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Pineapple Upside Down Cake

This light and fluffy Pineapple Upside Down Cake is a definite showstopper. Between this cake's gorgeous caramelized brown sugar and pineapple cherry topping to its mouthwatering flavor, this cake is a must-bake.

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And this is one of those cakes that looks so fancy, giving the impression you spent hours in the kitchen baking. However, this cake is so simple and easy to assemble with our recipe guide and picture collage. With our gluten free and dairy free recipe, you can enjoy slices of this classic cake with wonderful pineapple flavor.

A round yellow brown cake with half pineapple slices around the the sides and a red Cherrie in the middle in the middle of the curved pineapple slice.

If you have not tried this cake recipe before, you definitely want to give it a try. Chances are good this might become one of your favorite cakes.

While baking, the pineapple juice combines with the buttery brown sugar to form a delicious and beautiful caramelized sauce to the cake.

And to be honest-- there is something so magical about flipping the cake upside down after it has baked to reveal that caramelized brown sugar sauce and gorgeous pineapple rings with red cherries.

Then you can slice it and serve it warm as is or top each slice with dairy free whipped topping. You will want to savor every bite either way.

You will be so excited you baked this cake to share for the holidays, as an after dinner dessert, or to celebrate a loved one. It only takes about 15 minutes to prep this cake and get it into the oven, leaving you plenty of time for other tasks.

pineapple upside down cake ingredients

  • dairy free butter-- we use Earth Balance Buttery sticks
  • brown sugar-- packed
  • pineapple rings in pineapple juice
  • maraschino cherries
  • gluten free all-purpose flour-- spoon and level method; our go-to is Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Mix. We purchase it in bulk here to save money.
  • xanthan gum-- omit this from the recipe if your gluten free all-purpose flour contains this or guar gum
  • baking powder-- keep in mind this loses its potency after its been opened for more than 6 months. We suggest labeling the date you open it on the package so you are always using fresh baking powder.
  • kosher salt
  • granulated sugar
  • large eggs
  • nonstick spray
  • optional-- whipped topping such as So Delicious Coco Whip
A 4 picture collage. In the first picture an angled spatula is spreading a thick brown mixture in the bottom of a 9-inch round baking pan. In the second picture fingers are arranging half slices of thin round pineapple around the pan. In the 3rd picture a cherry has been placed inside the semicircle of the pineapple ring. In the last picture the cake batter is evenly spread inside the cake pan.
Yellow cake batter is being poured over cherries, pineapple slices, and the brown sugar mixture.

kitchen gadgets for this recipe

  • 9-inch round cake pan-- we use these pans often for our homemade cakes
  • medium size saucepan
  • stand mixer or handheld mixer
  • mixing bowls
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • angled spatula-- this is one of the most used gadgets in our kitchen for prepping dinner and desserts
  • round cake plate

frequently asked questions

can we use fresh pineapple instead of canned

Yes, you can use fresh pineapple slices instead of canned. Consider canned pineapple is sweeter and it easily provides the pineapple juice this recipe calls for. The pineapple juice adds much bonus pineapple flavor to the cake; however, water can be substituted.

should we serve this cake with anything else

While this stunning cake tastes absolutely mouthwatering all on its own, you can take it to another level by topping each slice with dairy free whipped topping.

how do you flip this cake pan when it is hot

Pineapple upside down cakes turn out best when unmolded from their pan while still warm; otherwise they tend to stick. Our rule of thumb is to remove it from the cake pan after the cake has cooled for 10 minutes. To remove, run a sharp thin-bladed knife around the cake's edges. Place your cake plate over the cake and invert the cake onto the plate to cool completely.

what is the spoon and level method

You never want to scoop the flour out of the flour container with a measuring cup. This will add more flour to your recipe than it calls for-- up to 25% more flour. And this can quickly change the outcome of your recipe. Instead use the spoon and level method. Using a spoon, scoop the flour into the measuring cup. Be careful not to pack the flour down and not to tap the measuring cup as both cause the flour to settle in the cup. After you have spooned the flour into the measuring cup, use the back of a knife to level off the top of the measuring cup.

can this cake be baked ahead of time

This Pineapple Upside Down Cake tastes best the day it is baked. Leftovers the following day still have wonderful flavor, but for the out-of-this-world-wow factor with the look and taste of this cake, we recommend baking this the day of serving.

does pineapple upside down cake need to be refrigerated

Yes, cover and refrigerate leftover cake.

