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Marry classic pineapple upside-down cake with macadamia nuts and subtle coconut flavors for a bite of tropical cake paradise. 

This post is sponsored by Diamond of California, but – as always – all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that help make this site possible!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

I don’t mean to boast, but I think I really hit the jackpot when it comes to in-laws.

I know it is a cliche for everyone to complain about their in-laws, but I truly cannot join in that game. Alex’s parents welcomed me with open arms from the very first time they met me and have made me feel like a part of the family every single day since. I love them deeply and feel honored to be a part of their family.

Believe me, I know how blessed I am to feel this way, and it is not something that I take for granted – I am always looking for little ways to show them how much they mean to me and how glad I am that they’re my new family. So when my father-in-law, Jeff – upon finding out that I was serving as a culinary ambassador for Diamond Nuts – made a request for a Pineapple Upside-Down Cake crusted with chopped macadamia nuts, I filed that request away in my memory bank.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake 4

Pineapple upside Down Cake

I think from now on I might just consult Jeff any time I am looking for good recipe inspiration, because this Pineapple Upside-Down Cake was downright phenomenal.

I went with a fairly traditional base of butter and brown sugar, added some chopped macadamia nuts to the crushed pineapple party, and baked that underneath a traditional cake flavored with a bit of coconut milk. The addition of the coconut milk and the macadamia nuts add a subtle tropical touch that pairs well with the pineapple without overpowering it. The best part is that this cake looks very fancy – as all upside-down cakes tend do – but is actually far quicker and easier to make than a frosted cake.

I even had the chance to make this cake for my father-in-law during the family’s Memorial Day BBQ this past weekend. It was a hit – especially with Jeff and my 2-year-old niece. I am to please all ages.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake 3

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8


For the topping:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Diamond of California Macadamia Nuts roughly chopped
  • 2 8- ounce cans crushed pineapple very well drained

For the cake:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with aluminum foil to prevent any leaks during baking.

Prep the topping:

  • Pour the melted butter into the bottom of the prepared pan. Brush some of the butter up the sides of the pan to lightly grease them. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the melted butter in the bottom of the pan; top with the macadamia nuts, followed by the pineapple. Set aside.

Make the cake:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and the sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix until combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing until just combined. Add 1/2 of the coconut milk, mixing until just combined. Repeat until all of the flour and milk are added, ending with the final 1/3 of the flour mixture. Mix until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Spoon the cake batter on top of the prepared topping, spreading evenly. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until the top of the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  • Allow cake to cool for a few minutes after removing from the oven, then run a paring knife around the edges of the cake pan and (carefully) turn cake onto a cake plate while the cake is still very warm. Allow to cool before serving.
  • Cake will last, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to 3 days.


Makes 1 9-inch cake


Calories: 496kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 157mg | Potassium: 165mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 609IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 2mg



  1. 5 stars
    You did hit the jackpot!! And so did they. If for nothing else, that you make cakes like this. And I was with Anna on this one. My piece wasn’t big enough. haha

  2. Ohhh I always forget about macadamia nuts! When we went to Hawaii a while back I fell in love. This upside down cakes look so dreamy Stephie!

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