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Pineapple Upside Down Cake

My son Luke's favorite thing to bake is a Pineapple Upside Down Cake. He and I first made one together when he was three years old, right after I got the book Mommy & Me Bake.

Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes made in a 12-cavity muffin pan.

If your child isn't big on frosting or if you're looking for a lighter dessert, this is a great option!

We've made Pineapple Upside Down Cake in a 8-inch round cake pan, 12-cavity muffin pan, and a 6-cavity jumbo muffin pan - any size works! We've also made them with regular yellow cake mix, gluten-free yellow cake mix, and from scratch. Every time - delicious!

Here's how we made our latest batch (pictured here) using a 12-cavity muffin pan and yellow cake mix:

  • Follow box directions to make a bowl of yellow cake mix batter.

  • Let little fingers generously spread softened butter into each cavity until well-coated. I put Luke on the floor for this step and let him have fun and make a mess.

  • Then let little fingers place one maraschino cherry and 3-4 pineapple chunks into each cavity. It's a challenge to get them all to fit, but pack them in there! I also let Luke do this step while on the floor - remember, it doesn't have to be perfect.

  • Then pour cake batter over the fruit until each cavity is almost full. If you have left over batter, make some more later!

  • Bake until golden brown. I personally don't use an oven timer but I think this about 20-30 minutes. :)

Now, here's the *trick* that makes Pineapple Upside Down Cake FUN for kids! Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then use pot holders and FLIP it onto the counter.

Build up the suspense with a drumroll🥁 and hope for success! Lord willing, it comes out clean! If not, just grab what stuck and push it on top.

Maybe it's just our house, but this fruit-topped cake just feels like magic.


P.S. - If your child doesn't like pineapples, use bananas instead!

Three-year old Luke with his first Pineapple Upside Down Cake made in a round cake pan. Slices are best eaten by hand. :)


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