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Easy Pineapple Upside Down Cake

My recipe for pineapple upside down cake is so easy I make it for every special occasion and whenever I want something sweet. I use box cake mix as a shortcut, and the results are light, fluffy, and fruity!

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pineapple upside down cake with crushed pineapple

MY Favorite Pineapple Upside Down cake with Cake Mix

Truth is, I created this pineapple upside down cake with crushed pineapple because my husband accidentally bought crushed pineapple instead of pineapple rings.

I had everything else to make my typical recipe and just did not feel like going back out to the store.

I figured why not try it? And, I am so glad I did because wow, it impressed me! The crushed pineapples give the cake so much more flavor that this is now my normal go-to recipe. I only go back to using pineapple slices once in a while.

I remember I made this upside down cake with pineapple rings recently and my son looked at me with such a serious face and said, “you made it wrong! I like the other way better” and walked off. I couldn’t help but laugh, but it made me realize this is the best pineapple recipe I’ve ever made and I just needed to share this version with my readers.

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And, if you love a good and easy cake recipe, try my pineapple cream cheese pound cake, lemon poke cake, pineapple dump cake, angel food cake, and cherry dump cake recipes!

What is Pineapple Upside Cake?

Pineapple upside down cake is an old-fashioned dessert where sliced pineapples and cherries are arranged at the bottom of a pan, then covered with cake batter. Once baked, it’s inverted to reveal a beautifully caramelized fruit topping!

This delightful cake originated in the early 20th century and became super popular once stores started selling canned pineapple. I especially love the moist sponge, sweet fruit, and beautiful presentation it has! My recipe uses crushed pineapple instead of the rings, but still keeps the same classic taste.

ingredients to make pineapple upside down cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe Ingredients

  • Butter
  • Light brown sugar
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Canned crushed pineapple — I have substituted pineapple rings for the classic look and it works great too.
  • Yellow cake mix
  • Water
  • Vegetable oil
  • Eggs
  • Pecans – I use roasted pecans, but this ingredient can be fully optional as I’ve made it without any pecans too.
  • All-purpose flour

How to Make Pineapple Upside Down Cake

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

STEP ONE: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 10-inch bundt cake pan with nonstick spray.

STEP TWO: Whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Pour the mixture into the bottom of the greased pan, then sprinkle the crushed pineapple on top.

I use Dole pineapple, but you can use what you like. Add the maraschino cherries, pushing them down over the crushed pineapple.

ingredients in a bundt pan

STEP THREE: Add the cake mix, water, vegetable oil, and eggs to a large bowl and whisk. I like using Duncan Hines yellow cake mix or Betty Crocker best.

In a separate smaller bowl, toss the pecans in flour until they’re evenly coated. Incorporate the nuts and flour into the cake batter and mix.

cake batter in a bundt pan

STEP FOUR: Pour the cake batter over the crushed pineapple and cherries and bake the cake for 35-40 minutes.

As soon as it’s done baking, run a knife along the edge of the pan to loosen it. Quickly but carefully flip the cake onto a serving platter — don’t remove the pan just yet!

STEP FIVE: Allow the cake to sit upside down in the pan for about 10 minutes before finally lifting the pan from the crushed pineapple upside down cake. Let it cool, slice, and enjoy!

bundt cake on a platter

Tips for Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Crushed Pineapple

  • To prevent sticking, generously grease the pan so the cake releases easily and let it cool upside down for at least 10 minutes. I find if I try to remove the pan before that, it can stick and doesn’t look as pretty.
  • Drain the crushed pineapple fully or the cake will have too much moisture. I typically use a fine mesh strainer to drain it.
  • Use a toothpick in the center to check if it’s fully baked through. For a bundt pan, I just stick the toothpick on both sides to make sure everything is evenly cooked.
  • Enjoy this cake warm for the best flavor and texture, but I love it cold too.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator to keep it moist for 2 to 3 days.

Variations for Crushed Pineapple Upside Down Cake

  • Use pineapple rings. Stick with the old-fashioned method and use pineapple rings instead of using crushed pineapple. No need to change anything else in the recipe. I make it both ways and it’s fabulous!
  • Use a different fruit. Apples, cherries, and peaches are good choices for any cake recipe. Or you could combine a few.
  • Make the cake from scratch. I like to use yellow box cake mix as a shortcut, but you can make a cake from scratch if you prefer.
  • Use a 13×9 pan instead of a bundt pan. The time to cook the cake will differ and I think a bundt pan looks nicer, but this way works well if you don’t have one!
side view of a pineapple upside down cake

What to serve with This recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I love serving this recipe with a little vanilla ice cream and either Cool Whip or whipped cream. I’ve even topped it with my Cool Whip frosting when I have some leftover from another dessert on my dessert table.

