Pineapple Upside Down Cake - The Southern Lady Cooks

Pineapple upside down cake is an old fashioned classic that has been around as long as I can remember. My mother made this cake for every picnic, potluck or gathering and it was always a hit.  This cake is wonderful served with coffee.  You can always add ice cream or whipped cream but my family likes it just plain.  You might also like to check out our recipe for blueberry crisp.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Made From Scratch

This one is made from scratch and it’s simple and delicious! The ingredients are not complicated either and this is a great cake to enjoy with friends and family.

  • Butter
  • Brown Sugar
  • 20 ounce can of pineapple rings in pineapple juice
  • All purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • White Granulated Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Evaporated Milk or Regular Milk (see more about this below)
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Maraschino Cherries

This pineapple upside down cake is made in a 10 inch iron skillet but you could make it in a 9×13 baking dish. My mother always made this cake in an iron skillet and we have definitely kept that tradition going.  A 9X13 dish works fine too! If you have any pineapple juice left over, it is great poured over cake slices when served.

We make this cake from scratch

Every time I post this recipe many people say to just use a cake mix, but honestly we feel it’s much better made from scratch. Don’t get me wrong we have many cakes made with cake mixes but this one we love from scratch. It’s not a hard cake to make and one your family will love.

If you feel like your pineapple rings are really wet, then blot them dry with a paper towel before adding them to the skillet or dish. Same with the cherries, it just takes some of the moisture down.

Did you know? 

The pineapple upside down cake became famous in the 1920’s when Dole Pineapple launched a contest for pineapple recipes. They received over 2500 entries and ran a campaign on this style of cake.

“Okay, every once in a while I try a recipe that, when eating it, I say, “Are you kidding me? Did I actually make this?” Because it tastes like heaven. This is one of those recipes! The texture, flavor, ease of making … It’s the absolutely best! I actually made three more for my neighbors.” -Holly

“Great Recipe, never baked this style of cake before but worked beautifully. I didn’t have any cherries, so I used pecans which were just as good” – Charlotte


Pineapple Upside Down Cake - The Southern Lady Cooks

Ways to use evaporated milk:  You can use evaporated milk in lots of recipes instead of regular milk.  You can also blend 1 part evaporated milk to 1 part water in a recipe or use it without blending. It just makes for a creamier consistency. It is great to have on hand when you run out of regular milk. Once opened and refrigerated you should use it within 3 to 5 days. It is good to use in baked goods, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, soups, puddings and makes a great creamer for coffee or tea.

Many people confuse evaporated milk and condensed milk… they are not the same. Learn about the difference here.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake - The Southern Lady Cooks

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Pineapple Upside Down Cake

The Southern Lady Cooks
This pineapple upside down cake is made in an iron skillet but you could make it in a 9 x 13 baking dish. This cake is wonderful served with coffee.
4.78 from 9 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Cake
Cuisine American, southern
Servings 1 cake


Topping Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter or 1/4 cup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 20 ounce can pineapple rings in pineapple juice, drained (save the juice)

Cake Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons butter or 1/2 cup or 1 stick softened (I use salted butter)
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • Maraschino cherries for decoration


Topping Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10 inch iron skillet generously with cooking spray. Add the butter to the skillet and melt in the preheated oven. Remove skillet, sprinkle in brown sugar and arrange pineapple rings on top. Set aside or on top of stove while you make the cake batter.

Cake Intructions

  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In another bowl using a mixer cream butter, sugar and eggs. Add milk, vanilla and pineapple juice along with creamed butter, sugar and eggs to flour mixture and mix until all ingredients are wet. Spread in skillet over pineapple.
  • Bake in preheated 350 degree oven on middle shelf for 35 to 45 minutes until center tests done. Remove from oven and let cool 10 to 15 minutes. Turn out onto plate or platter. Decorate with cherries. Makes 6 to 8 large servings



If you have any pineapple juice left over, it is great poured over cake slices when served.
Keyword Pineapple Upside Down Cake
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