Desserts · Recipies

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

This is one of my go-to cakes for having last minute guests over.  It is low on time commitment and has a high wow-factor.  It’s also delicious!  If you’re in the mood for something sweet and showy, Pineapple-Upside-Down cake is what you need.



  • One box of yellow cake mix (any will do)
  • 3 eggs – for cake mix
  • milk – for cake mix
  • oil/butter – for cake mix
  • 4 Tbsp butter (1/2 a stick)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large can of pineapple slices
  • 1 jar maraschino cherries (no stems)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans;


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Find a large cake pan, no need to grease it.  For this batch, I used a large glass pie plate and six or so muffin tins – just to show how you can do both.

While your oven is preheating, put your half a stick of butter and the brown sugar into your pan.  Put the pan into the oven for about 10 minutes to melt the butter.  It can get a little browned if you like, but don’t let it burn.  While this is happening, open up and drain your cherries and pineapple.  Save the juice for cocktails later 🙂


Once the butter is melted in your baking pan, pull it out of the oven and give it a quick stir so the butter and sugar are equally distributed.  Then start arranging the pineapple and cherries in a lovely symmetrical and geometric pattern.  Any will do, just try to full up the entire bottom with pretty little yummies.  I use chopped pecans to fill in any un-fruited areas.  They also give the cake a little texture.  If you do use muffin tins instead of one big pan, just cut the pineapples into thirds, or use chunks instead. Set aside.

I usually use my home made “boozy cherries”, but had a jar of the red ones on hand. The two darker ones in the lower left hand corner are my boozies…

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Make up the cake mix per the directions on the box.  I used a gluten-free yellow cake mix because I planned to share with my GF mom, but any will do.  The boxed pound cake mixes are also good for this.  When I make cake mixes (which happens with alarming frequency these days!) I also add one more egg than is called for, and whole milk instead of the typically prescribed water.  Makes the cake a little denser and more flavorful in my humble opinion…

Once you have the batter prepared, pour it over the fruit in your baking pan.  Make sure the batter covers all the fruit and goes all the way around the edges.  The butter will probably make a little moat at the edges, that’s good.  Don’t sweat it.


The only risk here is that sometimes the boxed mixed yield more batter than will fit in one pan.  Pour slowly.  Once you have filled the pan 2/3 full, stop.  Quickly find another, small dish… grease it, and pour the remaining batter in there.  Cupcake tins/papers work well for this.  It isn’t always necessary, but be prepared.  Bake it at the recommended temperature for the time recommended on the mix box.


Check that the cake is fully baked by inserting a toothpick in the center or just poking at it in the middle (if it is soft or jiggles in any way, give it another 5 minutes).  Take it out and let it rest for five minutes.  The butter will have prevented your cake from sticking to the edges of the pan… probably, but if not, run a butter knife around the outside to loosen it.  WHILE IT’S STILL HOT, turn the cake out onto a plate.  Use mits or something that will cover your hands, cause sometimes molten butter./sugar will drip out and burn the crap out of your fingers.  If it is too cooled, some fruit will stick to the bottom.  That may happen anyway, just pick it out, flip it over, and stuff it back into the top of the cake.


That’s it!  Serve warm or cold.  Great with a little ice cream.  Awesome breakfast. Lovely to display during dinner when you have guests.  Or even better, at brunch or tea time (coffee table, in my house).

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