. I did, however, have to cook it an extra 1/2 hour. The center just would not set. I put foil over the top for that extra 1/2 hour so it wouldn’t get too dark. I don’t know how it will taste with the extra oven time, but I figured I’ve come this far, so I should try anything to save it. The bottom (without the pineapple) looks like it might be slightly dry at the edges, but otherwise still seems to be moist. I will post once we have tasted it.
    One of two things I may have done wrong, based on info from the Web…too much moisture in the pineapple slices, or overmixing the batter. Does this sound right? Advice is greatly appreciated! thank you!

  • chana

    This recipe looks delicious. I would like to try it but am wondering if it’s possible to make in advance and freeze.

    Great question. I don’t see why not, though we’ve never attempted freezing it. ~Elise

  • Gabriella

    This cake is absolutely beautiful and delicious. Decadent even! I used fresh sliced pineapple, omitted the crushed almonds and substituted 1/4 teaspoon almond extract and followed the rest of the directions exactly.

    I found I had WAY too much batter for 1 10-inch pan, so I made some pineapple cupcakes. Just sprayed a muffin pan and dropped two spoonfuls of the cake mix into each. Then I chopped up the rest of the fresh pineapple (that didn’t fit in the pan) and topped off the cupcakes with the fruit.

    I took the cupcakes out after 25 minutes. The cake was done in 45 minutes for me. Both desserts are fantastic. Great recipe, and very easy!

  • Anonymous

    I made this cake the other day and left it out on the counter wrapped in plastic, and it got hard. Is there a way to make it stay soft longer?

    It should have stayed relatively moist for a day or two if you wrapped it in plastic wrap. The only other thing I can think of to extend its life is to sprinkle some rum over it. ~Elise

  • Mona

    I plan on trying to make this cake on Friday. So hopefully someone can get back to me before then. For the crushed almonds, is there somewhere you can buy them already crushed? or do you buy the almonds and have to crush them yourself?

  • Barbara

    This cake is OUTRAGEOUS! All that butter flavor really comes out. I put the rings in the pan first, as many as I could fit- then put the cherries in the centers of the rings, then filled in all gaps with crushed pineapple, then poured the sugar/butter syrup over that. I put it in a tart pan so the edges would be pretty – be sure to put foil in the bottom so the butter doesn’t run all over your oven.
    It’s terrific- got rave reviews at a family dinner.

  • Claire

    I was thinking of using my 10″ cast iron skillet instead of a cake pan. Any comments on this idea?

    Sort of like a tarte tartin? Cast iron skillets take longer to heat up, and then longer to cool down, but the heat is even. If you try it, please let us know how it turns out. ~Elise

  • Bard Judith

    I’m a recipe meddler who rarely uses the original as is – partly because of my cooking style, and partly because overseas (South Korea) it’s difficult to find all the European/Western ingredients. So here’s how I had to make it:

    I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-Butter instead of butter
    light brown instead of dark brown sugar
    vanilla-flavoured sugar instead of vanilla
    no ground almonds
    sweetened plain yoghurt instead of sour cream
    dried cranberries instead of cherries/raspberries/etc.
    no cake flour…..

    And to top it all off (no pun intended) I don’t even have a stove – I divided the batter into 1/3 and 2/3rds and put the larger amount into a shallow pan in my toaster oven and made mini cupcakes with the rest (one pineapple tidbit in the bottom of each cup!).

    How did the cake turn out after all this mistreatment?

    Moist, flavorful, sweet, rich, brown, and lusciously pineapplish. What a forgiving recipe!

  • Kimberly

    I used the NordicWare pan to make little individual pineapple upside down cakes. They turned out beautifully. I actually doubled the recipe for the cake portion, and made a peach upside down cake in my cast iron skillet. I brought it in to work today. It is now 10:22 AM and the cake is ALL GONE. Rave reviews. Thanks so much for the recipe.

  • Karla

    Greetings all the way from the Philippines! I think I just died and gone to heaven….this is the best Pineapple Upside Down cake on the planet! I can’t stop eating it – and Pineapple Upside down cake isn’t even my cup of tea to begin with! Made this for my Dad who loves the stuff! I put in peaches as well together with the pineapples…amazing! So from my Dad to yours, many thanks! :)

  • Kimberly

    I am making this cake for my dear friend who will be deployed to Afghanistan later this month. I actually have a pan that makes individual pineapple upside down cakes… in the shape of pineapples (NordicWare). It is a non-stick pan, but I think I will spray it with Baker’s Joy before using it. Will let you know how that turns out.

  • Gingy

    Thanks so much for this recipe!!! It is delicious and it was the first cake I have ever made in my seventeen years. I just finished a couple of hours ago and my family actually sat down at the table to eat together (which is rare these days for our household) I followed all of the directions and just left out the almonds since my little sister is allergic to them. But they all said it turned out delicious :)

    -Gingy AKA, Melissa

  • Tina Melan

    Hello from Malaysia!!

    I love this cake, I love this cake, I love this cake!! Baked my fifth one yesterday a month after I found this recipe, does that tell you something?

    The first time I baked this cake, I had to make the caramel twice as the first with brown sugar did not turn out so well. The alternative w/ white sugar turned out great.I also reduced the sugar on my subsequent bakes. Will definitely try adding pecans as recommended by the previous commentor. Thank you sooo much, Elise!! I’ve been recommending this recipe to everyone I know and posted the link on Facebook!!

  • Maria Pitney

    I made this cake for my husband’s birthday since pineapple upside-down cake is his favorite. I never really liked pusd cake but this one……AMAZING!! I actually crave it and am thinking about making it today just because. Thank you Elise!

  • Andrea

    I’m in Adelaide Australia, and – like so many on this thread – had a fresh pineapple to use up and folks coming for dinner tomorrow night so needed to make a desert. I chose this recipe because I love almond meal cakes.
    So, it’s recently come out of the oven and I’ve just finished licking my fingers from my second slice. It is delicious! Particularly when hot from the oven.
    I also made a couple of modifications but it’s still worked really well – I used fresh pineapple plus lightly sprinkled crushed walnuts over the caramel, I only used 1 cup sugar in the cake batter, didn’t have any sour cream so used yoghurt, didn’t have any cake flour so upped the AP flour. Plus I also didn’t have a big enough cake tin so used an enamel coated, cast iron skillet of the correct proportions. I’m also a fairly inexperienced baker – yet with all this it’s worked out beautifully!
    Thank you so much. I’m very pleased to have found your site – I will look at some of your other recipes now!

