Easy Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Photo: Chris Court
Prep Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 10 mins

A nostalgic, crowd-pleasing dessert that's actually easy to make if you use our simple recipe. Pineapple upside-down cake is baked in a cast-iron skillet, starting on the stovetop where the caramel topping is made, then adding the pineapple rings and cake batter and transferring to the oven to bake. We skip the sometimes divisive maraschino cherries on top so everyone can enjoy the golden caramelized cake and juicy pineapple.


  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus 3 tablespoons (cut into small pieces) for preparing the top

  • 1 cup sugar, plus ⅔ cup for preparing the top

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ cup milk

  • 7 thin rounds cored pineapple


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

  2. With an electric mixer, cream 6 tablespoons butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with the milk in 2, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix just until combined

  3. In a 10-inch cast-iron (or ovenproof nonstick) skillet over low, add remaining sugar and butter and cook, stirring, until the mixture is a light caramel color. Remove from heat and top with pineapple rounds.

  4. Carefully spoon batter over pineapples in skillet. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

  5. Let cake cool in pan 5 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake, then carefully invert onto a platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cook's Notes

You will need about half of a small pineapple for this recipe. When heated, sugar melts and turns an amber color; this is caramelized sugar. Be sure to stir frequently so that it colors evenly.

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