Instant Pot Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Instant Pot Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Last Updated on May 28, 2019 by Tina

I was in the mood for a Pineapple Upside Down Cake this weekend, but didn’t want to heat up the house to make one! Summer heat has arrived, so I pulled out my Instant Pot to convert my recipe to cook it in an alternative way to keep the house cool. 🙂 This cake has a delightful flavor and is made from scratch with ingredients easily found in your pantry. I also thought it was a great dessert to follow up my Instant Pot Sirloin Beef Tips with Mushroom Gravy dinner!

pineapple upside down cake on plate topped with sliced pineapple and cherries

What is an upside down cake?

Upside down cakes date back as far as the Middle Ages, and can feature many different kinds of fruit toppings. In the early 20th century James Dole started the Hawaiian Pineapple Company which we know today as Dole Company. Around 1925, the company held a contest asking for recipes that featured…I bet you can guess…pineapple! Around 2,500 of the entries were pineapple upside down cakes. These cakes were typically made in cast iron pans which made it easier to flip them when done because the skillets had handles. Just like that the cake took off in popularity, and continues to be a classic dessert still served in homes today. To continue reading more head over to What’s Cooking America.

Prep the pineapple upside down cake topping

Melt three tablespoons of the butter, and combine with the brown sugar. Meanwhile, butter the sides of your pan. I used my large PIP for this recipe. A smaller pan will not work well, and would increase the cooking time dramatically. Plus, you want a pan with more surface area to cook this cake in. Pour the brown sugar mixture into the pan.

Place a whole slice of pineapple in the center of the pan, and then arrange half slices around it. Add a half slice of pineapple along the side of the pan. Place a whole cherry into the center of each slice or half slice of pineapple.

close up view of pan with sliced pineapples with cherries

When you are done arranging your slices, it should look something like the below. Minus the very cute little dog looking to score a sweet treat! LOL She was all like – Mom, can’t I have just a quick taste? It looks sooooo good!

Prep the cake batter for pineapple upside down cake

Cream together 1/4 cup of softened unsalted butter and the sugar. Add to this the egg and vanilla. Add to this the flour, baking powder, and salt. Finally, add the milk to the mixture.

Pour the batter into the pan, and gently spread evenly in the pan so as not to disturb your pretty arrangement of pineapple slices.

Baking the pineapple upside down cake

Place the rack in the Instant Pot with the arms down. Add one cup of water in the pressure cooker. Place the cake in the pressure cooker. Cover with the lid that came with the PIP, and you can place the PIP in there too to make it easier to remove. Which I forgot to do, but I was still able to remove easily with an extra set of hands.

Seal the Instant Pot according to your manufacturers instructions. Cook on high pressure for 50 minutes then follow with a 20 natural pressure release. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then invert the cake onto a plate. Let cool an additional 20 minutes, and let the cake soak up the juices on the plate as much as possible.

Tips for a great cake

When letting the cake absorb the extra juices be sure to tilt the plate around every few minutes to swirl the sugary sweetness so it just doesn’t collect on the sides. This will help evenly distribute it.

I used a 6-quart Instant Pot Duo for this recipe, so be sure whatever pan you use to cook this uses up as much space as possible for a larger surface area to cook the cake.

For a spiced version of this cake you can add about a half teaspoon of cinnamon, and a quarter teaspoon of nutmeg.

If you get a craving for this but don’t have the cherries that’s okay it can be made without them. If you don’t have slices then chunked pineapple can be used.

If you enjoyed this recipe you might like Instant Pot Salisbury Steak, Instant Pot No Fail Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, or Instant Pot Golden Oreo Chocolate Chip Cheesecake!

