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Old Fashioned Pineapple Upside Down Skillet Cake

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There’s something so nostalgic about an old-fashioned pineapple skillet cake. This timeless dessert, with its caramelized pineapple rings and cherries topping a moist light cake, brings back childhood memories of family gatherings. It’s so delicious and visually impressive!


This pineapple cake is made in a cast-iron skillet with simple ingredients and is perfect for any occasion! It was a favorite cake of mine growing up and I still love it such as much today!

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Baking Time: 40 to 50 minutes
  • Cool Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour + 40 minutes
  • Preparation Level: Beginner +
There is an upside down pineapple cake on a clear glass serving platter. Platter is on a white surface.

Why I Love Pineapple Upside Down Cake

  • It’s rich flavor and moist texture
  • Easy preparation, it’s an all-in-one pan dessert
  • Timeless Classic recipe that is always a crowd-pleaser

Ingredients

There are various ingredients for the makings of a pineapple cake: flour, sugar, brown sugar, eggs, fresh pineapple rings, butter, jarred cherries, baking powder, and vanilla extract. Items are on a white surface.
  • Unsalted butter
  • Brown sugar (light or dark)
  • Pineapple slices (I use fresh pineapple but canned slices can be used)
  • Maraschino cherries (remove stems)
  • Large eggs (at room temperature and separated)
  • Granulated sugar
  • Pineapple juice (saved from the fresh fruit or canned)
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder

Helpful Equipment and Tools

  • 10-inch cast iron skillet (see Helpful Tips)
  • Rubber spatula
  • Large bowl
  • 2 small bowls
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cups
  • Electric mixer (hand-held or standup)
  • Cake tester
  • Cooling wire rack
  • Large serving plate

How to Make Old-Fashioned Pineapple Upside-down Cake

If using fresh pineapple, prep the pineapple by using a pineapple corer and slicer tool or a large kitchen knife. (see Helpful Tips)

Save the juice by squeezing the outer shell together and catching the juice in a small bowl. Set aside.


Warm a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and completely melt.

Add the brown sugar to the melted butter. As the brown sugar begins to melt, spread evenly over the bottom of the skillet.

Turn off the stove flame.

Arrange the pineapple slices close together in a single layer over the brown sugar mixture. Add a maraschino cherry in the center of each pineapple slice. (see Helpful Tips)

Separate the eggs and place the egg yolks in a large bowl. Beat egg yolks at medium speed until they begin to thicken. Gradually add the white sugar, beating until combined.

Add the vanilla extract and gradually add the reserved pineapple juice to the egg yolk mixture, beating until blended.

In a small bowl combine flour and baking powder. 

Reduce the electric mixer speed and gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Beat on low speed until fully mixed.

In another small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks are formed. 

Fold egg whites into the batter until fully incorporated.

Carefully spoon the cake batter evenly over the pineapple slices.

Bake in a preheated oven. The cake is done when a cake tester is placed in the center of the cake and it comes out clean.

There is a cast iron skillet with a baked upside down pineapple cake in it. The skillet is on a wire cooling rack on a white surface.

Remove from oven and place skillet on a wire rack to cool.

There is an upside down pineapple cake on a clear glass serving platter. Platter is on a white surface.

Invert the cake onto a large serving plate. (see Helpful Tips)

See recipe card below for complete measurements and baking times.

Serving suggestions

  • ​Add a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Serve warm or chilled.
  • This cake can be made 1 to 3 days ahead. After the cake has cooled to room temperature, securely cover the platter with plastic wrap or use a large pie carrier and store it in the refrigerator. 

Storing

If you have any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge.

There is a small white plate with a piece of upside down pineapple cake on it. There is a dollop of whipped cream on the piece of cake and a fork with a bite of cake on it. Plate is on a white surface.

Helpful Tips

A 9-inch cast iron skillet can be used. The outcome will be a little thicker cake. Just be sure it is large enough that the cake doesn’t overflow. 

Using a coring tool will give you pineapple rings. You can use a large knife to prep the pineapple and cut 2 to 3-inch pieces for the top of the cake.

If you want a little extra flavor, add additional cherries in every open space there is around the slices of pineapple.

Use a serving platter that is wider than the skillet when inverting the cake.

Looking for more delicious desserts?

Check out a few more of my favorites!

​Classic Florida Key Lime Pie – A family favorite!

Easy Mexican Cheesecake

Easy 3-ingredient Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookie – Kids love this!

Yield: 8 to 10 Servings

Old Fashioned Pineapple Upside Down Skillet Cake

There is an upside down pineapple cake on a clear glass serving platter with a wedge missing from it. There is a small white plate with a piece of cake on it and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. There is a fork laying next to the plate. Items are on a white surface.

A timeless dessert with caramelized pineapple rings and cherries topping a moist cake. Made in a cast-iron skillet and perfectly delicious!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter - unsalted
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar (light or dark) - firmly packed
  • 7 to 9 pineapple sliced rings (fresh pineapple or 1 - 20 ounce can)
  • Maraschino cherries (remove stems and use at least 7 or more)
  • 2 large eggs (at room temperature and separated)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice (saved from the fresh fruit or canned)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. If using fresh pineapple, prep the pineapple by using a pineapple corer and slicer tool or a large kitchen knife. (see Helpful Tips)
  3. Save the juice by squeezing the outer shell together and catching the juice in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. Warm a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and completely melt.
  5. Add the brown sugar to the melted butter. As the brown sugar begins to melt, spread evenly over the bottom of the skillet.
  6. Turn off the stove flame.
  7. Arrange the pineapple slices close together in a single layer over the brown sugar mixture. Add a maraschino cherry in the center of each pineapple slice. (see Helpful Tips)
  8. Separate the eggs and place the egg yolks in a large bowl. Beat egg yolks at medium speed until they begin to thicken. Approximately 1 minute. Gradually add the white sugar, beating until combined.
  9. Add the vanilla extract and gradually add the reserved pineapple juice to the egg yolk mixture, beating until blended.
  10. In a small bowl combine flour and baking powder. 
  11. Reduce the electric mixer speed and gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat on low speed until fully mixed.
  12. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks are formed. Approximately 4 minutes.
  13. Fold egg whites into the batter until fully incorporated.
  14. Carefully pour batter evenly over the pineapple slices.
  15. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes. Check the doneness of the cake with a cake. It should come out clean.
  16. Cool cake on a wire rack in the skillet for 30 minutes.
  17. Invert the cake onto a large serving plate. (see Helpful Tips)
  18. Serve warm.

Notes

Helpful Tips

  • A 9-inch cast iron skillet can be used. The outcome will be a thicker cake. Just be sure it is large enough that the cake doesn't overflow. 
  • Using a coring tool will give you pineapple rings. If you use a large knife to prep the pineapple, you can cut 2 to 3-inch pieces for the top of the cake.
  • If you want a little extra flavor, add additional cherries in every open space there is around the slices of pineapple.
  • Use a serving platter that is wider than the skillet when inverting the cake.

Serving suggestions

​Add a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Serve warm or chilled.

This cake can be made 1 to 3 days ahead. After the cake has cooled to room temperature, securely cover the platter with plastic wrap or use a large pie carrier and store it in the refrigerator. 

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 273Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 81mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 2gSugar: 42gProtein: 3g

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