Pineapple Upside Down Cake Doughnuts stacked on a green plate.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Doughnuts

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Doughnuts – transform the ultimate retro Pineapple Upside Down Cake into baked doughnuts, sweet bites of nostalgia!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Doughnuts stacked on a green plate.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake Doughnuts

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Doughnuts – transform the ultimate retro Pineapple Upside Down Cake into baked doughnuts, sweet bites of nostalgia!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Doughnuts on a cooling rack.

Note: This post was originally published on April 4, 2013. The recipe has been updated from the archives with updated content and photographs, as well as improved kitchen notes and recipe annotation. I hope you enjoy this favorite from my kitchen.

Every so often I pull out a little black folder tucked in the bottom of my desk drawer. I take it to the couch or into my bed, and with the same sense of calm as reading a novel, I sift through the hodgepodge of papers…recipes…from my mother. Some are laminated index cards with her handwriting in blue ink, cleanly written. Some are torn scraps of paper, franticly scribbled, as though she were in a rush. I imagine her taking these notes as she watched The Frugal Gourmet or Julia or Martin Yan. Then there are the magazine clippings, the newspaper food sections, yellowed with age.

I stopped at one the other night. On one side, ads for the local grocer, where you could buy fillet mignon for $2.38 a pound and cucumbers were 5 for 49 cents. A rotisserie chicken was $1.99 each. Each. On the other side, were several recipes for Pineapple Upside Down Cake. There was a version from 1925, another from Dole, and another for the skillet.

It brought me back to her Pineapple Upside Down Cakes. She favored crushed pineapples over slices, and the cake itself always had a lovely crumb. I’ve often wondered which of these versions she liked best.

As I reminisced, I had a vision of Pineapple Upside Down Cake Doughnuts. The little canned slices seem to be begging for it, don’t you think?

I baked a batch yesterday, and was so excited I just had to share them right away. Between nostalgia and sweet euphoria, I couldn’t resist.

How to Make Pineapple Upside Down Cake Doughnuts

Ever since I first shared this recipe, it has become a family favorite. I like to think of these doughnuts as individual servings of the classic pineapple upside down cake!

Step by step instructions for how to make Pineapple Upside Down Cake Doughnuts

A simple brown sugar butter mixture is melted on the stove and placed in the bottom of each doughnut well.

I like to take each pineapple ring and slice them in half into thinner rings — this is critical not just for fitting into the pan, but also to provide the right pineapple to cake ratio in each bite. Just use a knife to carefully slice them in half!

Step by step instructions for how to make Pineapple Upside Down Cake Doughnuts

Spread the batter on top of the pineapples and bake! The hard part is allowing the bake doughnuts to cool just enough so that it pops out of the pan easily. They’re especially delicious when eaten still warm, or can be cooled to room temperature and then enjoyed. I highly recommend enjoying them freshly baked!

More Doughnut Recipes

Baked Coconut Doughnuts
Coffee-Glazed Baked Chocolate Doughnuts
Churro Doughnut Holes with Ice Cream and Cherry Chipotle Sauce
Nutella Filled Mini Doughnuts
Blueberry Lemon Glazed Baked Donuts

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Doughnuts on a green plate.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Doughnuts

Pineapple Upside Down Cake Doughnuts – transform the ultimate retro Pineapple Upside Down Cake into baked doughnuts, sweet bites of nostalgia!
Pineapple Upside Down Cake Doughnuts stacked on a green plate.
Print This Pin This
5 from 1 vote
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 245kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 15-oz can sliced pineapple drained
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar until it is moist. Spread in the bottom of your doughnut pan.
  • Sliced the drained pineapples in half into thinner rings. Place the rings in the doughnut pan and press into the brown sugar.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until it is creamy. Add the sugar and continue beating until fluffy. Add the egg and beat until it is fully incorporated.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a measuring cup, stir in the vanilla into the buttermilk. Add the flour mixture in increments to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk. Beat until just combined.
  • Fill the doughnut pan about 2/3 full. Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Gently remove the doughnuts from the pan by inverting onto a plate.
  • Let it cool on a wire rack…or enjoy immediately.

