This tasty pineapple upside down bundt cake is a beautiful presentation of a well-loved and popular dessert that's quick and easy to make! This easy cake mix recipe makes it even faster to get this impressive dessert ready for all to enjoy!
A super simple Pineapple Upside Down Cake to share with friends and family!
There’s no need to wait for a special celebration to eat cake. This easy pineapple upside-down cake is the perfect dessert to enjoy any day of the week!
Unlike a frosted cake, which takes additional time to decorate after baking, pineapple upside down cakes are decorated while they bake. The brown sugar butter sauce creates a glaze in place of frosting, and the pineapple rings and maraschino cherries provide a completely decorated cake right out of the pan!
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
Super Easy! Most of the ingredients for this cake are already prepared, you just have to put everything together. Simply open the fruit, mix the cake batter, and layer in the pan. So simple!
So Tasty! On top of being super simple, it is super tasty! The brown sugar and butter glaze provides the perfect amount of sweetness without the heaviness of frosting!
It's Versatile! I love this pineapple upside down bundt cake for any occasion. It is a great dessert during the week or even a beautiful addition to a brunch spread. Want to impress family and friends? Bring this to your next get-together!
The best part of this ingredient list is that you may only need to grab a few things at the grocery store! Zip down the baking aisle, the canned fruit aisle, and the dairy section (if you don’t already have butter and eggs at home).
- Butter – I typically bake with salted butter, but salted or unsalted butter will work. *Omit the oil from the boxed instructions.
- Light Brown Sugar – Light brown sugar is used to add a richer flavor to baked goods and helps to retain moisture. It's part of the self-saucing wonder that upside down cakes are known and loved for!
- Pineapple Slices – Canned pineapple comes in many forms: crushed, tidbits, chunks, and slices. Pay close attention to make sure you get the slices.
- Maraschino Cherries – Maraschino cherries are cherries that have been canned and sweetened. These are the same cherries you see in Shirley Temples or mixed cocktails and are commonly used in baking. *One jar should be enough for the recipe.
- Yellow Cake Mix – You can use any yellow cake mix that your grocery store carries. Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, and Duncan Hines are the most common brands (Jiffy, King Arthur Flour, and Krusteaz also offer yellow cake mix as well as several generic brands). All are wonderful!
- Large Eggs – Large eggs are the most common size you purchase in the store.
*Be sure to see the free printable recipe card below for ingredients, exact amounts & instructions with tips!*
Dark brown sugar – If your store is out of light brown sugar, you can use dark brown sugar in place of it. Dark brown sugar is made with a bit more molasses, so you will end up with a little bit richer taste.
Pineapple - A pineapple upside-down cake is identified by its use of sliced pineapple rounds. If your store is out of pineapple slices (or you accidentally get home with the wrong can) you can still make this cake, it just won’t have the traditional look of the rounds. If needed, pineapple tidbits are your best substitution.
Can I Use Fresh Pineapple?
Yes, most definitely! While the sliced rounds are convenient, you can slice fresh pineapple and squeeze some juice for making the cake mix batter.
🔪 Step-By-Step Instructions
The pineapple juice that is in the can will be used later to prepare the cake batter, so do not throw it out! When you get to step 3, use a fork to lift the pineapple slices out of the can and leave the juice in the can until step 4.
Prep & Mix the Yellow Cake Batter
- Prep. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and coat your bundt pan with butter and flour. *Flour offers a second layer between the butter and the cake mix, that helps keep the cake from absorbing the butter as it melts, which helps the butter to do its job and keep the cake from sticking. See notes below on how to do this.
- Melt butter. Pour the first ¼ cup portion of melted butter (½ cup total) into your bundt pan then sprinkle 1 cup of packed light brown sugar over the melted butter. Spread evenly over the bottom of your bundt pan.
- Arrange the fruit. Remove all of the pineapple slices from a 20-ounce can and slice them in half. Place the halves in the bottom of your bundt pan nestled into the ridges, then place a maraschino cherry (16-20 cherries, stems removed) between the slices. Push gently on the cherries to firmly place them in the brown sugar.
- Mix the cake batter. Combine the reserved pineapple juice with enough water to make 1 total cup of liquid. Mix the cake batter as directed on the box using the second ¼ cup of melted butter, the pineapple juice with water, and 3 large eggs. *The cake box may call for oil but replace it with the ¼ cup of melted butter.
Transfer & Bake
- Transfer. Pour the mixed batter into your prepared bundt pan gently so that the pineapple slices remain upright, do not spread.
- Bake. Place in the middle of your oven's center rack and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 30-35 minutes, or until an inserted cake tester, toothpick, or butter knife comes out clean. A fully baked cake should spring back to the touch.
- Remove and cool. Place a heat-safe plate or serving platter over the bottom of the bundt pan and invert the cake. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow the cake to release from the pan. *The pan will still be hot, so use two hot pads to hold the edges of the pan with the plate. Make sure you have a tight hold, then gently invert/flip the bundt pan over.
