This easy pineapple upside down cake is so deliciously moist and features a gooey brown sugar topping.
When Matt and I got married four years ago, we were both very much on the same page about where we wanted to honeymoon: Maui. I had never been to Hawaii, but everything about it sounded perfect. It ended up being the most peaceful and relaxing getaway — we soaked in the incredible views, did a whole lot of nothing but also enjoyed some spa time (me) and golf (Matt) and, of course, had some really amazing food.
While we thoroughly enjoyed all of the pulled pork, fish tacos, and poke that Maui had to offer, one dish that will always stand out to us is the pineapple upside down cake we had (admittedly more than once) at Pineapple Grill (which has sadly since closed). This was pre-allergies so Matt didn’t have to worry about it being gluten free or eggless.
All this to say: we love a good pineapple upside down cake. So of course I had to attempt my own homemade version. I’ll admit, I initially went in to test this with low expectations. Coming up with my own eggless pineapple upside down cake from scratch felt intimidating enough, but then to make it a gluten free cake, too? Yikes. So I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when I nailed it. I just couldn’t wait to get on here and write up this post!!!
Why I Love This Easy Pineapple Upside Down Cake…
- For one thing, it’s such a pretty cake. It doesn’t require any frosting, but I still consider it a showstopper and a beautiful dessert to serve at a brunch or dinner party.
- That deliciously gooey brown sugar topping paired with the juicy pineapple slices… so, so good.
- This gluten free pineapple upside down cake is extra moist thanks to the Greek yogurt (which also helps bind and lets us get away without eggs here), milk, and the pineapple juice (a trick I use in my pina colada donuts, too).
What You’ll Need…
- Your typical dry ingredients: flour for structure, baking powder + baking soda (you’ll use both leaveners here since you have acidity from the yogurt and pineapple) for lift, salt for flavor.
- The fat: unsalted butter.
- The flavor: granulated sugar, pineapple juice, and vanilla extract.
- A little extra moisture: Greek yogurt + milk.
- For that gooey topping: melted unsalted butter, brown sugar, canned pineapple slices.
How To Make Easy Pineapple Upside Down Cake From Scratch…
To make this super easy pineapple upside down cake, we’ll start with the topping. You’re simply going to mix some brown sugar with melted butter and pour into your greased cake pan. You can technically use either an 8″ or 9″ round pan, although I’ve tried the 8″ and did get some overflow. More on that later.
Once the melted butter and sugar is swirled around and covers the entire bottom of your pan, place the pineapple slices down in a single layer. I always use canned slices and have never tried this cake with fresh pineapple. The added bonus with the can is you have pineapple juice, which you will need to preserve for your cake batter.
While many people also add maraschino cherries to their pineapple upside down cake, neither Matt nor I are a fan of those so I leave them out.
Now you can move onto the actual cake, which is really simple. You’ll whisk together your dry ingredients and set aside. Then, cream the butter with the sugar and add in the yogurt, milk, pineapple juice, and vanilla extract. Once that’s combined, add your dry ingredients and stir until you have cake batter! Pour into your prepared pan and bake on 350ºF for about 35 minutes.
Pro tip: place your round pan on top of a baking sheet, and put the whole thing in the oven that way. As I mentioned, you may experience some overflow with this gluten free pineapple upside down cake… nothing major and nothing to be concerned about, but it’s much cleaner with a baking sheet underneath to catch any spillage. Because the top of the cake is technically going to be the bottom, it’s not a big deal if it does rise over a bit.
Once the cake is out, let it cool for 10 minutes. Then, run a knife along the edges to separate the cake from the sides of the pan. Place your plate on top and flip! If you’ve greased the pan thoroughly, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting the cake out.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake – Gluten Free, Eggless
For the topping:
- ¼ cup butter melted
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 5-6 slices canned pineapple
For the cake:
- 1 ½ cups gluten free flour (I use Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup Greek yogurt room temperature
- ¼ cup milk room temperature
- ¼ cup pineapple juice preserved from canned slices
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9" round cake pan. To make the topping, mix brown sugar into the melted butter and pour into the pan, swirling to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Place a single layer of pineapple slices onto the melted butter and sugar mixture and set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar. Add the Greek yogurt, milk, pineapple juice, and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir on low speed until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly. Place the cake pan onto a baking sheet (optional, but recommended in case of spillage). Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Use a knife to separate the sides of the cake from the pan, then invert cake onto a plate.
- I’ve also tried making this cake in an 8″ round cake pan and it does work, however I did experience some overflow. This is why I recommend placing the round pan on top of a baking sheet before putting into the oven, regardless of which size you use, just in case you have a bit of spillage. In any case, because the top of the cake will actually be the bottom once you invert it to serve, it’s OK if the top overflows slightly.
Did you make my easy pineapple upside down cake? Tag me on Instagram @justastastyblog and #justastastyblog.