  • Tony

    Thanks from the Faroe Island for at yummy cake. I made it for my husbands birthday, a great succes. Thanks again with love from Føroyar

  • victor

    We did this in a springform pan and it did not work. The caramel leaked out. Not a good idea and our oven was a mess!

    Yeah, I don’t think I would recommend trying this with a springform pan, yikes! ~Elise

  • amy

    OMG…I am dying to make this cake!

    I was wondering though how far in advanced can I make this cake? or it is even possible to?

    We’ll make this cake a day ahead of time no problem, and then eat it over a couple of days, leaving it out, but covered. ~Elise

  • Jenni

    I made this cake for a baby shower. It was a huge hit! Everyone raved about it. Thanks!! This is totally going to become a favorite recipe!!

  • Su Su

    I just made this cake and it turned out beautifully! However, I still haven’t tasted it yet. I had to make some adjustments though. Usually I find recipes from North America too sweet, so I have to cut down on the amount of sugar. Well, with this recipe, I cut down on the butter as well and it worked out great! I used fresh pineapple as they are in season here at the moment and I used brown sugar all around. It’s a great cake recipe. I bought a 10′ pan with high sides for this cake specially and it worked a treat! Thanks, Elise! Please thank your Dad for me too!

  • Lauren Eberly

    This is one of my favorite recipes. I have made it a couple times and always get lots of compliments. I make a few changes though. I bake the cake in three layers putting pineapple rings and syrup on each layer. I use the same amount of batter that you show above so my layers come out about 3/4 of an inch high. This keeps the cake incredibly moist! On the top layer I sometimes put cherries inside the pineapple. I always use fresh pineapple instead of canned.

    This batter is some of the best cake batter I have ever tasted!!

  • Stevie

    This was definately the best thing I’ve ever cooked. I added a whole ‘nother cake layer to it because there was too much topping for that thin layer the recipe gives us. I am definately using this plenty more times.

  • holly


    Like many other people commenting here this is my first Pineapple Upside Down Cake… It’s also, as one other poster said, the first time I’ve ever tried a recipe that was so good I wanted to comment!! I had a funny hankering for some pineapple upside… and decided to find a recipe online. I must have read 25 different recipe’s today and I kept coming back to this one! My baking skills are still pretty fledgling and my pantry is not what one would consider “well stocked”. The fact that I had a bag of raw almonds in the house (and was able to food process and bake them into something I would pay $6.95 to have served to me warm a’la’mode) is a mini miricle!

    To say this is the best pineapple upside down cake I’ve ever had would be an understatement… Possibly an overstatement too since I’ve had so few pineapple upside down cakes in my life :) But still! It’s insanely Delicious!! Even my Picky Picky Picky (doesn’t like sweets unless it’s sour patch kids or swedish fish) husband liked it! He said “It tastes like restaurant food” I can’t wait to serve this to friends and relatives! People will be so impressed and have no idea how easy it was!!

    Thank you so much! Thanks to your dad as well!

    I might try this with fried bananas on top next time! Mmmm!

    Cheers from Seattle! -h

  • Molly

    My sister and I tried this recipe for Mother’s Day because my mom used to love this cake as a child. It was wonderful! Quite easy to make, the directions were perfect and the cake was delicious. We used the original topping recipe and couldn’t find a 10″ pan so put it in two smaller pans. Note that the cake doesn’t rise too much so if you pour the batter til half a centimetre from the top of the pan, you should be fine.
    Thanks so much for the amazing recipe, I can’t wait to try more from this site!

  • Lynne MD

    I want to thank you for a great recipe. I am making the “traditional” version again tomorrow for a Mother’s Day celebration. I decided to test it a couple weeks ago – wow was it tasty. I am so glad I was able to share it with company as I would have been skipping meals to have desert. Just delicious.

  • Su

    Delicious !!! Recipe was easy to follow, cake came out just as pictured …

    Thanks for sharing :)

  • Sherry

    I made this recipe last weekend (cupcake form). What a huge hit!! I sprayed the bottoms of the cupcake holes with “Bakers Joy”, divided up the caramel mix, and used pineapple tidbits, crushed wal-nuts, and cherry slices. They were unbelievably YUMMY!! I made them for my grandmothers 80th b-day. She said it was the best PUDC she ever had. This recipe is definitely a keeper. Next time I will try it in a cast iron skillet.

  • Isaac Avram

    I absolutely adore this recipe, and my friends request it frequently. The only thing I have changed so far is I use rice flower instead of cake flower. It comes out marvelously dense and moist.

  • Gina

    I dont know what I did wrong but this recipe was a disaster. The finished product came out with the topping as hard as peanut brittle…impossible to slice and serve…plus when I removed it from its pan…the whole pineapple topping wanted to separate from the cake itself as if it had a rock hard lid on it.

  • wei

    Hi, I’ve tried this recipe twice with brown sugar for the caramel and they turned out great! However when I tried using the Bellington’s DARK brown sugar, it was a disaster! It did not appear to melt and the whole mixture was hard (not flowy). Any idea what went wrong?

    No idea. ~Elise

  • Vivien

    Greetings from Malaysia.
    I made this cake and it turned out wonderfully. Everybody – my husband, mom, dad and cousin – loves it. Thank you very much for sharing!

  • Sabrina

    I am a lover of Pineaple Upside Down Cake. But never found a recipe that was really fantastic they were OK…. but not great. This one is Fantastic, it was soooo Good!! My family ate it up in a 1 day, and begged me to make more lol lol. Indeed it is a fantastic recipe not too soggy not too sweet but just right.. It is even better the day after when all the goodness is soaked into the cake.. Thanks for a great recipe I would hold it forever!

  • Sherry

    YUM! This is the 2nd recipe from Elise I’ve made (Sweet and Sour Chicken was super!) and this cake is so good. I followed the recipe exactly as shown with the exception of the cake flour…I just didn’t have any so omitted it. I’m making this cake for a friend who just had a baby but I wanted to make it for my husband and I first just to test it out. Ok, maybe I just wanted some for myself! I highly recommend making this cake, it doesn’t even compare to the “boxed” version. Elise is an awesome, awesome cook and her recipes are so easy to follow, even for non-cookers like me! THANK YOU!! I can’t wait to try another one soon!

  • Kelly

    Another great recipe, Elise!! I had a very ripe fresh pineapple to use and of course went to your site. I didn’t have a 10″ pan so used the 9″ and had a little issue with overflow. Next time I will use two 9″ pans or a 9×13 pan as it made plenty of batter. May even try a few cupcakes with the extra. For those not having cake flour (as I realized I didn’t after I started), for this recipe use 4 1/2 Tbsp all purpose flour and 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch. It worked just fine. I have to say this cake was absoultely delicious – very moist! I will definitely be making this one again!!

