Grab your mini donut pan, because this Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cake Donuts recipe is calling your name! Featuring golden pineapple, sweet maraschino cherries, and lots of inspiration from the nostalgic dessert we all love so much.
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is one of my most favorite cakes, and David’s too. Sadly, though, we could probably count on two hands how many times we’ve each had a piece.
As I was working on the recipe for this post, I thought about why we haven’t had Pineapple Upside-Down Cake much. The answer is pretty simple: in our house, a cake is usually something that we have for birthdays or very special occasions and other cakes tend to always win over the Pineapple Upside-Down Cake.
For David, German Chocolate Cake is ALWAYS the top pick on his birthday.
For me, Carrot Cake wins.
And then the kids all have their favorites: chocolate chip cookie cake, cheesecake, and others.
Poor Pineapple Upside-Down Cake never stands a chance in our house. So much for being the so-called favorite, huh?
While my Mini Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Doughnuts recipe isn’t exactly the same thing as having a piece of cake (we’re not going to even pretend that they are the same), but they are a fun, very yummy, and a great way to get that Pineapple Upside-Down Cake flavor into a small, hand-held treat.
Rather than frying these doughnuts, they are baked in the oven, so you’ll want to make sure you have a mini doughnut pan. I picked up mine at a thrift store, but you can easily buy a [easyazon_link identifier=”B004CYELQ4″ locale=”US” tag=”homecookingmemories-20″]Mini Doughnut Pan[/easyazon_link] online.
With your mini doughnut pan ready, the first important step is to drain your pineapple VERY well. I used crushed pineapple, which is the easiest, but you could use chunks or even rings, but they will have to be cut into small pieces. Drain the pineapple into a measuring cup, because you’ll need it to make a pineapple syrup.
Filling the mini doughnut pan can be a bit tricky, but to make this easier, I recommend placing the doughnut batter in a quart sized zipper-style plastic bag. Close the bag and then snip off a small bit of one of the corners. This will allow you to squeeze the batter through the hole and into each section of the doughnut pan more precisely.
As with traditional Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, the fruit is placed in the pan before the batter, on top of some melted butter. To add the batter on top of your fruit, squeeze the batter around in circles on top of the pineapple and cherries. Avoid going all the way to the edge though, as this will give the batter enough room to rise and fill in the doughnut well as it bakes.
While your mini doughnuts are baking, you’ll make up a simple pineapple syrup. When your Pineapple Upside-Down Doughnuts are finished baking and have cooled, dip the tops into the pineapple syrup to add even more pineapple flavor and a wonderfully sweet exterior.
Here’s is the complete recipe — if you aren’t ready to make these yet, be sure to pin this post to one of your Pinterest boards (they are great on a cake board or a breakfast board):
Mini Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Donuts Recipe
- 5 teaspoons butter, melted
- 1 can crushed pineapple (20 ounces, very well drained, juice reserved)
- 8 maraschino cherries, stems removed and chopped
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup milk
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup reserved pineapple juice (see above)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- Grease mini doughnut pan. In a small bowl, mix well-drained pineapple with brown sugar. Pour ⅛ teaspoon melted butter into each section of the mini doughnut pan. Place 3 pieces of cherries into each doughnut well. Add about ½ teaspoon of brown sugar coated pineapple to each doughnut section (avoid adding the sugary juice that might form in the bowl with the pineapple).
- In a large bowl, beat the butter with the sugar with a mixer. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. By hand, stir in the baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir each of the following into the butter/sugar mixture in the bowl, being sure to incorporate each addition before adding the next: ⅓ of the flour, then add half of the milk, following by another ⅓ of the flour, the remainder of the milk, and then the remainder of the flour.
- Place batter in a zipper-style plastic bag, seal, and snip off a small bit of one corner (or place in a pastry bag), and squeeze the batter on top of the fruit in the pan. You'll want to cover all the fruit with batter, but avoid covering all the way to the edge of each well.
- Bake for 5-7 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a doughnut comes out clean. Remove doughnuts from oven and allow to cool in pan for about 5 minutes. Turn them out onto a cooling rack to continue cooling.
- When doughnuts are able to be handled, dip the tops (fruit side) of the doughnuts into the syrup and place back onto cooling rack to continue cooling and to allow any excess to drip off.
--Doughnut recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour
Want more donut recipes?
On the 12th of every month, 11 of my blogging friends and I all create recipes around a common theme — all of the recipes have 12 ingredients or less too. This months theme is Donut Recipes — check out the links below to get all of their donut recipes:
- Chocolate Dipped Cream Filled Doughnuts From Big Bears Wife
- Dark chocolate cookie butter donuts from Betsy Life
- Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cake Doughnuts from Home CookingM emories
- Pina Colada Donut from Cooking on the Front Burner
- Vanilla Cake Donuts with Strawberry Glaze from Love Bakes Good Cakes
- Easy Funfetti Donuts from A Million Moments
- Bacon Donuts with Maple Cinnamon Cream from Bread Booze Bacon
- Baked Cake Donuts from A Night Owl Blog
- Mini Chocolate Cake Donuts with Zebra Glaze from Pink Cake Plate
- Princess Cake Donuts from I Love My Disorganized Life
- Paleo Coconut Donuts with Chocolate Glaze from See Vanessa Craft
- Chocolate Donuts with Cherry Glaze from Around My Family Table