And, if I have any leftover after a party (it’s rare), I will cut the cake into pieces and dip it in my fruit dip recipe along with other fruit. It’s been a great way to use it up and get my kids to eat more fruit.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake FAQs

Can I Make Pineapple Upside Down Cake ahead of time?

Yes! I love making this recipe the day before I need to serve it. I find that serving it about 24 hours after I bake it is the perfect time for it to still taste fresh and have time to enjoy some leftovers.

slice of pineapple upside down cake

Can I Make My Own Crushed Pineapple?

Yes! I prefer grabbing it from the store in a can because it’s easier, but you can still dice up some fresh pineapple and pulse it in a food processer or blender until it’s chopped into small bits. Just remember to drain the pineapple juices!

Do I have to Refrigerate Pineapple Upside Down Cake?

No! I actually leave mine on the counter because I like the taste of it better at room temperature. After about 2 days, I will refrigerate it just to keep it fresh for another day or 2 if needed.

How do I Keep Homemade Pineapple Upside Down Cake From Sticking?

I find the best ways to keep the cake from sticking is to give it a good grease prior to adding in the brown sugar mixture and then let it cool upside down in the pan for at least 10 minutes after baking. I’ve tried to remove the pan before cooling it and it’s completely fallen apart. Since allowing it to cool, I’ve never had that issue.

fork cutting into piece of cake

More Easy Dessert Recipes

pineapple upside down cake with crushed pineapple

Easy Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Samantha Erb
This easy pineapple upside down cake is made from boxed cake mix and uses crushed pineapples for a fresh new take on an old-fashioned classic dessert!
4.42 from 29 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 629 kcal



  • 4 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup maraschino cherries drained
  • 1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained very well or sliced pineapples, drained
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup water*
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs*
  • 1 cup chopped roasted pecans optional, but tasty!
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour only if using the pecans


  • Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 10” bundt pan generously with nonstick baking spray. 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar. Pour the mixture into the bottom of the greased bundt pan. 
  • Sprinkle the crushed pineapple over the brown sugar layer.
  • Place the maraschino cherries around the pan, pushing them slightly into the brown sugar.  
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the cake mix, water, vegetable oil, and eggs. 
  • In a small bowl, toss the pecans and flour until the nuts are evenly coated. Add the nuts and flour to the cake batter and stir to combine. 
  • Pour the cake batter over the crushed pineapple. 
  • Bake the cake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 
  • Immediately run a knife around the edge of the pan then invert the cake onto your cake stand or platter. The best way to do this is to place the cake stand over the top of the bundt pan and then quickly but carefully flip it over– Don’t try to just flip the cake over onto a platter. 
  • Allow the cake to sit in the bundt pan for 10 minutes (this will help it release from the pan). After 10 minutes, carefully lift the bundt pan off the cake and allow it to cool completely. 
  • Once cooled, slice and enjoy. 


* I used Betty Crocker Super Moist Yellow Cake Mix which calls for 1 cup of water, ⅓ cup vegetable oil, and 3 large eggs. Make sure to follow the directions on your cake mix if it requires different proportions.


Serving: 1gCalories: 629kcalCarbohydrates: 91gProtein: 6gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 558mgFiber: 3gSugar: 61g

This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


About Samantha

I’ve always had a love of cooking and creating new recipes, so it only made sense to create a food blog so I could share those recipes with you. This site is designed to provide easy and flavorful recipes with as little ingredients as possible. That means you still get great flavor combinations without all that extra time and effort. Read more...

6 thoughts on “Easy Pineapple Upside Down Cake”

  1. Pineapple upside down cake was one of my mother’s go to recipes for dessert.

    After draining the pineapple, she would use the pineapple juice to replace part or all of the water in the cake mix recipe. This gave the cake layer a really intense pineapple flavor and it smelled really amazing when it was baking.

    She usually used the yellow cake mix as well, but sometimes would use a lemon cake mix instead.

    If crushed pineapple wasn’t available, she would coarsely chop pineapple slices into small pieces. We tried it with a blender once, but likely the coarse chopping method better.

    If there was any pineapple juice left, she would freeze in a small container for future use. She always said it was too good to waste.

    • Your mother’s pineapple upside down cake method sounds amazing! Using pineapple juice to intensify the flavor and aroma of the cake was a clever touch. Adapting with different cake mixes and freezing leftover juice were smart moves too. Her creativity in the kitchen shines through!

  2. 5 stars
    Great recipe. Thank you. This is my favorite cake. My mother always bake this cake for my birthday. I did switch out the water for pineapple juice from the can and melted butter for the oil. Will be baking this cake again.

4.42 from 29 votes (28 ratings without comment)

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