Pineapple upside down cake was my father’s favorite, and the Instant pot makes it so easy to make.
Back when my dad made this cake, it was large undertaking.
It also took a good long while to cook and it served a lot of people, which is why it was probably reserved for parties and large family gatherings.
With this Instant pot version you can make a smaller cake, quicker and you don’t have to heat up your kitchen.
How awesome is that?
The history of upside down cakes
While pineapple upside down cake is the most well known upside down cake in the US, there are many types of upside down cakes.
Delish.com has 24 of them!
According to UC Davis Integrative Medicine, the term upside down cake became popular in the late 1800s.
Cake with fruit cooked on the bottom has been around since long before that.
They were typically cooked in cast iron skillets and turned over after cooking to let the juices from the fruit seep into the cake.
In 1925 the pineapple upside down cake became a sensation when the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, now known as Dole, sponsored a contest for recipes and got over 2500 recipes for pineapple upside down cake.
While this delicious cake fell out of favor for a while, it’s making a resurgence, especially since it’s so easy to make in an Instant Pot.
Tips for Instant Pot Pineapple Upside Down Cake Success
Be sure to gather your ingredients before you start cooking.
When baking, unless otherwise stated, let all of your ingredients come to room temperature for best results.
For example, your eggs will be fluffier when you beat them and make your cake lighter and less dense.
I chose the cake mix in this recipe because I stay away from wheat, but honestly, if you don’t tell people, they will have no idea that the cake is gluten free.
I also chose dark brown sugar because it makes the cake look better.
Without typical oven browning, cakes made in your Instant pot can look a bit pale, especially if you don’t ice them.
The dark brown sugar give the cake a darker caramel color and richer taste than regular brown sugar.
Let’s get baking!
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 5 pineapple slices in 100% pineapple juice
- 4 maraschino cherries
- 2 eggs, large
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/3 cup pineapple juice, from the pineapples in juice
- 1/4 tsp vanilla or almond extract
- 10 1/2 ounces vanilla cake mix, Pamela's
- Place a parchment round in the bottom of the Springform pan.
- Pour the dark brown sugar in the pan and press into a firm layer.
- Lay four pineapple slices in the pan and cut the fith into smaller pieces to fill in the gaps around the slices.
- Place a cherry in the middle of each pineapple round.
- Place two eggs in your Kitchen Aid mixer and mix until fluffy on medium speed.
- When the eggs have doubled in size, turn the mixer to low.
- Add the oil, pineapple juice and vanilla or almond extract.
- Mix thoroughly.
- Slowly add the cake mix one spoonful at a time.
- Stop the mixer to scrape the sides of the bowl, then mix thoroughly.
- Pour the cake mix over the pineapple and cherries.
- Cover with foil.
- Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of your Instant Pot.
- Place a trivet in the pot and put the cake on the trivet.
- If your trivet is difficult to remove, make an aluminum foil sling by folding a 12 inch sheet of foil in half lengthwise two to three times and place on the trivet before placing the cake pan.
- Place the lid on the Instant pot making sure the vent is in the closed position.
- Press Manual and cook the cake for 20 minutes.
- Allow the pressure to release for at least 10 minutes after cooking.
- Remove the foil being careful not to get water on the cake.
- Place a plate that is at least two inches wider than the Springform pan over the cake and turn upside down.
- The cake should slide out easily, but release the Springform pan and remove gently.
- Cool completely and enjoy with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream.
The cake mix makes two cakes this size but making two cakes at the same time in the Instant pot is not recommended.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Crisco, Pure Vegetable Oil, 48 oz
Organic Valley Large Brown Free Range Organic Eggs
Pamelas Classic Vanilla Cake Mix, 21 oz
Amazon Brand - Happy Belly Maraschino Cherries in Glass Jar, 10 Ounce
Dole, Pineapple Slices in Juice, 20 Oz
Domino Dark Brown Sugar, 1 lb
Reynolds Wrap Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil, 130 Square Feet
Parchment Paper Baking Circles - 7 inch - 200 Eco-Friendly Pack - Baking Paper Liners for Round Cake Pans Circle Cheesecake, Cooking, Air Fryer
Bellemain Springform Pan (7 inch)
Pyrex Glass Measuring Cup Set (4-Piece, Microwave and Oven Safe ),Clear
KitchenAid 4-1/2-Quart Ultra Power Stand Mixer, Twilight Blue
Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, Sterilizer, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Saute, Yogurt Maker, and Warmer, 6 Quart, 14 One-Touch Programs
I prefer recipes that share pictures of the cooking process so I do that when I can.
So many times I’ve looked at something and wondered if it looks right so I include the pictures of the cooking process when I can.
That is especially important for something like making an aluminium foil sling.
Until I baked in my Instant pot, I would not see the value of the sling.
Once I did, I completely understood, and you will too.
Follow along with pictures of the baking process.
Additional Instant Pot recipes you might like
Final notes about this cake
This is the first cake I’ve tried in the Instant Pot, and I won’t lie, it took three tries to get it right.