  • baker man

    For people living at higher altitudes generally the only difference is the cooking (baking) time. I used to live at 4300-5000 ft. and never saw a substantial difference in cooking and baking except for some difference in the time, and if you’re watching what you’re doing that’s generally no problem.

  • Katie

    This was absolutely the BEST. I made it for a dinner party last weekend and everyone LOVED it. Thanks – I used the second method for caramel and it was great- The only thing was that my pan overflowed in the oven…but the cake was so good it more than compensated for the burning smell in the air!

  • Jennifer

    My cake is in the oven and so far it looks great. I accidentally left out the cake flour, as the recipe says “combine flour, salt…”. I hope it turns out OK. It might be a good idea to specify “cake flour” among the dry ingredients to be whisked, for absent-minded people like myself. (: Either way, thanks for the wonderful recipe.

  • Michelle

    This cake was awesome! I used the alternative caramel sauce, because I burnt the first one! :) The only problem that I had was that some of the caramel was stuck to the top of the pan when I turned it out. But I might have let it cool too long. My husband loved it, which makes it all worth it! Thanks for an awesome recipe!

  • mike

    I found it to be much easier to find one of your favorite instant cake mixes, though making homemade cake mix allows you to alter the batter to your liking. As for the topping I enjoyed it very much, thank you :) I prefer to add the pineapple juice (only if the pineapple is in its own natural juice) in place of some of the water to even more so bring the taste of pineapple to the dish.

  • Eva

    I am wondering can I use crushed pineapples instead of whole pineapples…..For some reason I keep going to the grocery store and getting crushed instead of whole…..Minor mistake but I will substitute if need be.

    You can try it. Let us know how it turns out if you do. ~Elise

  • JoAnn

    For the second year in a row, I served the Pineapple Upside Down cake at our New Year’s Eve party. Again, a tremendous hit. And, this year, it was declared that it should be an annual tradition. Thank you for sharing!

  • Gloria from Milwaukee

    This is absolutely the best pineapple upside down cake that I have ever made! I purchased a 10 inch round cake pan at Walmart in the wedding department. I sprayed the pan with with a non stick spray. I bought a small package of sliced almonds(2.25 oz) and placed them in the blender. I also substituted the 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla….instead, I did 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon of almond astract! Excellent aroma, wonderful taste! No leftover cake. This is a definite winner.

  • lorry

    My husband made a homemade pineapple upside down cake for my birthday. This was the best I ever had. He enjoyed making this recipe so much he’s even making it for new years for some friends!

  • Angela

    I’m making this cake right now. I’m homesick for my aunts pineapple upside down cake and thought I’d give it a whirl. I’m a little disappointed, I measured my pan prior to making the cake, and it’s the exact size you said, but it’s overflowing in the oven still after half an hour of baking. I did everything the recipe said, I even remember thinking my aunts cake was normally bigger than 10 inches, but I thought this still must be right. I’m going to have a huge mess to clean up when (and if) the cake ever finishes.

  • Saba

    This cake was the first time I did any baking and it turned out so good. A very nice recipe. My husband has already asked me to make it again.

  • Sandy

    Thanks for the easy recipe. I just made this cake this afternoon, in less than 15 minutes, stuck it in the oven during supper and they loved it. Nice, easy recipe, that you don’t need all that other junk for. I am sure I will make it over and over again. Husband and kids loved it. Thanks again.

  • jamie

    I’m planning on making this recipe for my friends’ B-Day. I do live at 5,000 feet….what adjustments should I make (if you know). I’ve tried some high elevation tips when making other desserts and they all seem to fail–my cookies are often flat. I really want this cake to be successful, any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

    No idea. You might want to consult a book or online resource on high altitude baking. We live near sea level so I wouldn’t know what to tell you. ~Elise

  • Brandon K. Smith

    On November 16, 2008 I made this cake fir the first time I ever made a pineapple upside down cake in my life. All I know is that I love the smell and the taste of them but never had made one. This cake came out PERFECT and had the best favor. I am so please that I found your recipe online and will tell every body where to look for a good cake recipe. Again, Thank you for being there when I needed you.
    You must be a Master/Betty-Baker.

  • Mary Lou

    The cake was delicious. I have been making pineapple upside down cake for years and decided to change the recipe. Looked it up in the internet — had a lot of choices, but picked yours because of the sour cream (moist cake). I did not add the almond since it is a very strong tasting spice and some people don’t like it. Once again, I had more compliments on this cake (8 guests). Thanks to you and your dad.

  • Tennille

    If you don’t have a grease proof pan can you use grease proof paper.

  • Becca

    Thank you for this recipe! I made it for my sister’s birthday and though we haven’t eaten it yet, it’s sitting on my counter looking (and smelling) phenomenal!

    Also, for anyone who’s wondering- I made it in a 9x13in pan and didn’t adjust the recipe at all. So it’s definitely do-able without the 10 inch pan. It’s probably a little gooey-er than it would have been otherwise… but still fine.

  • Cindy

    Hi Elise, Just a quick question: can you use almond extract instead of ground almond in this cake?

    You can try it and see how it works for you. We always used ground almonds. ~Elise

  • Dave

    I had some downtime at the restaurant I work at and so I made this cake. Everybody loved it. I used a convection oven set at around 290-300 degrees with high fan. The only thing I did differently was use fresh pineapple. The flavor of fresh pineapple is more intense and in comparison makes canned pineapple taste a bit processed. I would also suggest letting the pineapple cook for a couple minutes in the boiling caramel before pouring it into the cake pan. It brings out some of the juices of the pineapple to give the caramel a hint of pineapple flavor, which is nice if you save a little of the caramel to use as a sauce.

    All the chefs and servers loved this recipe and soon many of my friends and family members will as well. Thanks, Elise.

  • Katherine

    Elise, thanks for another great recipe. Like another poster, I had a pineapple to use up, and couldn’t decide what to make. This made the perfect breakfast cake :) I made the caramel with 3/4 stick of butter, 3/4 c. brown sugar, and 1/2 c. cream. Also added a bit of rum, vanilla, and salt. Splendid!

  • Yasmin

    I made this cake for the first time today. I made a couple of mistakes though. First, I made everything up and I thought I followed the instructions carefully). But after I put it in the oven I looked at the recipe up again and realized that I forgot to add the substitute AP flour (for the cake flour). It was too late!

    Second, I wasn’t sure how far up the sides the batter should come (I used a 10″ round cast iron skillet) – I had a lot of batter left and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get the cake out of the pan without cracking it, so I pulled it out of the oven after a couple of minutes and added a little more batter (rookie move, I know!).

