This classic 1950s-era favorite can be made at the campground in individual portions served in recycled tuna cans. It’s a lot of fun to make and is an impressive alternative to s’mores for dessert.

What You Need

  • 6-8 clean tuna cans  
  • Non-stick cooking spray 
  • 15-ounce can of pineapple rings; reserve the juice
  • 8 Tablespoons brown sugar 
  • Maraschino cherries 
  • Boxed yellow cake mix batter (make sure you have the ingredients needed for it) 

Step 1: Spray clean cans with nonstick cooking spray and add a ½” of the reserved pineapple juice to the cans. 

Step 2: Add a heaping tablespoon of dark brown sugar on top of the pineapple juice and swirl to mix it together. 

Step 3: Put a pineapple ring with a maraschino cherry in the center of cans on top of the sugar and juice mixture. 

Step 4: Mix the yellow cake mix according to directions and add to each can filling to just under the rim. 

Step 5: Add to charcoal or propane grill with a lid and cover to bake it. This should take about 25 minutes if you don’t peak a lot. 

Step 6: Remove when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Run a knife around the edge of the can,  invert on a plate and serve while still warm. 


  • April 20 is National Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day.
  • “Cherry Coke” is made with the syrup from the cherry jar added to Coca Cola.
  • There are eight pineapple rings in a 15-ounce can of pineapples.
  • Americans eat 1 billion pounds of tuna per year.
  • Yellow cake mix is the second most popular flavor of boxed cake mixes. Angel Food Cake is number one.


This is reprinted from the Spring 2022 issue of Girl Camper Magazine. You can subscribe to the magazine here.

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