Pineapple upside down cake is a classic cake recipe that all bakers should have in their back pocket. It’s the perfect summer cake because it’s simple to make and has a tropical taste that’s irresistible.
I’ve toyed with this recipe to give you the best texture a pineapple upside down cake can have. You’re going to love it!
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Equipment Needed To Make Pineapple Upside Down Cake
This recipe requires some very specific equipment because there are some very specific steps you need to take. Here’s what you’ll need for this pineapple upside down cake:
You need a stand mixer for a couple reasons. First, you need to whip your egg whites into peaks, and second, you need to mix up the rest of your ingredients for the batter.
I like using a stand mixer because it comes with separate attachments. It has a balloon whisk attachment that is perfect for whipping egg whites, and it has a paddle attachment that makes mixing up a batter very easy. If you do not have a stand mixer, you can use a hand mixer.
Hand mixers also come with paddle and balloon whisk attachments, though they are a little bit smaller. Still, they get the job done, and some people actually prefer to use a hand mixer over stand mixer because they feel it gives them a little bit more control. Use whichever piece of equipment you have or prefer.
You’ll also need a rubber spatula for the egg whites, but not to whip them. You’ll need it to fold them in, which is a type of mixing that we will get to in just a moment. But a rubber spatula is going to be the best tool to do this with.
You need a cast iron skillet for baking the cake. Cast iron skillets are great because they conduct heat well and evenly, and they give a delicious flavor.
I love baking my crushed pineapple upside down cake in a cast iron skillet, but if you don’t have one, you can bake it in a regular cake pan, as well. Just make sure your cake pan is round to give the classic look of an upside down cake.
Ingredients Needed To Make Pineapple Upside Down Cake
- Pineapple juice - You need pineapple juice for your cake batter. Adding pineapple juice gives the batter moisture and its delicious pineapple taste, giving a fruity flavor throughout the entire bite. You do not have to buy pineapple juice separately - just use what you strain from the cans of pineapple you use. Pineapple juice is pretty potent, so you don’t need much, making the amount that you will strain from your cans of pineapples perfect for your batter.
- Pineapple slices - You can use fresh pineapple slices if you’d like, but it is just as easy to use pineapple slices from a can. And you need the pineapple juice, so it’s much simpler to just use a can.
- Crushed pineapple - Again, just use crushed pineapple from a can. It’s way easier to buy crushed pineapple than to crush it yourself, and then you know you have the right amount of juice. Plus, the pineapple you buy in a can is always good, where it might not be if you buy a whole pineapple.
- Maraschino cherries - Maraschino cherries are an important part of the recipe because they complete the topping. They are super sweet and flavorful and have a beautiful red color. You can buy maraschino cherries at the store, but you can also make your own. I like to buy them from the store because it’s simpler and I like to have them around the house for cocktails and other recipes, but if you have a homemade version you’d like to use, go ahead.
Special Skills Needed For Pineapple Upside Down Cake
To properly bake this cake, you’ll need to become skilled at whipping egg whites and folding them in. These two skills can be kind of intimidating if you’ve never done them before, so here are some tips to make them a little less daunting and totally manageable.
Whipping egg whites is an important baking skill that gives your dish a lot of fluffy texture. Whipped egg whites may be used for a meringue or a topping, and other times you combine them into a batter like we’re doing in this recipe.
The first step is to separate the whites from the yolks. This can be done a couple different ways, but one of the easiest is to just crack your egg and use the shells to separate the whites from the yolks.
Pour the yolk into one half of the cracked egg shell and continue going back and forth until you’ve separated the white from the yolk. Let the whites fall into whatever bowl you’re going to use and catch the yolk in the shell.
For this recipe we are saving the yolks, so you already have something to do with them, but if the recipe does not call for egg yolks, don’t discard them as they can be used for other recipes, too.
Once you’ve separated your egg whites from your egg yolks, it’s time to whip the whites. The key to whipping is speed and time.
You want to go fast enough that the whites get whipped, but not so fast that they get over beaten. The same goes for the amount of time. You want to whip them long enough so that they get the stiffness you want, but you don’t want to beat them for too long so that the texture is ruined.
For stiff peaks you want to mix on medium speed until the peaks are soft, then on high speed until they are stiff. You can test their stiffness by pulling the whisk out of the whites and creating peaks. If the peaks stand straight up in the bowl and on the whisk, they are stiff. If they fall at all, they are not stiff enough for this recipe.
Folding is just a way to combine ingredients. Rather than stirring them, we fold to keep the texture intact as much as possible.
The trick to folding is to be gentle and to rotate your bowl. Put your whipped egg whites on top of your batter, and using a rubber spatula, get underneath the batter and pull a ribbon of batter up and over the egg whites.
