Everything you ever wanted to know about the Pineapple upside-down cake!

What’s sunny and juicy and tangy?
What brings a smile to everyone’s faces?
What was created in the 1920s with ingenuity, drama and a novel ingredient?


‘Upside down cakes’ weren’t a new concept in the 1920s. According to most historians, the late 1800s were when the term “upside down cake” first began appearing. Up until that time, this type of cake was referred to as a skillet cake. This was because ovens were neither common nor reliable. So, cakes were made in cast-iron skillets on top of the stove and then inverted.

Pineapple upside-down cupcakes

Most of the original ‘upside-down’ recipes used seasonal fruit such as apples and cherries. Canned pineapple manufacturing didn’t begin until 1901 when Harvard graduate and entrepreneur James Dole established the Hawaiian Pineapple Company (now Dole Company) and began producing and marketing mass quantities of canned pineapple.

Dole pineapple rings

In 1925, the Hawaiian Pineapple Company sponsored a contest calling for pineapple recipes with judges from the Fannie Farmer’s School, Good Housekeeping, and McCall’s Magazine on the panel. Legend has it that that 2,500 of the 60,000 submissions were recipes for pineapple upside-down cake. The Company decided to run an ad about the flood of pineapple upside-down cake recipes it had received, and the cake’s popularity went through the roof!

Pineapple upside-down sheet cake

A simple vanilla cake batter poured over butter, sugar and pineapple rings, the PUC turns from Plain-Jane to Dazzling Diva in a matter of 25 minutes. Saucy, naughty and dramatic! Bright red maraschino cherries add even more flair!

So tell me dear reader, have you made the Pineapple Upside-down cake before?