Pineapple Cakes… Right Side Up

My mom’s birthday celebration was over the weekend, and she enjoys having a picnic in the park to celebrate, most years.  It’s always a nice time, but transporting special birthday foods can be a challenge.  I thought I’d make cake in jars this year, to make it easier to transport.  I thought Pineapple Upside Down Cake would be nice.  I also thought I’d make it right-side up, so that the beautiful pineapple rings showed on top.

Well, it didn’t turn out quite like I had hoped, but it was still delicious.

Part of the draw of making it in jars was intended to be that I could put lids on the individual cakes.  I made some cupcakes in jars for a baby shower last summer, and those were a hit – and SO EASY to bring along.  But, the pineapple cakes rose considerably more than I was expecting.  You can see where the cake mix even rose through the pineapple ring to bake on top.  Which is kind of nice in this example, but of course, this was the best-looking one of the bunch.

Here’s how the rest turned out:

I’m calling this one a semi-fail… because the good news is, they were DELICIOUS!  With a bit more tweaking (and/or bigger jars) I think these could also be beautiful, too.

I have to be honest – I used a mix!  The Duncan Hines recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake is on the side of the box.  It did call for instant pudding, some additional brown sugar and butter, and of course the fruit in addition to adding eggs, water, and oil.

I used half-pint wide-mouth jars, so that they would be about the same size as the pineapple rings.  I sprayed my jars with baking spray and filled them just sightly over halfway… which as you can see, ended up being too full.  I’d go with about 1/3 full, if I try this again.

The recipe called for a brown sugar topping to put on the bottom of your baking dish.  With individual servings being assembled right-side-up, I added it to the top, which worked just fine.

Then I added a pineapple ring to each jar and a cherry in the center, and there began my problem.  The cherries sank.  So if you’re thinking you might like to do this, I have tested the theory and there really is a reason you bake it upside down, other than the fact that it looks nice when it comes out of the pan.  If you want to try it right side up, I’d add the cherries at least halfway into the baking time next time.  These turned out to be like a cherry surprise – buried inside the cake.

And as I mentioned, the mix rose quite a bit, so I ended up with some strange bumpy centers, and a little bit of overflow.  Here’s the ugliest one:

On the whole… my family doesn’t expect me to be Martha in the kitchen (thank goodness).  So these were still well-received, and we all had a good laugh.  My mom seemed to have a really nice time at the picnic, and a great birthday – which is what really matters!  It may have helped that I made sure she got the nicest one…

I link up to these great parties!


  1. Paula Parrish says

    Hello Adrianne,
    As long as your mini pineapple cakes taste yummy, that is what’s important. I am sure that your Mom loved them. Happy Belated Birthday Mom. ;o)
    Smiles, Paula

  2. Angela Paris says

    These look yummy! Visiting from from the GFC Blog Hop – hope you’ll come visit me too :)

  3. Milynn luong says

    These look so cute! Especially those jars, where can I find them?? They are too cute too pass up!

    Also I'm your newest follower :)

    Love & Whimsy

  4. Jelli says

    These look delish. I'm not sure exactly what makes cakes in jars seem so much more special, but they do! Thanks for sharing. Now following you from the GFC hop.

  5. Sandra Kohlmann says

    I just found your blog through the GFC blog hop. I must say that this post alone is reason to stick around and read more. I adore that you are willing to share your not-so-successful projects with the world. Blogging sometimes gets me down. I feel like I don't measure up to all the other perfect, beautiful, organized, stylish moms out there. I think we need more posts like this one: it's beautiful, humorous, shares a great recipe idea, but isn't the phony perfection that makes me feel so inadequate. I'm so glad to have found you!

  6. Kara at Petals to Picots says

    These look yummy, Adrianne! I love the idea of making them in those little jars. Hope your mom had a great day :)

  7. Terry says

    I thought they looked cute. Whenever I make something that doesn't look the way I planned, I dub it 'rustic'. Glad they tasted great which is, of course, the main thing. Nice photo of your mom.

  8. Kayla says

    New follower from the blog hop! these look amazing!!! cant wait to see more posts! love your blog!

    Kayla @ Inspired Kreations

  9. Lauren says

    Umm, YUM! These look delish! I'm your newest follower from the blog hop! Can't wait to see more!

  10. Niki says

    Even if they were a semi-fail (which I still think they look AMAZING) they sound SO delicious! I want to try this recipe!

    Found you through the GFC Hop – thanks for hosting!

  11. Kadie says

    I think they are very clever! It would have been nice to put lids on them for transport but I still think they look adorable. Glad yo had a great weekend! You look so much like your mom.:)

  12. Ashley says

    These look really good! How fun to have a picnic in the park every year for her birthday!

    Stopping by and following from the blog hop. :)

  13. Full Circle Creations says

    Looks so yummy! And Mom looks really happy! Thanks for sharing at the All Star Block Party.


  14. Heather says

    Sometimes when a plan doesn't work exactly, it can still be a good thing. These looks so cute just the way they are. Thanks for sharing at the All Star Block Party.

  15. Maureen Hayes says

    First of all, happy belated birthday to your mom!!! Secondly, any dessert that tastes good cannot be a fail!! Sorry :-) Also, I think they look great as well!

  16. Anastasia Ricks says

    This looks scrumptious!! I love baking in canning jars. They make such lovely single serving vessles. I'm a new follower from All Star Blog Party. I'd love for you to pay me a visit and follow me back at Thanks!

  17. Jessi Wohlwend says

    Yum! As long as they were delicious I'm sure it doesn't matter what they look like :-) Thanks so much for sharing this at The Fun In Functional!

  18. Dorothy says

    I am loving this idea. And I think the one that grew through the hole is cool – looks like you planned it that way, like a flower. :)

  19. Carmen says

    Thank you so much for this. All of the other articles I read about this topic simply provided easier methods of flipping. Wasn’t what I was inquiring. Your tip on baking the cake halfway first and then placing the cherries so they don’t sink, was great. I have to bake a few pineapple “right-side up” cakes in very, very large aluminum pans for a fair tomorrow. No cake flipping in these pans. It’ll look like a dump cake. So placing the pineapples ahead of time is fine, just not the cherries. Thank you. Love this!

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