    I still had more batter left and one pineapple ring so I pulled out a mini muffin tin, cut the pineapple slice into 12 pieces, sprayed the tin with butter PAM, added a pineapple piece and a bit of walnut to each cup and then added the rest of the batter. I popped the whole thing into the over. Even though there was no carmelized sugar/pineapple mix the mini muffins (I ate a couple before the cake itself was ready) was delicious!

    Anyway, the cake and the muffins were sending out delicious buttery aromas as they were baking; the muffins were ready to come out in about 25 minues.

    I baked the cake for about an hour and ten minutes. When I pulled it out though the bottom was lopsided (I guess that’s because I added some extra batter after it started to bake!) Anyway, it doesn’t look perfect but it doesn’t look too bad – actually, despite being lopsided I think it looks yummy. I had a little taste of what was left in the skillet and it is d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s.

    This will be served for a family dinner tonight and I suspect it will be enjoyed a lot. I’ll make it again but now I know how much batter should go in (as it turns out I would have been fine with the amount I originally put in the pan because the butter overflowed from the pan a little bit but no batter did) – fortunately, I put the skillet on a cookie sheet before baking.

    Not hard to make – highly recommended.

    Thanks very much Elise for a lovely recipe and for your blog – you rock!

  • nick

    Just made the cake and it was so good! It’s the first cake I have ever made and I am very happy with the outcome. I was a little hesitant on putting the sour cream in, but I did and am happy I did. Could someone recommend another recipe?


    Hi Nick, so glad you liked the pineapple upside down cake. If you want to try some other cake recipes, check out the cake recipes on this site. ~Elise

  • sweety

    I used measuring cups (probably australian size)to convert and realized the sugar was like about 380+ g, that seems way too much to me! Anyone cut down the sugar to make this before? Any comments?

    Just for convenience, I used 250g each of butter, sugar and flour. I’m making this for tomorrow night’s dinner. It’s in the oven now, shall update then how it turns out!

  • Allison

    I still havent used the actual cake recipe, but I used the alternate caramel topping to go with a box mix. After I took it from the oven I let it cool about 7 minutes before I flipped it, and everything stuck to the top of the pan and the caramel part had gotten hard and sticky. I must have just let it cool too long. Any suggestions?

    Make sure you cool the cake on a baking rack, not directly on a counter surface, which depending on the type of counters you have may draw away the heat faster. Also make sure your stick-free pan isn’t scratched. ~Elise

  • mary

    Hi Elise,

    I just made this cake and am so bummed because the entire thing overflowed and is all over my oven right now. I followed the recipe exactly and am not sure why this happened. Any tips?

    I have to say, even though my oven is a mess, the cake that overflowed and baked into crispy bits on the oven are delicious!

    Hi Mary, did you use a 10-inch wide pan with 2-inch high sides? This is not a standard layer cake pan size. If you are using a smaller pan, Don’t put as much batter in, and you might want to put a baking pan on the rack underneath to catch any overflow. ~Elise

  • Robb Dabbs

    Hi Elise,

    A friend pointed me to this recipe, and I plan to make it this weekend, as the cake part is quie different than the one I usually make.

    Back in the 1930s, Chicago Metallic used to make an “Upside Down Cake Pan”, that came with a recipe. The cake part of this recipe is a sponge cake and really soaks up the topping. You might like to try it sometime as a variation.

    * Exported from MasterCook *

    Mother’s Pineapple Upside-down Cake – 1932

    Recipe By :
    Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:00
    Categories : Cakes Desserts

    Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
    ——– ———— ——————————–
    1/2 c Butter
    1 c Brown sugar
    7 sl Pineapple
    7 ea Maraschino cherries
    3 ea Eggs, separated
    1 c Granulated sugar
    5 tb Pineapple juice
    1 c All-purpose flour
    1 t Baking powder

    Melt one half cup butter in a large iron frying pan. Add one cup brown
    sugar and spread evenly over bottom of “Up-Side-Down” Pan. Lay complete
    wheel of pineapple in center. Put cherry in center and place half wheels
    around as in picture. make following sponge batter–Beat yolks of three
    eggs, add one cup granulated sugar and five tablespoons of pineapple
    juice. Sift in one cup of flour and one teaspoon baking powder. Fold into
    stiffly beaten egg whites. pour over fruit. Bake forty-five minutes to
    hour in moderate oven.

    Note: This recipe was included with a concave-bottom “Up-Side-Down” Cake
    Pan my mother purchased in the late 1930’s. It was manufactured by the
    Chicago Mettalic Manufacturing Co., Chicago, Ill., 1932.

    Best regards,

  • mary

    10 inch cake pans can be purchased through the Wilton cake supplies…..just type in Wilton cake supplies and it will come up…they have all sizes of cake pans…Im a cake decorator and this is where I get all my cake supplies…also Joanne fabrics and Michaels craft store carry all the Wilton cake decorating supplies….happy baking!

  • Angie

    This was an excellent recipe and one of the best pineapple upside cake I’ve tasted. I made it for my co-workers and all 18 of them loved it..they asked for the recipe and I told them it was an old family recipe…LOL…but then I gave them this site! Awesome!! YUMMY!

  • Leslie

    I made this cake last weekend and boy, was it wonderful. I think the best pineapple upside down cake I’ve made to date. The cake was very moist (even after 3-4 days after baking). Received many compliments on it (One in particular….”that cake was off the hook!!”.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will definitely be making it again (and soon!)

  • Nat

    This was wonderful! I did the recipe exactly, but once it cooled completely, I poured about half a cup of the pineapple juice that was left over from the can on the top of the cake and then refrigerated it for another hour before serving. It was moist and delicious! Definitely a keeper!

  • carina

    Made this cake and it worked perfectly. Loved how moist it is…
    Decided to make it again, but substitute the nuts for chocolate chips and the pineapples for strawberries.
    It was delicious. I made it with the caramel topping.
    It came out absolutely delicious, I will definitely make this Strawberry upside down cake again!!!!

  • Debbie Medeiros

    Can I use one of those throw away foil pans?

    Don’t know, I’ve never tried it. If you do, please let us know how it turns out. ~Elise

  • Debbie Medeiros

    I’m also having a hard time finding cake flour. The closest thing I found was Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. Can I use that instead?

