Desserts / Recipes

Pineapple Cake Recipe

This stunning Pineapple Cake Recipe is my take on a classic! A sturdy and decadent vanilla cake rests on sweet, juicy rings of pineapple studded with Maraschino cherries. Serve this tender, fruity cake plain or topped with whipped cream.

A round cake topped with pineapple rings and maraschino cherries.

There’s something truly special and nostalgic about a pineapple upside-down cake. It’s a timeless favorite for good reason! It features juicy pineapple rings nestled in a luscious, buttery brown sugar topping that caramelizes to perfection as it bakes, creating a deliciously gooey layer on top of the cake. And let’s not forget the cake itself – moist, tender, and flavorful, thanks to the tried-and-true duo of sour cream and buttermilk in the batter. Trust me, you’re in for a treat with this pineapple cake rendition!

Why You’ll Love This Pineapple Cake Recipe

  • Easy. I love that you don’t need to haul out the mixer to make this cake! A whisk and a wooden spoon are all you need to quickly put together the batter.
  • Familiar flavors. You’ll find the familiar and welcome flavors of the pineapple upside down you know and love in this pineapple cake recipe.
  • Keeps well. The longer this cake rests in the fridge, the better! You can certainly eat it the day it’s made – warm cake is one of my favorite things in the world – but if it rests for a bit, the flavors will deepen, making it even more memorable.

What You’ll Need

From the sweet pineapple rings to the creamy sour cream and juicy maraschino cherries, every ingredient in this cake recipe adds its needed touch. The result is a pineapple cake that is bursting with flavors and guaranteed to impress.

For the Topping

  • Butter: I use unsalted butter so that it doesn’t affect the sweetness of the cake.
  • Brown Sugar: You can use light or dark brown sugar.
  • Pineapple: Pick up a can of pineapple rings in pineapple juice.
  • Maraschino Cherries

For the Cake

  • All-purpose Flour
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt: I use Kosher salt in this recipe.
  • Vegetable Oil: Or you can use another neutral-flavored oil.
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup of milk, let it stand for 5 minutes, then portion out what you need to make the recipe.
  • Sour Cream: Use full-fat sour cream for richness.
  • Pineapple Juice: Reserve the juice from the can of pineapple rings to use in the cake.
  • Vanilla: Use pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste.
  • Eggs: Large eggs are best!
Slice of pineapple upside down cake served on a plate with a fork next to it.

How To Make Pineapple Cake

I’ve outlined how to make this pretty pineapple cake below. Follow my simple steps to create your own slice of this sweet, juicy, and delicious cake.

  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Prep the cake pan: Pour the melted butter into a 9-inch round cake pan and sprinkle over the brown sugar.
  3. Arrange the pineapples: Add the pineapple rings on top of the brown sugar.
  4. Add the cherries: Place a maraschino cherry in the middle of each pineapple ring.
  5. Combine the dry ingredients: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  6. Whisk the wet ingredients: Whisk together the vegetable oil and white sugar. Mix in the eggs using a whisk or electric mixer. Stir in the buttermilk, sour cream, pineapple juice, and vanilla extract.
  7. Combine: Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
  8. Assemble: Pour the batter over the pineapple layer in the cake pan.
  9. Bake: Now bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with a few crumbs.
  10. Cool: Let the cake cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn it out onto a serving plate and let it cool completely before cutting and serving.
Pineapple Cake topped with pineapple rings and maraschino cherries, with a cake served pulling out a slice.

Tips for Success

Follow my tips below to make this gorgeous pineapple cake!

  • Bring the ingredients to room temperature. For a beautifully textured cake, bring the eggs, buttermilk, and sour cream to room temperature before making the batter so that they will better incorporate.
  • Use parchment paper. To help the cake come out easily from the pan, line the cake pan with a circle of parchment paper. Then, add the brown sugar mixture and fruit and continue with the recipe.
  • Flip the cake carefully. Make sure to let the cake cool a bit in the pan, then run a knife around its edges so that it comes out more easily. Gently turn the pan over so you don’t risk breaking the cake.
  • Don’t overmix. Be sure not to overwork the batter – mixing it too much can cause the cake to become rubbery or tough. Once you’ve created a smooth batter without any streaks of flour, stop whisking.
  • Make it ahead. You can bake this pineapple cake a few days before serving it. Store the cake, covered, in the fridge. The flavors will develop the longer it rests. Bring the cake to room temperature before serving.
Slice of pineapple cake served on a dessert plate, with a fork next to it holding a bite of cake.

Proper Storage

  • Fridge – Stick a few toothpicks on the top of the pineapple cake, then cover it with plastic wrap or foil (the toothpicks will help prevent the covering from sticking to the top of the cake). Store the cake in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can serve the cake cold or at room temperature.
  • Freezer – Refrigerate the cake so that it firms up a bit, then cover it in a layer of plastic wrap, then foil. Store the cake in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw the cake in the fridge before serving it.

More Cake Recipes To Try

Pineapple Cake Recipe

This delicious Pineapple Cake recipe puts a twist on the classic favorite, featuring a tender vanilla cake topped with pineapple rings and Maraschino cherries.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Cooling Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour 40 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pineapple cake, pineapple cake recipe
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 301kcal


For the Topping:

For the batter:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice, I use the juice from the canned pineapple rings
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Pour the melted butter into the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the butter.
  • Arrange the pineapple rings on top of the brown sugar mixture in the cake pan. Place maraschino cherries in the middle of each pineapple ring, and fill in any gaps with additional cherries if desired. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil and white sugar until smooth. Add the eggs to the mixture, one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Stir in the buttermilk, sour cream, pineapple juice, and vanilla extract, and whisk until well combined.
  • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.
  • Pour the batter over the pineapple and cherry layer in the cake pan, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes.
  • Carefully invert the cake onto the serving plate by firmly holding both the pan and the plate. Gently remove the cake pan.
  • Allow the cake to cool completely before serving.
  • Slice and serve this delicious Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, and enjoy!


Serving: 1Slice | Calories: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 175mg | Potassium: 132mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 330IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 1mg

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