Pineapple Upside-Down Loaf Cake

This one goes out to all those Friday nights when you just have the itch to bake something.

We’d just had tacos for dinner one Friday night a few weeks ago (with homemade tortillas—I mean, we really couldn’t have asked for much more), and after we’d scraped the last bits of salsa from our plates, I just felt like I needed to bake.

“Oliver, what should I bake for dessert?”

“Peanut butter upside-down cake.”

Y’all, I’ll let you know if I come up with a recipe for a peanut butter upside-down cake. But what I ended up making that night was a pineapple upside-down cake. I realized I’d never made one before, and we had half a can of pineapple left in the fridge, and it just seemed right, you know?

But let’s keep in mind that this was an unplanned baking session, so I didn’t have exactly what I needed for any recipes I stumbled across. Let’s also keep in mind that only two of us live under this roof, and a whole cake seemed a bit excessive.

A loaf cake, though? Just enough cake to enjoy over the weekend without still having enough leftover for a small birthday party by Monday? That would work.

So I “whipped up” this little loaf cake based on the basic concept of how the internet suggested a pineapple upside-down cake should come into being. I did some research on estimates of what exactly comes in a boxed cake mix so I could translate it into the “real” ingredients I had in the pantry & fridge. I melted some butter and threw some things in a bowl and sat down to watch the first 45 minutes of Iron Man while I imagined a pineapple-flavored sponge of disaster and sadness was gluing itself to the loaf pan in my oven.

But it smelled good.

When the time came to flip that cake onto the plate in true upside-down cake fashion, I knew that no good could come from my clumsy oven-mitt-clad hands and a cake with a full layer of sticky brown sugar between itself and the pan.

You know what? It came out perfectly. It didn’t stick to the pan, and it tasted delightful, and I thought, “Oh, maybe I can bake.” (Though I’ve been intending to try to make those cute little French macarons, and I’m sure they’ll be able to prove that I cannot, in fact, bake.)

I’ll count this one as a baking win and share it with you so you too can experience the adrenaline rush that comes with flipping a cake upside down.

If you try this Pineapple Upside-Down Loaf Cake at home, I’d love to hear what you think! Share pictures with me on social media by tagging @thesavvyplate on Instagram or Twitter or by mentioning my page The Savvy Plate on Facebook!

4.38 from 8 votes

Pineapple Upside-Down Loaf Cake

A from-scratch pineapple upside-down cake sized for a loaf pan that you can prepare in only 15 minutes!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6
Author Savannah


for the topping

  • 2 tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • 3 pineapple rings (from a 20 oz. can)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (I prefer the pecans.)

for the cake

  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice (from the same 20 oz. can)
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Add 2 tbsp melted butter to a loaf pan, brushing some on the sides to grease the pan and letting the rest of it puddle evenly in the bottom. Arrange the pineapple slices in a single layer on top of the butter. (You may need to cut them to fit.) Sprinkle evenly with the brown sugar and then with the nuts.

  2. Add flour, white sugar, baking powder, and salt to a bowl and combine.

  3. Whisk together the pineapple juice, 1/4 cup melted butter, egg, and egg white, then pour into the dry ingredients and thoroughly combine.

  4. Pour the batter into the loaf pan, and spread evenly with a spatula as needed. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  5. Let cake cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then loosen the edges from the pan with a butter knife. Cover the loaf pan with your serving plate then carefully flip the cake over onto the plate. (Be careful as your pan may still be quite warm!) P. S. If any bits of topping stick in the pan, just lift them out with your butter knife and patch the cake accordingly. No one has to know the difference!



    • Savannah

      Hi, Allie! Sorry it has taken so long to get back to you. This recipe takes one whole egg (yolk + white), plus one extra white with the yolk removed! Two eggs is too much, but one egg is not quite enough. This is somewhere in between and seems to work well.

    • Savannah

      Hi, Glenda! Bloggers are real live people who often read the comments on their blog posts, so a little kindness is always a good idea. 🙂 If you’d truly like an answer to your question, it’s because here in the US, pineapple is sold in 20 oz cans. I strive to make my recipes easy to follow, and one can’t go to the grocery store here and grab a can of pineapple with cup measurements on it. Thank you for your concern. Feel free to find another pineapple cake recipe if this is a hindrance, but I can assure you that this one is delicious—“mixed up” measurements and all.

    • Rylin

      Best recipe ever!!! 😋 Perfect texture and flavor all I added was some cherrys on top and it tastes just like how I used to make them with my pawpa! Thank you so much for this quick an easy recipe it really tuned my day around.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Savannah!
    Thanks so much for the recipie. I had half a tin of pineapple leftover and was looking for a smaller batch recipie to use them with. This was perfect. Really yummy and fairly easy.
    Thanks so much!!

  • Sheri Specht

    I’ve made this cake several times. I prefer it in a round cake pan since the bottom is the best part, this way makes more surface area for all the butter and sugar to carmelize. I’ve also substituted cherries for nuts and it works great!
    Great recipe for 2 people who don’t need a whole entire cake!!

  • Anonymous

    Love this recipe! I’ve used it for awhile, the only difference is that a I use a round cake pan, for more pineapples and I also use cherries instead of nuts. My family really loves it every time!

  • Cheryl Davitz

    I made this today to use like pound cake to put strawberries over. I used a drained can of crushed pineapple. It caused the cake to sink kind of in the middle but it didn’t effect the taste. I like that it was a loaf cake. It’s just me and am always looking for small desserts. The cake was delicious and with fresh sliced strawberries over top my slice it was even better! Thank you for recipe!

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