Pineapple Upside-Down Cake: LiveSTRONG With a Taste of Yellow 2009


This is my second year participating in the LiveSTRONG food blogging event that is hosted annually by Winos and Foodies. LiveSTRONG day this year is on October 2, 2009, which marks the 10th anniversary of Lance Armstrong being diagnosed with cancer. LiveSTRONG With a Taste of Yellow is a coinciding food blogging event that supports the Lance Armstrong Foundation by raising awareness of cancer issues and is a way for wine and food bloggers worldwide to share their stories – the happy, the sad, the struggles and the triumphs. Participants make a dish or drink containing a yellow food to commemorate the day, and share how their life has been touched by cancer. Last year I participated by making a fabulous Cheddar Corn Chowder and sharing the story of my dad’s battle with leukemia. I won’t rehash the long story here, so if you are interested in reading, you can skip on over and read it. This year was 10 years since he lost his battle, and I offer up this Pineapple Upside-Down Cake to celebrate the wonderful man he was.


I am honestly not sure if my dad liked pineapple upside-down cake or not, but when thinking about yellow food and still hanging on to summer by a thread, I wanted to do something with fruit and pineapple sounded great since I haven’t had much of it this year. Pineapple upside-down cake has been on my big list of things I want to bake for what seems like forever, so I figured it was time to finally tackle it. This was a pretty easy recipe to manage and quick to get in the oven. The resulting cake is moist with a tender crumb and a rich flavor, almost melting in your mouth. The pineapples and brown sugar/butter topping provide a great contrasting sweetness, but are not overpowering. It is the perfect balance of flavors and textures and a wonderful dessert that can transform another weeknight dinner into something special.


Everyone loves cake!
Cookies and Cream Oreo Cake
The Perfect Party Cake
Black and White Chocolate Cake
Classic Pound Cake
Texas Sheet Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Yield: Makes one 9-inch cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 35 to 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


7 slices canned unsweetened pineapple (20-ounce can)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
19 maraschino cherries
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons buttermilk
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, softened
6 tablespoons buttermilk


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Have ready a 9x2-inch round cake pan. Drain pineapple and place in one layer on paper towels to absorb the excess juice.

2. Place the 3 tablespoons unsalted butter in the cake pan. Place the pan in the oven until the butter is melted. Tilt to coat all sides with butter. The extra butter will settle in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the bottom of the pan.

3. Place one pineapple ring in the center of the pan and arrange six more around it. Place the maraschino cherries in the center of each ring and in the spaces between them.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, 2 tablespoons of buttermilk and vanilla with a fork.

5. In a mixer bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter and 6 tablespoons of buttermilk. Beat on low speed just until the flour is moistened, then increase the speed to medium, or high if using a handheld mixer, and beat for exactly 1½ minutes. The batter will be stiff. Add one-third of the egg mixture at a time, beating for exactly 20 seconds and scraping the bowl after each addition. Scrape the batter over the fruit in the pan and spread evenly.

6. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the cake from the oven and tilt the pan in all directions to detach it from the sides of the pan. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before unmolding.

7. Invert a serving platter on top of the pan. Cover your hands with oven mitts and turn the cake onto the platter. Lift off the pan. If any fruit or cherry pieces are askew, use a fork to push them back into place. If any brown sugar is left in the pan, scrape it up and spoon it over the cake. Serve warm or cool.

(Source: Joy of Cooking)


53 Responses to “Pineapple Upside-Down Cake: LiveSTRONG With a Taste of Yellow 2009”

  1. Kristen on September 9, 2009 at 12:55 am

    I am so sorry about your dad. Even though it happened so many years ago, I am sure you still miss him a lot!
    I am so glad I read this today because I have participated for the past 2 years in this event and would have hated to miss it! It seems to me like it is usually in the spring, so I would have totally missed participating. Thanks!


  2. bridget {bake at 350} on September 9, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Oh, I am sorry to hear about your dad, too. It sounds like you lost him about the same time I lost my mom to cancer.

    I thought I had missed this event, too. I’m going to hop on over to see if there is still time for me to participate again.


  3. VeggieGirl on September 9, 2009 at 8:46 am

    My thoughts and prayers will always be with you and your family.

    On a brighter note, that cake brings back a LOT of nostalgia for me – MY dad loved it 😀


  4. Meghan on September 9, 2009 at 9:06 am

    I am so sorry Michelle. I read your story in the corn chowder post and it brings back a lot of bitter memories. My very good friend was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia the year after we graduated from college. In the 11-months following, she also received a stem cell transplant from an anonymous donor, contracted graft vs. host, and got a series of infections that ultimately took her life. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever been through. I can’t imagine how hard it was for you to lose your father at such a young age. The LiveSTRONG event is such a nice way for you to remember him and honor his life. Your cake is beautiful.


  5. Tracey on September 9, 2009 at 9:13 am

    So sorry to hear about your dad Michelle.