A round yellow brown cake with half pineapple slices around the the sides and a red Cherrie in the middle in the middle of the curved pineapple slice. The cake has a slice cut out of it and a serving spatula is removing the slice.

more must-try recipes

  • fudgy brownies-- this recipe will give you crispy edges, fudgy middles, and a deep rich chocolate flavor. You won't need to buy a box mix ever again.
  • chewy chocolate chip cookies-- these taste perfectly buttery, chewy, and are loaded with melty semisweet chocolate chips. Enjoy these with a warm glass of dairy free milk for all the cozy good feels
  • brownie and fruit trifle-- made with layers of our delicious homemade fudgy brownies, creamy Cocowhip, and fresh berries
  • lemon streusel bars-- creamy and tangy lemon filling is sandwiched between a sweet crumble streusel that tastes wonderful together
A round yellow brown cake with half pineapple slices around the the sides and a red Cherrie in the middle in the middle of the curved pineapple slice. There is a white dessert plate with 2 slices of cake on it with white whipped topping and cherries near a fork.


Pineapple Upside Down Cake is a beautifully moist cake with wonderful pineapple flavor and a top layer of caramelized brown sugar pineapple slices and bright red cherries. And it is so simple and easy to prepare.

You will find more delicious dessert, dinner, and breakfast recipes on our website, including special occasions and holidays. And you can purchase and download our cookbook, The Classics, to make mealtime easy.

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Happy Baking!

Eat well and feel well,


A round yellow brown cake with half pineapple slices around the the sides and a red Cherrie in the middle in the middle of the curved pineapple slice.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

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Course: cake, Dessert
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 42 minutes
Total Time: 57 minutes
Servings: 10 slices


Caramelized Topping

  • nonstick spray
  • 4 tablespoon dairy free butter
  • ½ c brown sugar packed
  • 8 ounce can pineapple rings in pineapple juice
  • maraschino cherries

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

  • c gluten free all-purpose flour spoon and level method
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum omit if your gf all-purpose flour contains this or guar gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoon dairy free butter room temperature 20 minutes
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • ½ c pineapple juice drained from the pineapple can
  • optional-- dairy free whipped topping


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F, coat a 9-inch round baking pan with nonstick spray; set aside.
  • In a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and sugar, stirring frequently, until the mixture is bubbly.
  • Then pour the caramelized sauce into the bottom of the cake pan and spread evenly with an angled spatula.
  • Then remove ½ cup of pineapple juice from the can and set aside for the cake. Place the pineapple either as a whole rings around the cake pan or cut each ring in half as pictured.
  • Decoratively place the maraschino cherries in the center of the pineapple rings or to one side of half a slice; set the cake pan aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  • In a large bowl of a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer, beat the sugar and butter until well combined. This will take 3-5 minutes. Add in the eggs and combine for about 1 minute.
  • Now alternate adding ½ the flour mixture and ½ the pineapple juice. Combine well in between each mixture. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Then add in the last of the flour mixture and pineapple juice until combined.
  • Pour the cake batter over the pineapple and cherry mixture. Gently, with an angled spatula, spread the mixture evenly over the glazed ingredients.
  • Bake the cake for 42-45 minutes, until the center of the cake is slightly golden brown and the brown sugar sauce slightly bubbles on the sides in places.
  • IMPORTANT STEP-- Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes; then use a knife to carefully cut around the edges of the cake. If you wait longer, the caramelized sauce will stick to the cake pan.
  • Place your cake plate over the top of the cake pan and flip both the pan and the plate so the pineapple slices and cherries are now the top of the cake on the cake plate. Slowly lift the cake pan off the cake.
  • Allow to cool for 15-20 more minutes and serve.
  • Optional topping-- you can serve this with dollops of dairy free whipped topping.
  • Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.

Nutritional Disclaimer

These Nutritional Facts are ESTIMATED. Your actual nutritional info with this recipe may vary depending on the brands you choose. “Eating Gluten and Dairy Free” is not a registered dietician or nutritionist. The provided nutritional info above is based on a generic calculator, if you want more accurate info, use your nutritional calculator of choice where you can choose brands and get more info that way.

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