Hands holding a Pineapple Upside Down Cake on a serving plate
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
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Prep: 30 min
Bake: 50 min
Yield: 1 (9-inch) cake
The Pineapple Upside Down Cake was originally a "skillet cake." Fruit and syrup were arranged in the bottom of a cast-iron skillet, topped with cake batter, and cooked on the stovetop. This homespun cake is a sweet slice of Americana that is making a comeback.


  • 1 ripe pineapple
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup rum


  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 6 pineapple rings (as prepared from pineapple, above)
  • 12 maraschino cherries, stems removed


  • 1 1/2 cup Swans Down® Cake Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  1. PREPARE PINEAPPLE: Remove rind from pineapple and slice into 6 (1/2-inch thick) rounds. Place a 3-inch round cookie cutter over each round to trim off outer edges; reserve the trimmed pieces. Place a 1-inch round cookie cutter on the center of each round and cut out the core, creating 6 pineapple rings; set rings aside. Dice remaining pineapple and trimmed pieces and place in a medium saucepan with granulated sugar and rum; heat over medium-high heat, reducing until liquid is the consistency of syrup. Remove from heat and strain diced pineapple from syrup, reserving both pineapple syrup and diced pineapple in separate containers; set both aside.
  2. MAKE TOPPING: Grease a 9-inch round cake pan with pan spray. Melt butter over medium heat, add brown sugar and cook and stir until it starts to bubble. Pour into prepared pan, spread out evenly and top with the 6 pineapple rings. Place cherries in the center of and between pineapple rings. Set aside.
  3. MAKE CAKE: Preheat oven to 350℉. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and mix until combined. Add flour mixture intermittently with buttermilk, starting and ending with flour mixture. Fold reserved diced pineapple into batter. Pour batter evenly into pan to cover pineapple rings and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Remove from oven and brush top of cake with reserved pineapple syrup. Run a knife around sides of cake and cool for 10 minutes in pan. Place a plate or serving platter over cake, bottom side up. Carefully flip the plate and cake over so the cake is sitting on the plate.
  • Eve Alters says:

    Why doesn’t y butter and sugar come out fluffy?

  • Eve Alters says:

    Can u use a 9×13 pan. ? What would u need to give more upside down cake. Can u use the juice instead of the buttermilk?

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Eve, To use a 9×13 pan you will likely have to double the recipe. We would not recommend using the pineapple juice in place of the buttermilk. Th buttermilk along with the baking powder is what will make the cake rise. Happy baking!

  • kenoeight says:

    I used Malibu, it’s all I had. Very nice!

  • Valerie says:

    Does this cake need to be refrigerated? I would like to make it for a bake sale and don’t want it to become mushy or lose quality. Thanks!

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Valerie, To maintain the quality and avoid spoilage we recommend the Pineapple Upside-down Cake be kept at room temperature and be refrigerated within 24 hours of baking. If your bake sales is outdoors and the weather is warm you may want to consider trying keeping it cool while on display. Happy baking!

  • Linda says:

    Brings back memories of making this cake with my grandmother. Easily one of my all time favorite cakes. I’ve tried, over and over to make it and have come close, but, not quite. I have been using AP flour all along – and milk. Forgot my grandmother DID use Swans Down!! And buttermilk. Going to try this real soon!

  • Sleepyshi says:

    Do you have to use butter milk

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Sleepy Shi, If you don’t have buttermilk but you have lemon juice, vinegar or cream of tarter and whole milk you can make your. Simply add 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar plus enough milk to make 1/2 cup. Let stand 5 minutes before using. Or combine 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar to 1/2 cup whole milk. Happy baking!

  • Winona says:

    White or Dark Rum?

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Winona, Both will work equally well. You can use which ever one you prefer the flavor of, or have on hand. Happy baking!

  • Timothy Lovejoy says:

    This recipe makes me want more thanks in Indiana

  • Tierra Wade says:

    Do we have to use the rum? Does that make a difference in the cake if I don’t use it?

  • Evelyn houston says:

    Can you use canned pineapple in this recipe? If so juice or syrup and what size.

  • Gail Fileccia says:

    Can canned crushed pineapple be substituted in this recipe?

    • Swans Down says:

      Hi Gail, Yes you can use canned crushed pineapple. Be sure to drain and press as much liquid out of the pineapple as you can. Happy Baking!

  • Ginger says:

    Looks good

  • Gloria Gloria Edge says:

    Would love to have more recipes!

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