    Your cake looks terrific and I’m glad you finally got to give it a shot! Doesn’t it feel good to cross things off the to-bake list? 🙂


  6. BAKING is my ZeN on September 9, 2009 at 9:42 am

    Michelle, a great way to keep your dad in your life…even in symbolism. Beautiful photos!


  7. Eliana on September 9, 2009 at 10:51 am

    This is a great way to honor your dad. It looks delish!


  8. Danielle on September 9, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    ooooh, I haven’t had or made pineapple upside down cake in ages! it looks so beautiful. Believe it or not, the last time I made it, I was at a camper training for Girl Scouts and we made one in a dutch oven. came out great


  9. stephchows on September 9, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    great job! it looks delicious!


  10. Pam on September 9, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    So pretty and I love the color!


  11. barbara on September 10, 2009 at 1:40 am

    My kids loved this cake when they were little. A lovely tribute to your father Michelle. Thank you for your entry. Don’t forget to email your details to


  12. Katrina on September 10, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Looks like a picture perfect pineapple upside down cake!


  13. MARCIA on September 10, 2009 at 10:17 am

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, Michelle. My Dad’s favorite cake in the world was Pineapple Upside Down…..miss him terribly!
    This inspired me to make it in his honor, his birthday was Sep. 8th.

    Your cake, as always, looks scrumptious!


  14. Bellini Valli on September 10, 2009 at 10:50 am

    This is truly a wonderful event and not one to be missed. The sunny face of this upside-down cake says it all.


  15. The Duo Dishes on September 15, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    This is a great cause and a beautiful dedication. Thanks for sharing.


  16. Divina on September 16, 2009 at 2:47 am

    That’s an awesome and moist cake. My dad died of cancer too. It’s great to be participating for this kind of event.


  17. Debi (Table Talk) on September 16, 2009 at 9:13 am

    What a lovely tribute to your dad—
    Remembering him through this LiveStrong event is something I’m sure he would have been very proud of. My dad is 4 years past prostate cancer…I know how challenging the battle is.


  18. Michelle on September 18, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Great cause / Beautiful cake.


  19. PI on October 5, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    So sorry to hear about your dad Michelle.

    Your cake looks terrific and I’m glad you finally got to give it a shot! Doesn’t it feel good to cross things off the to-bake list? 🙂


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  21. Joel on June 15, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Hi, thanks for reposting the summer recipes. Is there a way to incorporate the leftover pineapple juice that comes in a large can of pineapple rings? I made a similar PUDC using a boxed cake mix and it lent itself naturally to replacing the necessary water with yummy pineapple juice. But is this option available with a homemade cake instead of a box mix?


  22. Chris on June 28, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    I LOVED this cake, it was so easy to make and tasted FANTASTIC!!!! My dad said it tasted just like Mom’s (which is a huge compliment for me). I made the cake yesterday and it was gone last night (another sign of a wonderful creation), it did not last 10 hrs.

    I am really enjoying your website.


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  24. audrey on March 16, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    oh my lord, this cake is phenomenal! buttery, cakey deliciousness! was totally skeptical of the idea of pineapple upside down cake to begin with, but after trying it i fully understand all the hype. yummm!


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  29. Champs on February 17, 2012 at 11:38 am

    My all time favorite recipe 🙂 Thank you Michelle.


  30. Britt on March 23, 2012 at 11:10 am

    if this makes one 9 inch cake, can I double the recipe and make it in a rectangular pan? Or would that be too much?


    • Michelle on March 31st, 2012 at 9:47 pm

      Yes, you could do that.


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  32. Pamela on July 15, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    This was fantastic! We loved it. 🙂 I blogged about it today in fact.


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  34. Caitlin on August 8, 2012 at 6:52 am

    This is an awesome recipe! The cake is so moist and easy to make!


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  40. ashley on December 22, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    This came out wonderful! I searched for the perfect recipe for this, and I chose yours, SO glad I did. It was easy, your directions are perfect, and it tasted amazing. Thank you so much for making this cake easy and fun to make!


  41. Joy on March 28, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Would this recipe work in a bundt pan?


    • Michelle on March 30th, 2013 at 11:26 am

      Hi Joy, You wouldn’t have enough batter; I would estimate you’d need to double the recipe.


  42. Denise on April 2, 2013 at 9:55 am

    My dad lost his battle with cancer-related issues in 2002 and he would have loved this pineapple upside down cake. I made it this past weekend for my bf because it’s his favorite. We both loved it ………………but he ate most of the cake over the course of 3 days. It was very, very good. I’ll be keeping this recipe for future reference. I love your website and your blog and I’m excited to get your email updates. Thanks so much.

    I too, am a brown-eyed baker. 🙂



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  46. Monu Teena on November 15, 2013 at 3:56 am

    very nice i really like your recipe.. i have tried the same recipe on children’s day in a different way must visit mine Pineapple upside down cake mini.. Do feedback me what i have to do to make my blog or recipe better.. it would be so nice of You! must visit my place when time permits 🙂


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  48. April on August 22, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    I love this recipe, best pineapple upside down cake ever! 4th time making it tonight 🙂


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