    I wouldn’t recommend it. Whole Wheat flour is going to be even higher in gluten than regular all purpose flour. Cake flour is a low gluten flour. If you can’t find cake flour, just use all purpose flour. ~Elise

  • Claire

    Thanks for the wonderful recipe Elise! I am currently living in India and often don’t have access to specialist foods so it’s great to find a delicious recipe with easy-to-find ingredients. I used tinned peaches for my topping, and used your Dad’s alternative topping as this allowed me to substitute the water for the remaining peach juice in the tin to get an additional peachy flavour. I also added 1 tsp of ginger powder to the cake ingredients and substituted whole wheat flour for the ground almonds (only because I don’t have access to ground almonds at present).
    As a teacher to students living in a boarding school, I took it along to one of my final classes of the year and it disappeared in seconds! Now my other classes are clamouring for me to make one for them… Thank you for the delicious recipe!

  • Marie Trejo

    I am trying this recipe for the first time and I want to do it just right. I am using the 10 inch cake pan and I am going to put the wax paper down first so it doesnt stick. But I wanted to know how much of the batter do I use? Is it suppose to go all the way up to the rim of the pan? It looks like alot of batter. Thanks for the recipe!!!

  • Jen

    Hello Elise,
    I was wondering if it mattered using a 10″ springform pan. That’s the only pan I have that has 2″ sides and the color of the pan is very dark. I know the color of the pan matters on temperature and cooking time. Please suggest.

    I think the springform pan might leak with this recipe. ~Elise

  • Diana

    I made this for a getting well co-worker and although I didn’t taste the topping part – I tasted the cake (as it baked over my skillet – couldn’t find a 10″ round pan close by at the stores) and it was the best ever – I wished I had fresher almonds though – I think that’s critical – and a better pan – it baked over and I had 2″ sides – I don’t use heat in my house and I believe the cake was different for having to make it in the cold – it took 1hr 45min to bake – I also put maraschino cherries in it for old times sake – great recipe

  • Kay

    About 40 yrs ago Jiffy had a pineapple upside down cake recipe on the side of their box…and my original Betty Crocker Cooking book had a good recipe. Over the years I have made several variations of this GREAT cake. Thanks for your recipe..I will add it to my collection !

  • Julie

    Yum! I got the craving for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake during our most recent blizzard here in Cincinnati. This hit the spot. I left out the almond (blizzard, hi!) and substituted yogurt for the sour cream. It came out great! I have pictures up at my blog Yours are prettier. ;)

  • Cassandra

    Hi there!

    I was wondering if it is ok to leave the cake in the pan for traveling and then flip it over after you get to your destination. Can anybody think of a reason this would not work? Thanks!

    Yes, the caramel would cool and stick to the pan, so when you flipped it the topping would stay in the pan. I would flip it before traveling with it. ~Elise

  • melissa

    I have got to tell this cake is absolutely delicious. I made this for a birthday tea party and people were fighting over the last pieces. I cannot recommend this cake enough.

    What would I do without Simple Recipe!

  • jo

    Thank you for taking on the endeavor of creating this blog and sharing it. The first recipe I tried was the Pineapple Upside Down Cake. It is a childhood favorite of one of my closest friends. I feared what I made would not match up to her mother’s. Wow! To say she was delighted would be an understatement. Another guest, very health conscious and not really a dessert person, had three helpings…very unusual for him. Moist, flavorful, rich, tropical…..addictive! I can’t wait to try more of your recipes.

  • claire

    The cake was moist and delicious. I microwaved the brown sugar and butter together and poured it over the pineapple slices. It helps to first put a circle of wax paper down on the pan for easy cake removal. I used only a quarter cup of sugar and one stick of butter and it was plenty sweet and rich enough. I really liked the addition of ground almonds in it. Gave it great flavor and texture. Baked it @350 for 35 minutes. Came out great. Husband wants more!

  • jacki bird

    What a treat this cake is? I followed the recipe to the letter and it turned out light, and tasted great. I’ll make it again but next time I’ll alter the amount of sugar a bit, as I found it a little too sweet. I’m putting together a book of fav recipes to pass on to my daughter and daughter-in-law, I’ll be including this one for sure….thank you

  • preeti

    I just made my first ever pineapple upside down cake and thanks to your recipe, it turned out great.

    If it would help anyone, I didnt have 10″round pan so I used two 8″x 8″x 1.5″ square pans and the cakes turned out great.

  • Haseena

    Sounds like a really interesting recipe and am dying to try it out. Can I replace sour cream with milk instead?

    No, the sour cream is essential to the recipe. ~Elise

  • Ed K


    Many thumbs up on this recipe! I had a fresh pineapple that was getting ripe to the point that I better use it soon. I was going to throw it in the smoothie maker with some rum and coconut milk to make a pina colada treat for my holiday guests. Somehow the pinapple was ignored and left standing on the kitchen counter after the holidays were over. I figured that I better find a recipe and do something with it. Thats when I came across your recipe. When making the butter and brown sugar glaze, I threw in a few tablespoons of dark rum. I also added some light rum to the batter mix. The cake turned out very good. In fact it turned out so good that my family and freinds thought that I was full of you know what when I told them I made it myself. By popular demand, I will be making this again!

    Thank you,

    Ed k

  • je'

    Hi there,
    I just made the cake and it is absolutely amazing! Looks great and tastes awesome!!!
    I am just wondering if it’s better to put it in the fridge now or keep it out on the counter covered up? I am thinking the counter, but really have no clue! Any advice on that? Thanks a lot.

    We usually leave it on the counter with plastic wrap over it. But then we usually eat it up in a day or two. Depends on how long you plan to keep it. ~Elise

  • Mandy

    I made this for my sister’s baby shower, and boy did it go over well! I used a fresh pineapple and cut it into pieces, then arranged them into a nice design (no, i didn’t make them into a baby rattle, although that might have been cute.) I added another half recipe and baked it in a 11×14 pyrex pan.

    The cake was so popular, I’m bringing it for Christmas. And I bet thjat won’t be the last time.

  • Diane

    This recipe only calls for 6 tablespoons of cake flour plus 1 and 1/2 cups of all purpose flour. So I am not understanding the 3/4 all purpose with the corn starch? I live in Northeastern Ohio. Can you tell me where I can find cake flour? Thanks!

    Hi Diane, my above substitution is for substituting cake flour in general. Given that this recipe only calls for 6 Tbps, I would just sub out regular all purpose flour. ~Elise

  • Diane

    How important is the cake flour as was not able to find it?

    Cake flour has less protein in it than all purpose flour, resulting in a more delicate cake. If you want, substitute one cup of cake flour with 3/4 cup all purpose flour and 2 tablespoons of corn starch. Or you can try making the cake with all-purpose flour. We’ve only used cake flour with this recipe, so I can’t speak for how it would turn out otherwise. ~Elise

  • Jennifer

    Make the cake last night to bring to work today.
    The cake looked great and tasted pretty good too. The only thing I would change was it had a bit of an eggy flavor and I followed the recipe to the T..
    Thanks again

  • Julia

    I made this for my son’s 2nd b-day. The only thing I did differently was that I used a large cast iron skillet to make the topping then poured the batter right in there and baked. It came out perfectly. My son and the rest of us (grown ups) all enjoyed it! Thanks for the recipe.

