Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Salad

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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.

titled: Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Salad


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!

If you can’t get enough of this dessert, I have plenty of other cheesecake dessert salad recipes you can make.

Try flavors like peach cobbler, strawberry pretzel, and cherry pie!

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.

measured ingredients for pineapple cheesecake salad

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!
flipping candied pecans on sheet pan with spatula

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.
canned pineapple, maraschino cherries, and candied pecans over cheesecake mixture

Kitchen Tools You Will Need

cheesecake salad with pineapple, cherries, and nuts

Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Recipe FAQ

How long will cheesecake salad stay fresh?

Cover with plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge. It should keep well for up to 3 days.

Why is my dessert salad watery?

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.

What else can I add to this dessert?

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.

pineapple upside down cheesecake salad topped with caramel sauce


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close up: bowl of creamy pineapple dessert salad with cherries and caramel

pineapple chunks, maraschino cherries, caramel sauce and pecans in cheesecake mixture

Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Salad

Donna Elick
Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Salad is an indulgent treat with the flavors of the classic cake. Our dessert salad recipe is SO easy!
5 stars from 2 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Method Oven
Servings 10 (makes 5 cups total)


  • 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

Optional Garnishes

  • 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.

Donna’s Notes

Cover with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


Serving: 0.5 cup | Calories: 563cal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 41g | Saturated Fat: 20g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 175mg | Sugar: 41g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 1mg

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.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image (and shown): pineapple upside down cheesecake salad

Originally published July 2021. Republished July 2023

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  1. can NOT wait to make this salad, as I love ALL the ingredients going into it….now I just need to go get me some Pineapple Chunks and Slices and Cherries and I will be all set to go ! Lol

  2. 5 stars
    Calling this a salad helps me think I’m being healthy. There’s fruit, that’s healthy right? This was absolutely amazing and I can’t wait to make it again.

  3. 5 stars
    This Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Salad is a game-changer! Super easy to make, and the flavors are to die for.

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