Pineapple Upside-down Cake

I have never made any kind of upside-down cake, nevermind pineapple upside-down cake. While I have heard of it before it is kind of an older idea I associate with the 1970s or 80s. Well what is old is new again. I gave this one a shot and WOW. So good. Simple and pretty and amazingly tasty. You can use fresh or canned fruit and it can really be any fruit you like though I think watery things like raspberries would go mushy so be careful. Pineapple, pear, peaches would all work well!

I got this recipe from a patient, thanks Susan O.! Susan had told me that she had made it from an older cook book she had and it was so good. So here is the modified recipe for upside down cake from an old Ontario cookbook called Food that Really Schmecks by Edna Staebler. Btw this also appealed to me because the word shmecks is German for tasty or yummy and my family grew up using it because of the German heritage on my moms side. And it didn’t disappoint – schmeckt gut for sure.

pineapple upside-down cake
pineapple upside down cake – I mean look at that! Gorgeous!

Ingredients for Pineapple Upside-Down Cake


1/3 cup of butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

slices of fresh or canned fruit to cover bottom of cake pan: pineapple, peaches, apples, pears all work well. Edna suggests large pitted prunes (ummmm not sure), peach or apricot halves, apple slices, or blueberries – even raspberries but they would be softer.


1/2 cup butter (unsalted)

1 1/2 cups of white sugar

2 eggs

2 1/4 cups of all purpose or cake flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1 cup of milk (I used skim but any is fine)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions for Upside-Down Cake

Pre-heat oven to 350F. I used a round silicone baking pan – this made it super easy to flip out with no stick but if you don’t have one make sure you grease the cake pan especially the sides. Also important to note if you just want a moist white cake with no topping you can skip the topping part.

Ok for the upside-down part of the upside-down cake start by melting the butter for the topping and mixing in the brown sugar and pour into cake pan and arrange slices of fruit on top of it in a pattern – make it pretty or not whatever floats your boat. You can also toss in some nuts be we are nut allergic around here so that one is a no-go. Ok now set the pan aside.

In a separate bowl add melted butter for the batter and add sugar and mix. Add the beaten eggs and use a mixer to beat until fluffy (you can also do this with softened butter instead of melted but I tend to forget to take out the butter earlier and then am either in a rush or kinda lazy – worked well with melted butter too so whatever!). Now you are supposed to sift the flour, salt and baking powder together (which I never do – again, lazy, so I just mix together) and add in alternating bits with milk and vanilla and beat well after adding a bit of each until it is all mixed in.

Finishing touches

Now dump the batter, which will be thick, on top of the fruit and topping mix and spread carefully so as not to disturb the fruit. Bake at 350F for around 45 mins. Make sure you have a platter or cake plate big enough nearby – when you take this out of the oven and it is still hot (but cooled a few mins) place cake plate upside-down on top of the cake and flip out of the pan. You can serve cool but also amazing while still warm with ice cream … honestly this one was a huge hit at home – give it a try!