Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake is even easier to make in cheesecake salad form! Whip up this dessert salad in minutes with canned fruit and pantry staples.
Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Salad
Candied pecans, pineapple chunks, and maraschino cherries are coated in a rich and creamy cheesecake mixture.
It’s truly an irresistible combination of flavors — just like the famous Pineapple Upside Down Cake!
In a pineapple mood? Try our Dried Pineapple Rings for a great snack!
You’ll especially love Millionaire Salad, featuring the same combination of fruit and nuts, plus mini marshmallows and sweetened coconut flakes.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Pineapple – Canned is easiest, but you can use fresh fruit if you prefer. You may need to adjust the amount of sugar depending on the ripeness of the pineapple.
- Cream Cheese – This will need to be softened first.
Unwrap the package and let it sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes before starting the pineapple upside down cheesecake recipe.
If you’re short on time, place an unwrapped block on a microwave-safe plate and heat on High for 15 seconds.
- Powdered Sugar – Because the cake mix isn’t very sweet, this recipe needs more sugar than those that include instant pudding.
- Nuts – With all of the soft and creamy textures in pineapple upside down cheesecake salad, I just love the crunch that candied pecans add to the mixture!
How to Assemble This Dessert Salad
Add a little extra pizzaz to this dish by lining the inside of a clear serving bowl with canned pineapple rings. Then, place a maraschino cherry in the center of each ring.
First, start from the bottom and work your way up so each ring has something to rest against.
I recommend placing one flat against the bottom of the bowl for extra support.
Carefully spoon the cheesecake salad mixture on top of the fruit and voila! It will look just like a traditional pineapple upside down cake before it’s been inverted.
If the fruit want wants to slide down the inside of the bowl, try one of these two methods:
- After adding the fruit, nestle a smaller clear bowl into the larger one to hold the fruit in place. Then, fill with the creamy mixture.
- Reserve the juice from the canned pineapple and dip one side of each ring into the liquid.
Place the wet side against the bowl and hold it in place for a few seconds. The extra sugar should help it stick once it has some time to dry.
Kitchen Tools You Will Need
- Baking Sheet lined with parchment paper
- Stand mixer or large bowl with hand mixer
- Mixing Bowls – I like to have a variety of sizes on hand, and this set has them all.
- Silicone Spatula – Makes it easier to stir both the candied pecans and pineapple upside down cheesecake mixture without anything sticking to the surface.
- Clear Serving Bowl so the dessert can be the star of the show!
Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Recipe FAQ
Cover with plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge. It should keep well for up to 3 days.
There’s a good chance you didn’t whip the cheesecake mixture long enough when adding the heavy cream.
Add just a few tablespoons at a time, beating between each, to give it a chance to get nice and fluffy.
Be sure to also drain the fruit chunks thoroughly, or the juices will thin out the pineapple upside down cheesecake salad.
While the candied pecans create a caramelized sweetness, you can also drizzle on some caramel sauce.
It will eventually melt into the pineapple upside down cheesecake mixture, so I recommend keeping it on the side and drizzling over individual servings if you think you will have leftovers.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Cheesecake Salads
Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Salad
- 1 cup packed brown sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided
- 1 1/2 cups pecans
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
- 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup yellow cake mix, unprepared
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 15 ounce pineapple chunks, drained
- 16 ounce maraschino cherries, drained and blotted as dry as possible
- 15 ounce pineapple rings, drained
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add brown sugar and butter. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between, until mixture is bubbling and sugar is dissolved into the butter. (this took 1 minute total in my microwave)
- Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Add the pecans and stir until fully coated.
- Transfer the pecan mixture to the prepared sheet pan and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
- Bake for approximately 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes while baking.
- Remove candied pecans from the oven and stir to recoat with any of the sugar mixture that has spread onto the baking sheet. Allow pecans to cool completely.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat softened cream cheese and remaining teaspoon of vanilla extract until fluffy.
- Add cake mix and continue beating (mixture will be slightly dry).
- With the mixer (or hand beater) running on low speed, slowly drizzle the heavy whipping cream into the cream cheese mixture. Beat well between the addition of small amounts (add only a couple tablespoons at a time).
- Add powdered sugar to the cheesecake mixture and continue beating until fully combined.
- Add pineapple chunks, maraschino cherries, and candied pecans and fold in gently to combine.
- If desired, place pineapple rings around the edges of a clear glass serving bowl. If needed, place a small bowl in the bottom of the serving bowl to help hold the pineapple rings in place. Set a maraschino cherry in the center of each pineapple ring.
- Transfer cheesecake salad mixture to the serving bowl.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published July 2021. Republished July 2023
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