pineapple “upside down” bars

I love when something I love can be made easier. While I certainly LIKED the pineapple upside down cake I made earlier this year, it is always SO tricky for me to turn over a pan of anything and land it elegantly on a plate to serve.

Side note: Tricky is often a word that is used to express something mildly difficult, like finishing a small puzzle or talking your little sister into playing the “let’s see who can pick up the most” game when your mom tells you to clean your room. Here, the word tricky is used to denote something that usually makes me feel about as coordinated as an elephant in roller skates.

I usually end up getting some sort of hot, sticky liquid all over my hands, arms, and whatever clothes I’m wearing even under the apron (how is that possible?!). That’s why, when I came across the idea of making pineapple upside down cake into bars with the topping already on the top (no flipping required) I was soooooo in.

I’ve played with the original recipe and come up with something mouthwatering. I loved pairing the macadamia nuts with this cake because it played into the tropical theme and added a fantastic, delicate under-flavor to the pineapple topping.

Biting into these babies was like the part of a movie where everything is silent, and finally the couple kisses at the end and “At Last” by Etta James starts playing and your eyes close and you just know it’s true love.

So, do us both a favor. Find some true love here. You’ll thank me.

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Pineapple “Upside Down” Bars



For cake:

  • 1/2c butter, softened
  • 1/3c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 generous Tbsp sour cream (I used light)
  • 3 Tbsp milk (I used skim)
  • 2tsp vanilla
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2c flour

For topping:

  • 1/2c brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 (14oz) can crushed pineapple, drained well
  • 1/2c chopped macadamia nuts (you could use pecans or walnuts or almonds)


  1. Make the cake by creaming together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time until well incorporated and cohesive. Beat in sour cream, milk, vanilla and salt. Sift in baking powder and flour and stir till just combined. The batter will be thick, don’t worry.
  2. Pour batter into an 8×8″ pan that has been sprayed well with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  3. Cool the cake for 15 minutes, and then make the topping. Don’t make the topping ahead of time or it will cause the pineapple to release more juice and can lead to sogggy cake. If your topping seems very wet, you can stir in 1/2 Tbsp flour.
  4. Preheat your broiler. Make the topping, blend butter and brown sugar well, until crumbly and sticking together. Stir in pineapple and nuts and stir to combine. Spread over cake, covering well. Broil for 5-7 minutes and remove from oven. Topping will be bubbly and nuts are just beginning to toast. Cool before cutting. (The topping will remain moist and will not crisp like a fruit crisp would).
  5. Slice in 9-12 pieces and enjoy!


  1. This looks and sounds great! Can’t wait to try it! Do you think fresh chopped pineapple could be substituted? You have some delicous recipes on your website, several of which I plan to make asap!!

  2. Oh my, you are a genius! Just made this last night for the family, and it was another hit. So refreshing for a hot summer day and so easy to make. I used a can of 20 oz pineapple and a full cup of chopped almonds cause I was to lazy to try and change the measurements, but it was perfect. Your recipes are so detailed I cant tell you how helpful that is, thank you so much for sharing your fabulous secrets!

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