The best pineapple upside-down cake I've ever had, and one of the best cakes I've ever made. It's an easy, no-mixer cake. The cake is soft, sweet, with almost imperceptible tang from the buttermilk that adds another layer of flavor.

The pineapple slices add chewiness and texture to the otherwise falling-apart-soft cake. While baking, the pineapple caramelizes in a butter and brown sugar bath giving the cake it's signature glistening top and adding so much rich, browed butter flavor to the pineapple. The maraschino cherries add a burst of sweet flavor, and they're so eye-catching. The buttery, brown sugary pineapple juice that seeps down into the cake from the slices on top make the cake so soft, moist, and buttery that it just melts in your mouth. It's a perfect cake for Easter, Mother's Day, baby and bridal showers, brunch, or anytime you want a cheery, happy cake.

YIELD: one 9-inch round cake, 8 to 10 servings PREP TIME: 15 minutes COOK TIME: about 40 minutes TOTAL TIME: about 90 minutes, for cooling

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • one 20-ounce can pineapple slices
  • about 12 maraschino cherries
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or Powdered Buttermilk, use 2 tablespoons with the dry ingredients + 1/2 cup water added with the wet)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream, lite is okay (plain Greek yogurt may be substituted)
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1-Preheat oven to 350F.

2-In a small,  microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.

3-Pour the butter into a 9-inch springform cake pan. Use your finger to run a bit of butter around the side of the pan so it's well-greased.

4-Evenly sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter.

5-Add 1 whole pineapple slice to the center of the pan.

6-Halve the remaining slices vertically. Stagger them in a fan-like fashion going around the cake. I used 12 slices.

7-Place the remaining slices around the sides of the cake pan with the curved side pointing down toward the bottom of the pan (see photos for reference). There will likely be bare side patches with no pineapple coverage, that's okay.

8-Place 1 cherry in the center of the whole pineapple slice in the middle of the pan.

9-Place 1 cherry in the center cutout of all the fanned pineapple slices; set pan aside.

10-In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, optional salt; set aside.

11-In a separate small bowl, whisk together the next 5 wet ingredients (through vanilla).

12-Add the wet mixture to the dry, mixing lightly with a spoon or folding with a spatula until just combined. Small lumps will be present, don't overmix or try to stir them smooth.

13-Gently turn batter out into prepared pan, being careful to not disturb the pineapple slices on the sides or bottom. Fill pan only to about 3/4-full. If you have a little extra batter, discard it rather than overfilling your pan.

14-Place pan on a cookie sheet (to catch anything that does overflow) and bake for about 40 minutes, or until center is set and not jiggly, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Only go down about 1-inch with the toothpick, not all the way to the bottom where you'll hit gooey pineapple juice.

15-Place pan on a wire rack and allow cake to cool for at least 30 minutes before inverting, slicing, and serving. I allowed cake to cool overnight, covered with a sheet of foil, before inverting. Cake will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Recipe from Averie Cooks

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