How many calories are in a homemade pineapple upside down cake?

Pineapple upside down cake is a classic dessert that combines the sweet flavors of pineapple and caramelized brown sugar with a soft vanilla cake base. It’s popular at potlucks, birthdays and other celebrations. But how many calories are in a slice of homemade pineapple upside down cake?

Calories in Pineapple Upside Down Cake

The total calories in pineapple upside down cake can vary quite a bit depending on the specific ingredients and portion size. On average, one slice of homemade pineapple upside down cake contains around 300-400 calories.

This is the calorie count for a standard 9-inch round cake sliced into 8 pieces. Smaller or larger cakes with more or fewer slices will have slightly higher or lower calorie counts per slice.

Here is a breakdown of where the calories come from in pineapple upside down cake:

Cake Base

The cake base provides the bulk of the calories. A common recipe for pineapple upside down cake uses ingredients like flour, sugar, butter, eggs and milk to make a vanilla cake batter.

For an 8-slice cake made with this basic cake recipe, the cake base contributes around 200-250 calories per slice. Factors like the specific ingredients, cake size and thickness impact the final numbers.

Pineapple Topping

The pineapple topping adds natural sweetness and fruit flavor. A typical pineapple topping made with pineapple rings, brown sugar, butter and maraschino cherries contributes 50-100 calories per slice.

The calories depend on the amount of brown sugar and butter used. More generous amounts result in more calories from the topping.


Different recipes can alter the calorie counts slightly. For example:

– Using oil instead of butter will lower the fat and calorie content.

– Adding extras like coconut or nuts will increase calories.

– Opting for a larger cake with thinner slices reduces calories per slice.

– Choosing a smaller cake with thicker slices increases calories per slice.

So the exact calorie count per slice depends on the specific recipe, but the range is generally 300-400 calories for a standard homemade pineapple upside down cake.

Nutrition Facts

In addition to calories, here are some of the key nutrition facts for pineapple upside down cake:

Total Fat

Around 13-18g total fat per slice is typical. The fat comes mostly from butter or oil used to make the cake and pineapple topping.

Saturated Fat

An average slice contains around 7-12g saturated fat. This comes mainly from the butter in the recipe.


There are around 45-60g total carbohydrates per slice. Most of these carbs come from the sugar and flour in the cake.


Fiber content is around 1-2g per slice. There is minimal fiber from the flour and a small amount from the pineapple.


Each slice contains around 30-40g sugar. Most of the sugar in pineapple upside down cake comes from the added sugar in the cake batter itself.


A typical slice provides 3-4g of protein. The protein comes mostly from the eggs and milk used to make the cake.


Sodium content is minimal at around 100-150mg per slice. There is little added salt in the basic cake ingredients.

Vitamins and Minerals

The cake contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron primarily from the milk, eggs and pineapple.

So in nutritional terms, the cake provides mostly calories from carbohydrates and fat with smaller contributions of protein, vitamins and minerals.

Low Calorie Alternatives

For a lower calorie pineapple upside down cake, here are some ingredient substitutions to reduce the calories per slice:

Use Oil Instead of Butter

Replacing the butter in the cake and topping with canola oil or another neutral vegetable oil can reduce the saturated fat and calories.

Reduce Sugar

Cutting back on the granulated white sugar in the cake batter by 1⁄4 to 1⁄3 cup can make a significant dent in the calorie and carbohydrate count.

Increase Pineapple

Adding extra pineapple to the topping boosts the nutrition with extra fiber, vitamins and minerals for minimal extra calories.

Substitute Whole Wheat Flour

Replacing some of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour adds a bit more fiber and nutrition.

Low-Fat Dairy

Using low-fat milk and yogurt instead of whole milk and butter leads to a lower calorie cake base.

Smaller Portions

Simply cutting the cake into 10-12 slices instead of 8 reduces the calories per slice by making each one thinner.

With some simple substitutions and adjustments, it’s possible to enjoy pineapple upside down cake as a 300 calorie or less dessert.

Tips for Reducing Calories

Here are some other easy tips for lightening up pineapple upside down cake:

– Use one whole egg plus two whites instead of two whole eggs

– Replace 1⁄4 of the all-purpose flour with cake flour

– Use 1% or skim milk instead of whole milk

– Flavor extracts like vanilla extract instead of butter

– Frost with light whipped cream instead of heavy cream

– Dust with powdered sugar rather than cream cheese frosting

– Serve cake slices with fresh pineapple slices to increase fruit

– Drizzle with a little honey instead of pouring on syrup or caramel sauce

With some creative modifications, you can prepare a tasty pineapple upside down cake that doesn’t overload on calories or fat.

Enjoying a slim slice along with fresh fruit is a great way satisfy your sweet tooth while still sticking to healthy eating goals.

Calorie Count by Slice Size

To give more specific estimates, here is a calorie count for pineapple upside down cake based on slice size:

Slice Size Total Calories
1/6 of 9-inch cake 500
1/8 of 9-inch cake 375
1/10 of 9-inch cake 300
1/12 of 9-inch cake 250

As you can see from the table, the more slices you cut the cake into, the lower the calorie count per slice.

So if you want a 250-300 calorie portion, cut the 9-inch cake into at least 10-12 slim slices. Or opt for a large 13×9 sheet cake sliced into 24+ petite pieces.

Calories from Frosting

If you top your pineapple upside down cake with a creamy frosting, this will add extra calories. Here are estimates for popular frosting choices:

Frosting Calories per Serving
Buttercream (2 tbsp) 200
Cream cheese (2 tbsp) 100
Whipped cream (2 tbsp) 50

To keep your slice around 300 calories, stick to a dollop of light whipped cream or dust with powdered sugar instead of a heavy buttercream.

Calorie Cutting Recipes

If you want an extra low calorie pineapple upside down cake, you can make these adjustments:

– Use 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce to replace butter

– Replace half the sugar with a zero calorie sweetener

– Use one whole egg plus 4 egg whites instead of 3 whole eggs

– Substitute 1 cup whole wheat flour for 1 cup of the all-purpose flour

This reduces the calorie count to around 200 calories per slice when cut into 8 portions.

You can also turn the cake into “cake pops” on sticks for 100 calorie handheld treats.


A slice of homemade pineapple upside down cake typically contains 300-400 calories. This can vary based on the specific recipe, portion size and any frosting or toppings.

There are many ways to tweak the classic recipe to create a lighter cake with fewer calories per slice. With some adjustments, you can enjoy this retro dessert while still meeting your nutritional goals. Just watch your portion size, limit frosting, and round out your meal with fresh fruit.

Leave a Comment