- Cool and serve. Remove the bundt pan and continue cooling for 25 minutes, then serve warm or store for later.
If you are serving this the same day as baking, bake it just before you begin preparing dinner. This way it can cool while you are eating dinner and your pineapple upside down bundt cake will be just right to serve when dinner is done. Enjoy!
💭 Angela's Tips & Recipe Notes
You don’t have to use a bundt pan!
- You can use two 8-inch or 9-inch square or round cake pans.
- You could also bake this as a sheet cake in a 9x13 rectangular pan. *See modified cooking times below.
Modified Temp & Cooking Times
- Bake at 325°F (163°C) for dark or non-stick pans. You can also bake the cake in 2 8-inch or 9-inch rounds for 22-27 minutes. Bake in a 9x13 pan for 21-26 minutes.
Yellow Cake vs. White Cake.
- A yellow cake is different than a white cake. A yellow cake mix tends to be bit “sturdier” than a white cake.
- A white cake is often a bit lighter and fluffier, so it does not hold up under the brown sugar butter sauce and pineapples as well.
Buttering and flouring a pan.
- Take about a tablespoon of softened butter and spread around the pan or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Cover ALL the of the inside of the pan, the bottom, the sides and the little corners! Sprinkle enough flour over the butter to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Hold the pan over the sink or trash can and “roll” the pan so that the flour covers all four sides. After it looks like flour has coated the entire pan, turn it over and tap the back of the pan so the excess flour gets out. You want just a very thin layer of flour over the butter!
- You can also purchase Bakers Joy that has the flour in the spray! Pam has a version of this too called “Happy Baking.”
Testing to see if the cake is done.
- Use a cake tester, toothpick, or butter knife check to see if your cake is done.
- When baking in the bundt pan, insert the tester in the middle of one section. When you pull out the tester, it should be clean (no batter or crumbs on the tester).
- If it is not cooked all the way through, cook for 3-5 more minutes and test again.
Avoid opening the oven door while the cake is baking.
- Opening the oven door while a cake is baking will lead to a drop in oven temperature causing the cake to fall (or sink) in the middle.
- Additionally, opening the oven door and releasing the heated air can extend the baking time.
- It is best to wait until the first timer goes off to open the door and double-check if it is done.
You can store this cake in the fridge for up to 3 days. It can dry out a bit each day, so it’s best to eat as soon as possible. Make sure to store your bundt cake covered with plastic cling film and placed in an airtight container.
If refrigerating before serving, remove from the fridge about an hour before serving. Let your pineapple upside down bundt cake sit on the counter to come to room temperature.
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🧁 More Easy Desserts
- Bisquick Apple Cobbler
- Peach Dump Cake
- Cherry Chocolate Dump Cake
- Oreo Mug Cake
- Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats
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Pineapple Upside Down Bundt Cake
- ½ cup butter (divided into 2 equal portions of ¼ cup melted butter)
- 1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
- 20 oz pineapple slices (drained, reserve the juice, cut slices in half)
- 20 maraschino cherries (stems removed)
- 15 oz yellow cake mix (do not use the boxed instructions/ingredients - see these ingredients ONLY)
- 3 large eggs (room temperature)
- water (enough to total 1 cup with pineapple juice)
- **DO NOT USE THE OIL FROM THE CAKE MIX INSTRUCTIONS.**
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and coat your bundt pan with butter and flour.
- Pour the first ¼ cup portion of melted butter into your bundt pan then sprinkle the brown sugar over the melted butter. Spread evenly over the bottom of your bundt pan.½ cup butter, 1 cup light brown sugar
- Arrange the halved pineapple slices in the bottom of your bundt pan nestled into the ridges, then place a maraschino cherry between the slices. Push gently on the cherries to firmly place them in the brown sugar.20 oz pineapple slices, 20 maraschino cherries
- Combine the reserved pineapple juice with enough water to make 1 total cup of liquid. Mix the cake batter as directed on the box using the second ¼ cup of melted butter (*and omitting the oil from the boxed instructions), the pineapple juice with water, and the eggs.½ cup butter, 15 oz yellow cake mix, 3 large eggs, water
- Pour the mixed batter into your bundt pan gently so that the pineapple slices remain upright, do not spread.
- Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 30-35 minutes, or until an inserted cake tester, toothpick, or butter knife comes out clean. A fully baked cake should spring back to the touch.
- Place a plate or serving platter over the bottom of the bundt pan and invert the cake, then set aside for 5 minutes to allow the cake to release from the pan.
- Remove the bundt pan and continue cooling for 25 minutes, then serve warm or store for later.
- Bake at 325°F (163°C) for dark or non-stick pans.
- You can also bake the cake in 2 8-inch or 9-inch rounds for 22-27 minutes.
- Bake in a 9x13 pan for 21-26 minutes.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!