Pineapple upside down cake is one of those cakes I often forget about.
For one, it isn’t super popular – is it? I never see it on any restaurant menu, and even our local bakery doesn’t sell it readily. And growing up, we had it about as often as we had liver and onions, which, if you couldn’t guess, was never.
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I finally experienced this classic cake. Sure, it’s kind of retro, but it’s cute and delicious, unlike some other retro foods (I’m looking at you, Jell-O molds with hot dogs in them).
And lemme tell ya – these Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake Bars are all kinds of awesome.
The idea came to me suddenly while I was grocery shopping. I was down the canned fruit aisle and needed crushed pineapple for my Hummingbird Bundt Cake when I realized, I don’t have any nearly as many pineapple recipes on here as I would like. And then I realized, I haven’t had anything pineapple upside down in like, forever. Thus, these cheesecake bars were born!
So the deal is very similar to my Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars – if you haven’t made those yet, I highly suggest you do; they’re one of my favorite recipes.
It’s pretty simple: grease your pan and lay out a sheet of refrigerated crescent rolls. Pinch all the seams up and spread on the cheesecake mixture. The cheesecake mixture is so decadently luscious you’ll want to cry. Instead of white sugar, I used brown sugar to mimic that rich flavor pineapple upside down cake has. I also folded crushed pineapple into the cheesecake batter for amazing flavor and texture.
Top the whole shebang with another layer of crescent roll dough, then cover that jazz with some melted butter and brown sugar. Bake ‘er up and HOLY MOLY, you have something seriously delish happening.
Does it taste exactly like the cake? No, but it has that same flavor profile – deep brown sugar, juicy sweet pineapple, and a cherry on top.
Even if you do eat pineapple upside down cake often, you ought to make these bars asap!
*adapted from my Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars
- 2 pkgs refrigerated crescent roll dough
- 2 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened to room temp
- 1 & ¾ cups brown sugar, divided
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- Whipped cream and cherries for garnish, optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray. Unroll one of the crescent dough sheets and lay it flat in the bottom of the pan. Pinch together all the seams to seal. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, one (1) cup of the brown sugar and the vanilla extract together until creamy and smooth, about 1 minute. Beat in the crushed pineapple, juice and all, until combined. Mixture may be slightly lumpy because of the pineapple; that's okay. Spread the cheesecake mixture evenly over the bottom crust.
- Immediately unroll the remaining crescent roll sheet over the cheesecake layer, pinching the seams to seal. Pour the melted butter evenly over the top layer. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining brown sugar and the ground cinnamon; sprinkle this liberally over the melted butter.
- Bake for approx. 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and center is set. Cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until chilled. Cut into bars and garnish with whipped cream and cherries, if desired.
Creamy, decadent, tropical and delicious, these may be my new favorite bars!
Have a super sweet day!