Pineapple Upside-Down Cake – An Easy Dutch Oven Dessert

Dutch Oven Pineapple Upside Down Cake PinOne of the most popular and easy dutch oven desserts to make is pineapple-upside down cake.  It looks great, tastes delicious, and is super easy to make.  The only difficult thing is figuring out how to flip it over when you get done!

To start, get your coals going and your Dutch oven heating up.  Melt butter in the Dutch oven, add brown sugar to the melted butter and stir.   I also added a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon.

Melting Butter in Dutch Oven


Butter with Brown Sugar Mixed in

While the butter is melting, mix a box of yellow cake mix, oil, eggs, and the juice from a can of pineapple rings.

Mixing the cake mix, eggs, pineapple juice, and oil

Once the brown sugar/butter mixture is ready to go, put 7-8 pineapple slices in the bottom of the Dutch oven.

Adding Pineapple Rings

Put a  maraschino cherry in the center of each slice.

Adding the Cherries

Next I sprinkled some chopped pecans over the pineapples and brown sugar mixture.  This added another layer of flavor and texture.  When i flipped over the cake, the pecans were between the pineapples slices and the cake.

Now pour the cake mixture into the Dutch oven, covering all the pineapples.

Adding the Cake Batter

Put the lid on the Dutch oven, with coals on top and let it bake! I end up using about 10 coals on the bottom and 16 coals on the top of my 12" Dutch oven.

Every ten minutes or so you'll need to rotate the Dutch oven 45 degrees in one direction and the lid 45 degrees in the opposite direction.  This helps reduce the chance of overcooking an area because of hot spots.

Let the cake cook until done, using a toothpick to test.  When it comes out clean, the cake is ready!

Remove the Dutch oven from the coals and take the lid off.  Let it cool a bit to make things easier to handle.

Now comes the tricky part.  And I totally screwed it up the first time--I ended up with my hand slipping and the cake just kind of slid out, not upside down, and landed half on the plate and half off.  Fail!

My Failure to Flip

So the next time, I practiced flipping ahead of time.  For me, it worked well to put the plate that I was going to serve the cake on upside on top of the Dutch oven.  Then, with one hand, I used a hot pad directly under the Dutch oven, and the other on top of the upside down plate, applied some pressure and then quickly flipped the whole thing over.  I lifted the Dutch oven off and voila!  Dutch Oven Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, as it should be.

Pineapple Cake Flipped Perfectly

A little whipped cream and you have an absolutely delicious dessert.


Dutch Oven Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Dutch Oven Pineapple Upside Down Cake is one of the classic Dutch oven desserts, is easy to make, and delicious!
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Dutch oven
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp cinammon
  • 1 can sliced pineapple rings (you'll need about 8 slices. Save the pineapple juice)
  • 8 maraschino cherries
  1. Start by preheating your Dutch oven. Use about 10 coals underneath and 16 on top.
  2. Melt the butter in the dutch oven.
  3. Add the brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir in with the butter until it is dissolved.
  4. Put the cake mix, oil, eggs, and juice from the pineapple in a bowl and mix, stirring until all of the lumps are gone.
  5. Add the pineapple rings, spacing evenly along the bottom of the Dutch oven. I usually put 7 around the outside, and 1 in the middle of the Dutch oven.
  6. Put 1 maraschino cherry in the middle of each pineapple ring. If you prefer to wait until cooked and the cake is flipped over, you can do that as well.
  7. Sprinkle the pecans on top of the pineapple rings.
  8. Pour the cake batter into the Dutch oven and spread evenly over the pineapple.
  9. Put the dutch oven lid on and put back on the coals for about 30 minutes.
  10. Check to make sure the cake is done (toothpick comes out clean).
  11. The cake may shrink a little when it is done, but that's ok, because it will help you remove the cake upside down!
  12. When the cake is done, take the lid off and turn the Dutch oven over onto a plate or other serving dish.
  13. Serve with whipping cream




  1. Thanks for sharing Pineapple Upside-Down Cake.
    I’m a professional traveler and camper over 30 countries I’ve traveled. I couldn’t think ever about this recipe on camping. My husband always barging with to make different in cooking. But wouldn’t.

    Yubana Rim

    • A mon on October 21, 2016 at 6:53 am
    • Reply

    My 13 year old Boy Scout made your recipe on his last campout at Morro Bay. IHe told me it was a HUGE hit with the other scouts and the cooking merit badge counselor. He is camping again this weekend at Pt Mugu and his patrol and adult leaders asked him to make it again. Thank you!

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