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Pecan Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Scott Phillips

Servings: ten to twelve.

The classic upside-down cake is even better when made with fresh pineapple and a buttermilk batter enriched with ground pecans.


  • 7 oz. (14 Tbs.) unsalted butter at room temperature; more for the pan
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. packed light or dark brown sugar
  • Six to eight 1/4-inch-thick fresh pineapple rings
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup lightly toasted pecan pieces
  • 5-1/2 oz. (1-1/4 cups) cake flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. buttermilk

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on 12 servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 360
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 180
  • Fat (g): 20
  • Saturated Fat (g): 9
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Cholesterol (mg): 70
  • Sodium (mg): 115
  • Carbohydrates (g): 43
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 3


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 10×2-inch round cake pan or 10-inch cast-iron skillet.
  • Combine 6 Tbs. of the butter with the brown sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking until the butter is melted, the sugar is dissolved, and the mixture is smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately pour the mixture in the bottom of the prepared pan, tilting to evenly cover the surface.
  • Set one pineapple ring in the center of the pan. Surround it with several other rings, packing them tightly or even overlapping them slightly. Cut the remaining rings in quarters or sixths and fill in the spaces around the perimeter of the pan. Set a pecan half, curved side down, in the center of each pineapple ring. If you like, fill in any additional spaces with pecan halves, curved sides down. (You may not need all the pecans.)
  • Finely grind the toasted pecan pieces in a food processor but don’t overprocess or you’ll make pecan butter. In a small bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and baking soda. Add the salt and ground pecans, mix well, and reserve.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the remaining 8 Tbs. butter with the granulated sugar on medium speed until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, pausing to scrape the bowl. Mix in the vanilla. On low speed, alternate adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk in five additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, scraping the bowl once or twice, and mixing until the batter is smooth. Pour the batter over the fruit and spread it evenly with a spatula.
  • Bake until the cake is golden brown and springs back when pressed lightly in the center with a fingertip, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Run the tip of a paring knife around the edge of the cake. Cover with a serving plate, and gripping both the cake and the plate, invert the two. Carefully lift off the cake pan, rearranging the fruit if necessary. Allow the cake to cool completely before serving.


Pineapple Rings? Check out our technique for making picture-perfect rings.


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Reviews (11 reviews)

  • bellaginger | 06/08/2020

    Made this for a birthday celebration for someone who requested a pineapple upside down cake. I’ve never made one before and wasn’t even sure I would like it but it was delicious! I’ll definitely make again. I used a 10” springform pan & covered bottom with parchment before putting the top of pan on it to seal it tight. Everyone loved it!

  • SikaB | 12/26/2017

    This recipe has supplanted my mother's upside down cake recipe (don't tell her). It is awesome. I made it for a friend of mine's birthday, and she almost cried. She said she hasn't had a great upside down cake since before her mother passed away. I used dark brown sugar and fresh pineapple. Stupidly, I used a 12" cake pan rather than a 10", and it was still good...a little soggy...but still delicious. I've never been a fan of pineapple upside down cake, but I am now! Highly recommend!

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