Baking Recipes,  Product Reviews,  Simple cakes

Taste Test: Maya Yellow Cake Mix Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Remember awhile back when I posted about the goody bag I was sent by Maya Hotcake Mix? I promised I would review the cake mixes and this is the first that I decided to try out. I’m not a regular user of cake mix since I make all my cakes from scratch, but I’m going to start off this review by saying how impressed I was by this particular Yellow Cake Mix from Maya.

Everything from the taste to the texture and the crumb of the resulting cake was spot on, with a nice vanilla taste and scent. A yellow cake is essentially a vanilla cake, but compared to a white cake that uses only egg whites, the yellow cake uses whole eggs with yolk, which is why it has a nice yellow hue.

I tested this mix by making a Yellow Cake Mix Pineapple Upside Down Cake. I didn’t want to make the cake as straightforward as stated in the box, but even adapting it into something else it was as easy as pouring and mixing.

The instructions are all written at the back of the box, and all you need to help the cake mix come to life is vegetable oil, water, and eggs. All these things are inside your kitchen already I bet.

Since I was craving for Pineapple Upside Down Cake for some reason, I decided to take this opportunity to make some using the Maya Yellow Cake mix. If you’re not a fan of this cake, the box also has a suggestion on how to adapt this cake mix to make another kind of cake.

For the Cake Mix Pineapple Upside Down Cake, the first thing you need to do is make the caramel. You basically just mix together melted butter and brown sugar for that, and then divide amongst the tins you are planning to use. I made 6 mini cakes (from a large muffin tin) and one 6-inch round cake.

And then you can go ahead and add your pineapple and cherries in whatever pattern you please. Make sure to press the fruits just a little bit into the thick caramel, but not until it touches the tin underneath.

Now we get to the cake part of this Yellow Cake Mix Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Take your cake mix and read the instructions on the box. The only thing that you have to adjust here is the liquid. Instead of using just water as stated on the box, replace it with pineapple juice.

Normally the liquid from the can of sliced pineapples is used, but I think actual pineapple juice will work better to give the cake actual pineapple flavor. Nowadays, most of the pineapple slices are in “heavy syrup”. This syrup doesn’t necessarily taste like pineapple though.

After mixing all the ingredients together, you will get a thick and lovely yellow batter. Pour this into your cake tins. I like to bang the tins on the counter a few times to make sure the batter sinks right to the bottom of the pan, into the small spaces between the fruit and the caramel. I’m super paranoid about the fruits not adhering to the cake when I flip.

And now it’s just a matter of baking, and whoa, look at those gorgeous and perfect cakelets! In a large muffin tin, they rise up nicely and have a little bump in the middle. You can easily slice that off to help your cakelets stand straight. Pop the extra pieces of cake into your mouth. You’re welcome.

Moment of truth always comes after the flip. Run a knife around the cakes before you do just to make sure the cake pops right out. I’ve never experienced having my fruit separate from my cake so don’t worry about it too much.

And ta-dah! My 6 mini cakes and 6-inch cake is now ready to devour!

The purpose of cake mixes is to make life less difficult for people who don’t have a flair for baking. I know some people who think baking is their worst nightmare, but I would confidently suggest this cake mix for them to try. I think it’s pretty foolproof, plus you can get that satisfaction of having created something semi-homemade for friends and family. There’s no feeling like it.

Since this brand is made locally, it’s cheaper than those imported yellow cake mix brands like Duncan Hines. If you’ve ever wondered whether the Maya Yellow Cake Mix is up to par against an imported brand, I think if you gave it a chance it might surprise you like it did me. I honestly didn’t expect to be as pleased as I was when I tasted this cake.

For purposes of disclosure, I wanted to mention I’m not getting paid to say any of this. You all know I call it how it see it, or in this case, how I taste it too. And these cakes were yummy, with a gorgeous golden crumb.

Try this Cake Mix Pineapple Upside Down Cake with the Maya Yellow Cake Mix for yourself and let me know if we share the same sentiment. 🙂

Cake Mix Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

An easy version of the classic pineapple upside down cake using a cake mix.

Makes one 6-inch cake PLUS 6 mini cakes from a large muffin tin


  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 lightly packed cup brown sugar
  • Canned pineapple slices
  • Maraschino cherries
  • 1 box yellow cake mix, plus all the ingredients indicated on the box except the liquid component
  • Pineapple juice, substitute for the liquid component


  • 1. Preheat oven to temperature indicated on your cake mix box. Grease your pans. (I used one 6-cup large muffin tin plus one 6-inch round tin.)
  • 2. Melt butter and stir the brown sugar into the hot butter. Make sure it is thoroughly mixed and caramel-like. Divide among the tins you will be using.
  • 3. Prepare your cake mix according to the instructions in the box, replacing the liquid component with the reserved pineapple juice from the can. Most cake mixes will have you adding 1 cup liquid, so if the pineapple juice is lacking, add water to fill the required amount.
  • 4. Cut the pineapple slices and cherries into the size that will fit into your tins according to the design you want. Arrange them on top of the caramel in the tin. Pour the cake mixture over the arranged fruits, tapping the tin lightly against the counter to even out the surface and reduce air bubbles.
  • 5. Bake according to package instructions, but make sure to adjust if you're using smaller cake tins. (For the 6-cup muffin tin, I baked for about 25 minutes. For the 6-inch cake, I baked for about 40 minutes.) To check if the cake is ready, insert a cake tester or toothpick into the center of the cake. It should come out clean.
  • 6. Cool about 5 minutes before running a knife around the edges of the cake. Place a serving plate over the cake tin and then flip (with kitchen gloves of course). Let the cake detach itself from the tin; it should easily drop into your plate without problems.

Full disclosure: I was sent a goodie bag of Maya Products but all opinions stated above are 100% my own.

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