  • Amy

    I was suppose to make this cake for a dinner party but I decided to test it out before I made it. It was wonderfully delicious. The only thing that went wrong is that the topping was very dark and hard (not as moist as it looks on the picture). I think it was because I burnt the caramel on the stove. I’m considering making the alternate topping, but I might just give the original another try…maybe cook it on low-medium heat instead (I have a gas stove, might be that it heats up faster and hotter than normal stoves).

    Thanks a lot for this awesome recipe!!

  • David

    Hi Elise,

    You used a 10″ round 2″ deep. Just curious how deep the batter was in the pan, when poured in and oven ready.

    Curious if I could make it in a different size, 9″X13″, and achieve the same results.

    Note from Elise: I don’t know Dave, we’ve only ever used the 10″ pan. Why don’t you try it and see?

  • marcie

    I need help with the topping, please. Do I simply mix the sugar with the butter, or do I add water to the sugar-butter mixture?

    Note from Elise: There are two methods for making the topping. The first does not use water. The second does use water. Ignore the * asterisk if you want to make the first topping, or follow the instructions next to the asterisk if you want to make the second topping. The first method is easier, but you need to be careful not to burn the sugar. With the first method, just put the sugar and butter together in the pan and mix them up a bit with a wooden spoon.

  • Bill

    I add 1/2 tube of almond paste (4.5 oz) – microwave for 15 seconds to soften, then crumbled into sugar/butter mixture. The batter actually makes two cakes perfectly, so I just make a 1/2 addition to the topping to stretch it out.

    An extremely sweet, rich cake that I constantly get requests for.

  • robert wagner

    This was the most teriblle upsidedown pineapple cake I’ve ever made. I’don’t what wen’t wrong but it was terrible. Threw the whole thing away.

    Note from Elise: We too have had those bad baking moments, but never with this cake. Wonder what went wrong. Is your baking powder fresh? Anything older than 6 months and it probably doesn’t work well anymore.

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Erin – stiff snow? That’s weird. The alternative topping is a very standard way of making caramel sauce. It’s actually considered a safe way of making it, in that the sugar first dissolves in the water and therefore as the water dissolves, the sugar caramelizes more evenly. What kind of sugar are you using? If you heat white granulated sugar, it will melt to a clear liquid, which if you continue to heat will turn brown; this is the caramelization process. This is basic chemistry. The only reason I can think of for this not happening is if you are using powdered sugar or mistakenly used Splenda or salt instead of sugar. My good friend Shuna the pastry chef once tried to make caramel sauce and didn’t realize she had put salt in the pan instead of sugar. Of course it didn’t melt, as salt doesn’t melt. (At least not at temperatures you can achieve on a stove.) It just gets very very hot.

  • Erin

    I attempted to make the alternative topping as well and had a similar experience to the person’s comment above. All the water boiled off and the amber color never came. I never was able to get as far as to add the butter. It was like a stiff snow. I quickly added some more water and started over again, but finally aborted the mission. Might there be something missing in the alternative version recipe? I double checked it and I made it as written. Or has someone made it with success off this web site? I went back and made the traditional caramel sauce and am eager to see how the cake turns out. I do live in Denver so maybe the high altitude throws the boiling process off.

  • Cindy

    Well, I had this super ripe pineapple lying around so I looked online and found this great recipe! It was so simple, easy and delicious! Thanks for the great recipe! I will be making it regularly! I recommend using fresh ripe pineapple, its a little more labor intensive but is completely worth it!

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Chat Estepa – I don’t know, you might try it and see how it works.

    Hi Doris – what a brilliant idea! Thank you for sharing your pineapple upside down cupcakes method with us.

  • Doris

    I tried the recipe as cupcakes for a party, what a BIG hit they were!! Everybody LOVED them. I followed the recipe and sprayed the heck out of the cupcake pans with non-stick spray. I substituted pineapple tidbits. After I took them out of the oven & cupcake pan, I placed them on the paper cupcake holders, which kind of fanned out and made a really pretty display. I’ve had a ton of requests to bring these cupcakes to every social gathering we’ve gone to.

  • Chat Estepa

    This cake was one of the best desserts I have ever made. Question: Can I just double this recipe and bake it in a 9X13 cake pan?


  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Emily,

    By dissolving the sugar in the water, and then letting the water boil away, the sugar crystals will begin to caramelize at the same time. If you do it without water, there is a chance of burning some sugar while other crystals haven’t melted yet.

    When the sugar caramelizes, then you add the butter to it to make a caramel sauce.

    If you pour it out without first adding butter, then it will indeed harden.

  • Emily

    The cake is in the oven now, and I’m looking forward to good results. Just a note on the “alternative” method to make the topping: I think the 1/4 cup water is supposed to be added AFTER the butter.

    I tried combining the water and sugar as recommended, and the water simply boiled off. Only then did the sugar carmelize into that lovely carmel color. Then when I poured it into the pan, it instantly began to cool and harden into, well, carmel. I had to dissolve the carmel pieces (after they cooled completely) in a small amount of boiling water, which I then used for the caramel topping.

  • Elise Bauer

    Hi Doris – We’ve never made this cake as cupcakes, but if you do, please let us know how it turned out.

  • Sylvia

    I read the comments about your Pineapple Upsidedown Cake and it sounds like the one my mom used to make. I loved that cake so much! She baked it in a skillet that was bigger than a cake pan. I will try baking it in a 10 inch skillet. I know it will turn out great, just like my mom’s did! Thank you for sharing your recipe. I can’t wait to make it!

  • Steve

    For any one looking for 10″ cake pans, if you cannot find them locally, try Sweet Celebrations at The site is rather clunky since the catalog is pdf page by page but they have everything!

  • Dayna

    Howdy! I just wanted to say I tried this recipe and OMG, my husband loved it so much, every time I cut him a piece and he ate it, he wanted more! I did put cherries in the center, and I don’t think my topping turned out quite right, but it tasted GREAT!!! Thanks!

  • Doris

    I would like to try this recipe as cupcakes. What adjustments would I need to make?

  • Connie

    Well, I just made the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake and most of the top stuck to the pan. I scraped it off and put the chunks back on the cake. Haven’t tasted it yet, but I expected the “dad’s newest version” of the topping to be looser than it was. I probably cooked it too long trying to get the amber color. Otherwise, it will no doubt taste Heavenly.

