An upside-down cake such as this Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe Using Cake Mix is made by placing the toppings of the cake (in this case, pineapple rings and maraschino cherries) on the bottom of the cake pan, followed by the cake batter, thus making it an upside down cake!
Once baked, this pineapple upside-down cake in a cast iron skillet is set down with the toppings facing upwards. I loved making this impressive dessert so much that I even made these Pineapple Upside Down Mini Cakes! There are many different types of upside-down cakes circulating online, usually fruity cakes, but you do also get upside-down sweet pies, upside-down cupcakes, upside-down cheesecake, and even upside-down sweet breads!
Pineapple Upside Down Cake is a scrumptious cake that can be enjoyed any time of the year. I particularly love the fact that the pineapples and cherries act as pretty decoration, removing any need for frosting this cheerful treat! If you love pineapple flavor in your desserts, make sure to try Pineapple Angel Food Cake, Pineapple Pound Cake, or Pistachio Pineapple Watergate Salad!
What do I Need for this Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe Using Cake Mix?
- Salted butter – melted
- Packed light brown sugar
- Can of pineapple rings – Canned pineapple slices can also be used.
- Maraschino cherries
- Yellow cake mix – You could also use other cake mixes like a white cake mix for this delicious cake, but I always associate pineapple cake recipes like pineapple dump cake with the color yellow, which is why I recommend a golden yellow cake mix.
- Eggs – Large and at room temperature.
- Vegetable oil
- Pineapple juice – I use the reserved pineapple juice from the can of pineapple slices.
- Sour cream
Enjoy this easy pineapple upside-down cake with whipped cream or ice cream.
You’ll need a bundt pan (or other round pan) or a cast iron skillet, a large bowl for the boxed cake mix batter, and an electric mixer.
Variations and Substitutions:
- This recipe makes enough cake batter for you to make two thinner cakes or 1 cake and 12 mini cakes if you’d prefer.
- Use this recipe to make 12 cupcakes and one 9” round cake which is ideal if you’re catering for a party. You’ll just need one additional 20 oz. can of pineapple rings/slices and additional maraschino cherries.
- Add ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the butter/brown sugar mixture for added flavor.
- Pineapple slices can be used instead of pineapple rings.
- A vanilla cake mix can be used, but for best results, I recommend a box of yellow cake mix for this classic pineapple upside-down cake.
PREP: Preheat the oven, spray the skillet or round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray, and allow the eggs to reach room temperature.
Step 1: Combine the melted butter and sugar and spread them on the bottom of the pan.
Step 2: Arrange the pineapple slices and maraschino cherries in the pan over the melted butter-sugar mixture. Keep the pineapple juice from the can aside for later use in the recipe.
Step 3: Prepare the cake batter by combining the dry cake mix, eggs, oil, sour cream, and pineapple juice. If you don’t have enough juice to make up 1 cup of liquid, then supplement with water.
Step 4: Carefully pour batter over the pineapple slices and maraschino cherries in the prepared pan.
Step 5: Bake the cake for about 30 minutes. There should be visual caramelization developed on the pineapple slices, which can be seen along the side of the pan.
Step 6: Cool the cake for a few minutes before turning the pan over onto a large serving plate or cake stand.
SLICE: Slice and serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
- To help avoid a soggy cake, blot the pineapple slices and cherries before you place them down on the bottom of your cake pan. This will eliminate any excess liquid that you don’t need.
- If you’re worried about your cake sticking, you can place some parchment paper down onto the cake pan prior to adding the topping and cake batter.
- Be gentle when pouring the cake batter on top of the pineapple and cherries – you don’t want your carefully laid fruit to move out of place by just dumping the cake batter into the cake pan.
Believe it or not, but Pineapple Upside Down Cake actually dates back a few hundred years! This cake was originally made in cast iron skillets over fires by lining the skillets first with pineapple and then pouring batter over it. Once cooked and flipped, these cakes boasted caramelized fruit on top and a cake that was infused with natural fruity juices.
Once the Hawaiian Pineapple Company (now “Dole”) came out with conveniently canned slices of pineapple in the early 1900s, this Pineapple Upside Down Cake grew even more popular in America, now becoming a well-known cake in most households, albeit mostly baked in ovens today.
Just like a normal cake, allow your baked upside-down cake to cool first before attempting to flip it. 10-15 minutes should be sufficient time for your cake to have cooled and if you can see batter that may be sticking to the edges of the cake pan, simply use a knife to gently work the edges free.
This Pineapple Upside Down Cake can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days either in an airtight container or using plastic wrap to cover it.
If you opt to cover it with plastic wrap (this is especially applicable when you would find it tricky to store in an airtight container) then a helpful tip is to insert some toothpicks along the edges of the cake and one or two on the top of the cake so that the plastic wrap doesn’t get stuck to the sticky pineapple and cherries.
Yes, you can! Once the cake has completely cooled, transfer it to the freezer (uncovered) for about 2 hours or until the outer edges of the cake have frozen. Then wrap the cake in plastic wrap and again in aluminum foil and store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
When ready to serve, allow the cake to thaw at room temperature and enjoy!
Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe Using Cake Mix
- ¼ cup salted butter melted
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 24 oz. can of pineapple rings/slices
- 13 maraschino cherries
- 1 box of yellow cake mix
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup pineapple juice reserved from the can of pineapple slices
- ½ cup sour cream
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 10" cast iron skillet or round cake pan with non-stick cooking spray or grease with butter.
- Stir together melted butter and brown sugar and spread in the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Arrange pineapple slices, maraschino cherries in the bottom of the pan over the brown sugar mixture. (Do not discard the juice from the can of pineapple slices – it will be used in the cake batter.)
- For the cake batter, beat the dry cake mix, eggs, oil, sour cream, and 1 cup of pineapple juice. Supplement with water to make 1 cup of liquid if there is not enough pineapple juice reserved.
- Spread cake batter into the prepared pan being careful to keep the pineapple slices and cherries in place.
- Bake approximately 30 minutes or until the cake is cooked through. You may be able to see the caramelization developed on the pineapple slices visible along the side of the pan.
- Allow cake to cool for a few minutes before flipping the pan over onto a plate or cake stand.
- Slice and serve.