Rotate your bowl and continue that process until you do not have any white streaks. This means that the egg whites are fully combined into the batter.
Make sure that you are gentle and do not cut into the egg whites. Again, simply pull the batter up and over the egg whites to combine them.
How to Make this Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe
- Start by whipping your egg whites. Whip on medium until you have soft peaks, then on high until you have stiff peaks. Then set aside.
- Use your stand mixer again to mix up your batter. You’ll combine flour, baking powder, salt, butter, egg yolks, vanilla, sugar, pineapple juice, and milk.
- Mix for two minutes on medium speed. The batter will be lumpy.
- Now fold in your whipped egg whites into the batter. Combine it well enough so that no white streaks are seen, but do not over mix.
- Next pour melted butter into your cast iron skillet and sprinkle brown sugar. Then line the skillet with pineapple slices and add a maraschino cherry in the center of each slice.
- Top the pineapple bottom with crushed pineapples and spread them evenly over the top. Then add your cake better.
- Bake the cake at 350° F for 30 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
What to Serve with Your Cake
- Ice cream - Pineapple upside down cake tastes amazing with a hefty scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. You can choose your favorite ice cream, but I love vanilla as a simple, rich complement to the fruity and fluffy taste and texture of crushed pineapple upside down cake.
- Caramel sauce - Caramel sauce is the perfect topping for pineapple upside down cake. It gives the cake a lovely sweetness that is similar to the caramelized bottom, but not too much of a distraction that it takes away from the cake. It moistens the cake even further and makes for a delicious bite you’ll want to drown in.
- Cakes - I love to make this cake to serve alongside other cakes for guests or on special occasions. It’s fun to try other upside down cake recipes, or just serve it next to some of my other cake favorites.
- Fruit - I also love to eat this tasty dessert with more fruit. It is fun to toss on some more crushed pineapples or just top it with a few more maraschino cherries. Either way, it makes for an even sweeter dessert that isn’t too rich.
- Mixed drinks - There are lots of different mixed drinks that taste great with pineapple upside down cake, like a pineapple Mojito or just a mix of pineapple juice and Malibu rum.
Variations Of Pineapple Upside Down Cake
The biggest variations to this recipe are the fruit. In a classic pineapple upside down cake recipe, you obviously use pineapple and maraschino cherries, but there are other upside down cakes that can be made, too, such as cherry upside down cake, strawberry upside down cake, or even caramel apple upside down cake.
There are lots of recipes that are specific to these types of cakes, but you could easily just swap the fruits in the topping and the fruit juice in the batter to make different upside down cakes that suit your flavor profile.
Make sure you wait until your pineapple upside down cake has cooled enough before flipping it over. If you do not wait, you will ruin the look of your cake.
When you bake pineapple upside down cake in a cast iron skillet, it should flip out more easily, but you still want to wait until it is partially cooled so that you get the best looking cake. Wait at least 10 minutes before flipping it. Do not wait too long, though, because the caramel could stick to the pan, and that would also ruin the topping.
What’s the best way to store this recipe?
I suggest storing this recipe in an airtight container on your countertop. You could put it in the refrigerator, but it won’t really extend its shelf life and could potentially dry it out. If you keep it in a dry, cool place on your counter, it should stay good for up to five days.
Can this Recipe be Scaled?
No, this recipe shouldn’t be scaled. Just make it according to the ingredients and amounts listed. If you do want to make another cake, you can easily whip up a second one and bake it after your first one is finished.
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Let me know what you think!
Don’t forget to come back once you’ve made this recipe and let me know your thoughts!
Easy Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 40
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
12 tbs unsalted butter – room temp
¼ cup pineapple juice (use juice from canned pineapples)
1 ¼ cup whole milk
2 cups sugar
2 eggs – separated
1 tbs baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
1 20 ounce can pineapple slices – drained
1 20 ounce can pineapple crushed - drained
1 ⅓ cups brown sugar
½ stick butter – melted
1. In a stand mixer, whip egg whites until stiff peaks. Set aside.
2. In a stand mixer, add flour, baking powder, salt, butter, egg yolks, vanilla, sugar, pineapple juice, and milk. Mix for two minutes on medium speed. Mix will be lumpy.
3. Fold in whipped egg whites into batter until combined and no white streaks can be seen.
4. In a cast iron skillet, add melted butter. Sprinkle brown sugar over the melted butter.
5. Add pineapple slices and put a maraschino cherry in the center of each slice.
6. Add crushed pineapples and spread evenly
7. Pour cake batter over pineapples
8. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean
Keywords: easy pineapple upside down cake