    :) :) Thanks for sharing.

  • Kay

    First off let me say I so love this site. The recipes could not be easier.
    I just made the pineapple upside down cake and all I can say is wow! It’s so pretty, I want to enter it into a contest. I was a bit worried because of the denseness of the cake and it cracked a bit (maybe temp. too high).
    But oh boy is it yummy. I don’t cook for dinner parties before consulting this blog.

  • Another Elise

    I made this recipe for a July 4 picnic and it was a big hit. I ended up with about an extra tablespoon of ground almonds and can report that extra almond didn’t hurt the recipe any. I also put fresh blackberries in the center of the rings, since they are in season now. It was so easy to make and delicious to eat. Thanks!
    P.S. Nice to see the coveted (by Elises everywhere) domain name being put to such excellent use.

  • Millie

    This was my first time and we enjoyed very much!

    This pineapple upside down I give *****


  • jonathan

    Weird…I finally made this cake last week for a get-together with friends, and you repost it?

    Looks like you updated the picture as well with the alternate caramel topping recipe. Am I right, Elise? What do I win?!?!?

    It turned out beautifully. The interplay of the sweetness of the pineapple and topping with the dense, moist and not-too-sweet cake. I may add the cherries next time for a little more pizzazz. Using a 10″ non-stick springform leaked a little, but I had it on a cookie sheet with a sheet of parchment and it worked out fine.

    And by reposting a different caramel topping recipe, I, like your Dad, will have to make it the new way to compare. The sacrifices I make… ;)

  • Mary Lou in Virginia

    Pineapple Upside Down Cake was a BIG favorite when my husband and I were growing up. I promised to find a good recipe and make one for our family. This recipe really delivers! It lives up to – and maybe surpasses – our recollection. I followed it very carefully (just added red Maraschino cherries in the center of the rings for old-times’ sake) and it was delicious and pretty. One observation: As good as this cake is the first day, it is TWICE as good the second day. Knowing this, I will always make it the day before serving. Sooooo good!!

  • Donna Davis

    Pineapple Upside Down cake is my sister-in-law’s favorite. I made it a couple of weeks ago for her birthday and she said it’s the BEST cake she’s ever had. This recipe is a keeper!!

  • Janelle

    This is my new “Mother’s Day” tradition. What a nice recipe. I liked it ‘as is’ because it wasn’t too sweet…my husband thought it needed a little pizzazz, so I added a scoop of ice cream and made a rum sauce, which was also a yummy addition. The cake part is really moist, really fabulous. I am going to play with it a bit (trying different extracts), but I think it will become a standard for even regular layer cake. Oh, it also baked evenly…ALWAYS a plus!!

  • Kimberley Wright

    Hi. I made the cake last night and it was Delicious!!! However, I used milk instead of sourcream. Does the sourcream make it more moist on the inside.

    Thanks for the recipe! I loved it and my friends loved it! The recipe makes life a lot easier for the twenty-somethings.

    Yes, sour cream has more fat in it than milk, which will help make the cake more moist. ~Elise

  • Colleen

    I made this cake for my Gramps who LOVES pineapple and will literally knock someone over to get to a Pineapple Upside Down Cake. He was so excited that I made it that he couldn’t wait till after dinner to have a slice, so he had one right away AND had another slice after dinner! I sent half the remaining cake home with him (he couldn’t leave without extra) and with the entire family over it was gone before the end of the day. My Gramps said I can ALWAYS make him this recipe, it was fantastic!

  • Stephan

    My boyfriend LOVED this cake….and so did I! After it was cooked I put raspberries in the holes for a little extra color. Next time I’m going to have to try the Brandy and melted raspberry jam. My cake pan was a slightly smaller (9 diameter) but I used less batter and used the rest to make muffins. The cook time and temp remained the same. The topping on the cake was liquidy after I let it sit for 15 minutes and it made a little mess but all in all it tasted sooooooo gooooood. Next time I will allow it to sit longer to the liquid topping has time to thicken more. This is a keeper!

  • Just Desserts

    I just made this cake. I had to improvise a little with the cake pans. I didn’t have one deep/big enough, so I used two smaller ones. I had some of the caramel topping ease out over the tops of the pans and over onto the oven racks… oops! The cake was very very moist, almost of a pudding cake consistency. Very sweet and tasty topping. Yummy cake. Great recipe overall.

  • Glenna Auxier

    I made this cake and every one wanted the recipe, it had them almost licking the plate. I did melt some raspberry jam in the microwave for 30 sec and mixed a little brandy with it and dripped it around the plate to add color and decoration. The actual cake part lived up to the description and of course the pineapple part is almost addictive. I used a squarish corning ware container to bake it in and it was fine. If any one thinks a cake mix will work as well, they are very much mistaken.

  • Jean

    Regarding leaving the almonds out … I have read elsewhere that generally speaking, when almonds are ground for a recipe, you should not leave them out or even substitute other nuts. They make up some of the bulk along with the other flour, and have a different texture than other nuts, so you could throw your consistency out of whack. Plus it sounds like the almonds are integral to the flavor of this particular recipe. That said, judging from previous comments, apparently people have had some success in leaving them out after all.

    I haven’t tried the recipe yet, but it sounds delicious and I’m on way to the grocery to buy ingredients and hopefully a pan! I’m going to make it as a “welcome” cake to our new next-door neighbors.

    Thanks Elise!

  • Akhter

    Made this cake today for the family. Everyone liked it; but I think the topping was too sweet.

    I must have made some mistake–but the topping was pretty liquid-y. It didn’t stick in place with the pineapple like I expected and the way it looks on your pic up there.

    Ah well–it was good still. Thanks.

  • Rosa

    I’d been wanting to make a pineapple upside down cake for awhile and I decided on this recipe. At first I thought it might be too sweet, but I was wrong. I DID check the cake after 45 min and I know my oven temp was correct. It actually was ready after 50 min of baking time. It is really good. Definitely not a light cake, but I really liked it and so did everyone else who had it! This recipe is truly a keeper! P.S. It DID taste better at the end of the day, there wasn’t any left to try following day!

  • clair evans

    I’ve never been so impressed with a recipe that I’ve posted a comment anywhere on the web! For anyone reading this – try making this cake! For UK readers – please don’t be scared off by the “cup and stick” stuff – i just use a half pint glass (volume rather than weight) and it works a treat. This really is one of the best cakes i’ve ever made. I too used fresh pineapple…and there must be something about that sour cream that creates a perfect sweetness balance! most excellent sponge!
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!