Instant Pot Pineapple Upside Down Cake

A classic pineapple upside down cake recipe fro your pressure cooker that is made from scratch. Easy to make and sure to impress your dinner guests, the neighborhood cookout, or office potluck! A sweet cake topped with sliced pineapples and cherries that the family will love.
3.79 from 19 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy pineapple upside down cake, instant pot dessert, instant pot pineapple cake recipe, instant pot pineapple upside down cake, pineapple cake recipe, pineapple upside down cake
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Resting Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 376kcal
Author: Tina


Topping Ingredients

  • 18 Maraschino Cherries whole, may need more depending on number of slices
  • 20 ounce pineapple slices whole, packed in 100% juice
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter melted
  • 1 tbsp pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar

Cake Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 2/3 cup milk


  • Melt the three tablespoons of butter. Add to this the reserved pineapple juice and brown sugar stir well to combine. Add to bottom of pot. Note I have a 6-quart Instant Pot, and used my PIP pan for this recipe (8.28×8.28×6.1). Butter the sides of the PIP pan, and pour the mixture in the bottom being sure to cover it completely.
  • Place one whole pineapple slice in center of pan, and add a whole cherry to the center. Cut the remaining slices in half, and place a whole cherry in the center. Arrange around the whole piece, and add slices to the sides if desired.
  • In a mixer, beat together the softened butter, and sugar. Beat in the egg and vanilla next.
  • Add the flour, baking powder, and salt then to mixer along with the milk. Mix together.
  • Pour the cake batter over top the pineapple slices, and spread batter as evenly as possible.
  • Add the rack with the arms down to the Instant Pot with the arms folded down. Add one cup of water to the pot for cooking. Place the cover that came with the PIP on the pan, and lower into the Instant Pot.
  • Seal, and cook on high pressure for 50 minutes. Follow with a 20-minute natural pressure release.
  • Let cool for a few minutes, and then invert the pan to a plate. Let cool for up to ten minutes. Be sure to allow the cake to soak up the extra juices on the plate.
  • Serve immediately, or store in an airtight container for up to one week.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 376kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 97mg | Potassium: 292mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 46g | Vitamin A: 410IU | Vitamin C: 6.8mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 1.6mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @MondayisMeatloaf or tag #mondayismeatloaf! I would love to see your amazing creations!

16 thoughts on “Instant Pot Pineapple Upside Down Cake”

  • 4 stars
    This sounds wonderful, and I’m anxious to try it. But I’m curious about one thing – why do the arms of the rack need to be folded down? It seems like it would be easier to take the PIP out if the handles were up. Thanks for sharing.

    • It’s not the PIP rack but he one that cane with IP. I’ll revise the directions after my husband also pointed it it out to me. 😊 Lay in the PIP rack, and then the other rack to provide a small space at the bottom. My apologies for the confusion! 😊

      • Unfortunately, I don’t think it would work out very well. However, you could try to cook the brown sugar topping ingredients then pour it on
        to see how it works out.

  • 3 stars
    I made this today but the cake was very dense. Did I do something wrong or is it always like this. My cake pan doesn’t have a lid so I covered it with aluminum foil…

    • Cakes in the Instant Pot are typically more dense, but you should have still gotten a good crumb. It should not have been super dense. The foil should have been good to go for you. 🙂

  • 4 stars
    Thank you for this IP Pineapple Upside Down recipe! Perhaps you should clarify the size of the spring form pan to be used or glass pan, or whatever PIP (pot in pot) will fit. In an IP-6-qt, the usual workable diameter is 17.7 cm (7″) which will safely allow proper steam circulation and facilitate PIP removal once the cake is baked. Using a sling made of a folded aluminum foil strip or (pot pliers) is also required. Furthermore, when measuring the IP insert diameter, one must take into account the curve at the bottom of the IP insert perimeter. Flipping the IP insert upside-down and measuring the flat bottom part only is the correct way for obtaining a PIP’s maximum diameter, one that will fit perfectly inside the IP insert.

    • You’re welcome, and thank you for all the great information. The measurements of the PIP are located within the recipe card. 🙂

  • I am a new IP user and would love to make your recipe. Could you please be a bit more specific on the type of pot you used. Thanks

    • No problem, these are the stackable cooking inserts. The exact dimensions of the pans I used are located in the recipe card. Thanks! I hope you enjoy the recipe. 🙂

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