Notes

Adapted from 1925 Winning Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Source Unknown and Best Baked Doughnuts Ever, Food.com.
Pineapple Upside Down Cake Doughnut Tips
  • Canned pineapple rings need to be sliced in half into thinner rings — this is critical not just for fitting into the pan, but also to provide the right pineapple to cake ratio in each bite. Just use a knife to carefully slice them in half!
  • Allowing the bake doughnuts for about 8 minutes, or until they easily pop out of the pan without breaking apart.
  • The doughnuts are delicious when eaten still warm, or can be cooled to room temperature and then enjoyed.
  • I highly recommend enjoying them freshly baked, but cooled doughnuts can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Nutrition

Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 106mg | Potassium: 132mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 394IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see! Tag @kitchconfidante on Instagram and hashtag it #kitchenconfidante
Pineapple Upside Down Cake Doughnuts | Kitchen Confidante
Photo of Pineapple Upside Down Cake Doughnuts from the original post, April 4, 2013.

Comments

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  1. Sabrina

    5 stars
    what a fun recipe, love the nostalgia aspect and that it’s not a whole upside down cake! Good tips too about thinner slices so that the pineapple taste isn’t too overwhelming, thank you

    Reply
  2. Jenn B

    Saw these, made them, LOVE THEM! My kids devoured them and they are delicious. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Reply
  3. Derrick Johnson

    What a great recipe! I WILL try this recipe real soon!

    Reply
  4. jules

    so delicious. what a great idea. i wish i had one (or three) of these tomorrow morning

    Reply
  5. Simon @ Rice & Sticks

    mmmm Pineapple, moist sweet pineapple. I LOVE anything with pineapple. Seems like a recipe to try when in the mood for something sweet.

    Great blog you got there. Definitely gonna check back regularly.

    Reply
  6. Irene

    Yay I finally got around to making some, making adjustments to reduce some of the butter in the doughnut batter! This is such a ridiculously great idea- the caramel sauce soaking into the doughnuts makes it super moist and a delish sweet treat! Thanks for the inspiration :)

    Reply
  7. Becky

    My mother used to make pineapple upside down cake every year for my dad’s birthday. She wasn’t fancy and used boxed cake and canned pineapples but it was still good and now it’s forever a flavor of my childhood :)

    Reply
  8. Nami | Just One Cookbook

    We love pineapple upside down cake, and when I saw it in donuts shape, I got so excited. I’ve been meaning to check this recipe but haven’t had the chance till now. I have to save this, these look so good!! I probably need to make double batch considering how everyone in my family loves pineapples. :)

    Reply
  9. Lindsey @ Hot Polka Dot

    Gosh you are a clever one! I never would have thought of doing this but, seeing your lovely mouthwatering photos now, it makes so much sense!

    Reply
  10. Kankana

    I had a feeling this was coming next and I am so glad you didn’t wait log. LOVE how neat they look and even though I am not a huge fan of pineapple upside down cake, I am gonna give this a try. So pretty :)

    Reply
  11. Rose from Magpies Recipes

    Adorableness! When I saw them I thought they were upside down cakelettes. But doughnuts? Such a brilliant idea Liren! but I am sure these taste fantastic!
    Oh and I remember those “Yan Can Cook, So can you!” episodes too! Was so excited to see him on Top Chef recently :)

    Reply
  12. Deb

    My mom loved to make Pineapple Upside Down Cake in her cast iron skillet. Your post evoked such sweet memories of Sunday dinners! The doughnuts are just sublime, a scrumptious post!

    Reply
  13. Malou | Skip to Malou

    I can’t resist clicking on your post when I read the first few lines from my reading list. What a heartwarming post… one of the greatest joys of cooking is being able to keep the memories of our dearly departed come to life again! Hugs Liren, I know your mom could smell what you just made … and I know she’s smiling in heaven!

    xoxo,
    Malou

    Reply
  14. Cassie | Bake Your Day

    Beautiful story, Liren! I love nothing more than my mother’s and grandmother’s handwritten recipe cards. And pineapple upside down cake is one of them – my grandpa’s favorite and my grandma also uses crushed pineapple instead of rings. The rings are perfect for the doughnuts though. I love this!

    Reply
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