  • Amie K

    I made this for my husband’s birthday two days ago, and wow, this cake was great. Very moist and tender, and somehow, not too sweet despite being full of sweet delicious goodness. The almonds and the sour cream really made the white cake substantial and creamy. I used fresh pineapple rather than canned, and while it might have been juicier than anticipated, it worked great. A very nice recipe that I will use again and again, and will encourage my family to do the same.

  • Bonnie Lourdes

    While visiting my family in N.Carolina I was asked to bake a pineapple upside down cake.. I had my cookbook of favorites with me but no pineapple upside down cake recipe.. I fished on the web and found this recipe.. Easy enough to make and boy what a hit it was… even the children loved it. Thanks for the great recipe!

  • Jim Davis

    Hi Elise, I’m an old retired grandfather who remembers this cake make in an old black iron frying pan. I would like to try it and need to know if I should greese the pan first? Thanks, Jim

  • Patty

    This cake was great!!! I choose this particular recipe because of the large amount of butter and the added sour cream. Thank you for a GREAT recipe. Instead of the almonds I did 1/2t vanilla and 1/4t almond extract it was wonderful thanks again.

  • Rickie


    what a great recipe, I just want to mention that the cake was done 20, 25 minutes sooner than recommended. I checked it at 50 minutes and it was done, maybe five minutes over done. Just in case, I recommend folks start checking at 45 minutes, because a 30 minute descrepancy, if you weren’t checking, would be too much. Also,
    I did not have any sour cream so I used vanilla yogart and mayonaise, a pretty similar effect I think. It’s fantastic.

    Thank you for posting this.

  • pat

    I used a 10 in cake pan and still had batter left over..what did I do wrong…

  • Vivian

    I got a 10″ cake pan at a bake shop that also sells pans and decorations.

  • Janice

    This Cake was great. I couldn’t find a 10″ cake pan so I made it in a 10″ spring pan. I placed foil inside the pan to make sure nothing leaked out and placed it on top of a pizza pan. This worked great.

  • Lisa

    Wow this cake is REALLY good. A good pinapple upsidedown cake is moist and dense like this one (and so pretty!). I served this for a dinner party the other day and everyone loved it. However, we had a leftover slice the next morning and I thought it was even better the next day. So a couple things:
    • I will make it a day ahead next time to let the gooey top soak in a little more.
    • I accidently left the almond flour out and it was still fantastic for all those who were wondering (I popped the cake in the oven, dusted my hands off and turned to see the unopened bag of almond flour on the counter… oops.) I plan to include it next time though.
    • I put halved pecans in all the open spots and it was a really good taste/texture addition

    Thanks for the recipe Elise, I looove this site!!

  • G.

    I made your pineapple upside down cake, without the almonds and it was delicious. It came out looking just as pretty as your picture. It didn’t last a day.

  • Mackenzie

    I love pineapple upside down cake but this one was the best so far.

  • Caroline

    Hi Elise. I have been impressing my friends with your recipes ever since I discovered your site.

    I was wondering about storing something like this cake. Would you want to keep it in the fridge or in Tupperware on the counter?

    We eat it up so quickly (in about a day) it just sits on the counter, covered with Saran wrap. ~Elise

  • house wren

    I always bake my pineapple upside down cake in a cast iron skillet. Saves a pot, since you can prepare the caramel topping right in the skillet to start with. I also used to put maraschino cherries in the holes of the pineapple rings. (I like the walnut idea, even better!)

    Thanks for bringing this traditional recipe back to life!

  • Staximo

    My mother did this cake on sunday morning… on sunday evening there was only a slice left for me beacuse I was on holiday!!! :o)

    Suggestion: if you put walnuts in the hole of the pineapple slices you’ll get a great taste!


  • red howler

    Does it work without the almonds or is there a substitute for the nuts? I have a SERIOUS allergy but LOVE pineapple upside down cake. I’ll probably give it a try anyway but would love suggestions.

    You can make the cake without the ground almonds. ~Elise

  • Somia

    I have made this twice and both times to rave reviews. It is my favorite non-chocolate dessert! To Beth who posted re: where to find 10″ pans – I went to Michaels (an arts and crafts store). AC Moore would have it too. It was in the baking/cake decorating aisle. I used my 10″ springform pan the first time I baked it – a bit messy but if you put aluminum foil beneath the pan and place it on a baking tray, it is doable. The 10″ pan works best.

  • bentley

    British/American Translations for Flour:

    Cake & pastry flour = soft flour.
    All-purpose flour = plain flour.
    Bread flour = strong flour, hard flour.
    Self-rising flour = self-raising flour (this is another one we believe we could have figured out without the help of this indispensable online dictionary!)
    Whole-wheat flour = wholemeal flour.

  • Beth

    This cake is fabulous! It’s been years since I had a pineapple upside down cake, this was the first one I made, and it was the best! I went to 4 stores and could not find a 10″ cake pan, so I did have alot of leftover batter. Any suggestions on where to find the pan would be appreciated. Love this web site!

  • Lee

    Hi Elise. Thanks so much for this terrific recipe. I have been reading your blog for a few months and tagged so many of your recipes to try and this is the first I’ve got to. I made it wednesday night for a coworker’s birthday (he loves pinapple). When it came out of the baking tin looking just like your pic I was stunned and elated! Thursday morning I had so many compliments just on how the cake looked I was starting to worry if it could possibly live up to the look with the taste and it really did. It was fantastic. Not too dense (which I was worried about). Just the right sweetness.. Just really delicious in every way. I got so many compliments and was thrilled with myself all day. I am more of a cookie baker than a cake baker – this is easily the best cake I’ve made ever and I can tell I will be making it again for years and years. I am keen to try some different toppings other than pineapple as well, I think I might use tinned apricots the next time. Thanks so much!

    Re the butter stuff, I am in australia and have always been under the impression that a stick of butter was 125g.. That was the measure I used for this recipe and it worked out great. The other thing to be aware of for aussies giving this a go (ooh and I encourage it) is that the tablespoon measures are 15ml rather than the 20ml we use, so were 6 tablespoons are called for you only need 4.5.

    Thanks again Elise! What a recipe! Thank your dad for me too :)

  • Pattie

    This cake is so pretty! It was a little more dense then I thought it would be, but it was still sooooooo yummy. I used fresh pineapple and toasted fresh coconut to put on top once it was baked. It was a big hit at the office for my coworkers birthday.

  • Pattie

    Do you think I can make this wonderful looking cake with crushed pineapple & coconut?

    Why don’t you try it and see? Let us know how it turns out. ~Elise

  • Ed

    Thanks Elise!
    I made the cake. My first cake EVER. It came out wonderfully. Delicious cake!