Caramelized pineapple is the perfect topping for pancakes and waffles! Cooking the pineapple in a buttery brown sugar and cinnamon sauce makes it ultra tender and mellows some of its natural tartness.

Caramelized pineapple on wooden spoon.

Isn’t it amazing how cooking fruit completely transforms it? Fried apples go from crisp to soft, fresh berries cook down into spreadable jam, and when you make caramelized pineapple, you’re treated to tender chunks of pineapple without the bite of acidity you get from the raw version.

You can eat caramelized pineapple as-is, or spoon it over a scoop of ice cream bananas Foster style. But we love it for breakfast! It’s a delicious addition to a bowl of oatmeal or chia pudding, you can layer it with yogurt and granola to make it a parfait, or try it as a topping for pancakes.

About this caramelized pineapple recipe

Caramelizing often means a lengthy cooking process, but luckily that’s not the case with caramelized pineapple! Place the fruit in a pan with butter, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon and it softens and caramelizes on the edges in a matter of minutes.

You’re left with pineapple that’s sweet, cinnamon-spiced, sticky, and saucy. It’s pretty much irresistible, and trust us when we say you’re going to want to put it on everything!

Pineapple sauce on top of stack of pancakes.

What you need

  • Butter – You can easily make dairy-free caramelized pineapple by using a plant-based butter.
  • Brown sugar – Light brown sugar has a milder flavor, while dark brown sugar has a deeper, more molasses-y flavor. Either option works for this recipe.
  • Ground cinnamon – Try switching things up with ground ginger, apple pie spice, or freshly grated nutmeg.
  • Diced pineapple – Fresh pineapple or frozen (thawed) both work, but don’t use canned—it’s too soft and since it’s already sweet because it’s in juice or syrup, the finished dish will have a cloying sweetness to it.
Ingredients needed for recipe.

How to make it

Start the caramel mixture. Melt the butter in a medium skillet set over medium-high heat. Stir in the brown sugar and cinnamon. 

Butter and brown sugar in a pan.

Add the pineapple. Place the pineapple in the skillet.

Pineapple added to pan.

Cook until the fruit is glazed and the sauce has thickened slightly, stirring frequently. The pineapple should caramelize after 5 or 6 minutes. 

Caramelized pineapple in a pan.

Finish. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the pineapple cool slightly before serving on waffles, pancakes, ice cream, or whatever you like!

Pancakes and pineapple on a fork.


Is pineapple better raw or cooked?

That’s up to you! Some people love the sweet-tart flavor of fresh pineapple, but others prefer it cooked because it’s softer and the acidity mellows out, making the pineapple sweeter.

How do you pick a good pineapple?

Pineapples should have green leaves on top (not dry or brown!), feel heavy for their size, and give just a little bit when squeezed. The bottom of the pineapple should be fragrant when you smell it.

More serving suggestions for caramelized pineapple

Wondering how to use your caramelized pineapple? Here are some of our favorite ways to put it to use!

Pineapple in a bowl with a spoon.

Storage Suggestions

Caramelized pineapple will last for 3 to 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months, either in an airtight container or freezer bag.

Let frozen caramelized pineapple thaw in the refrigerator; it can be eaten cold or warmed up in the microwave or over low heat on the stovetop.

More topping recipes

Caramelized pineapple in a bowl with a spoon.

Get the Recipe: Caramelized Pineapple

Caramelized pineapple is the perfect topping for pancakes and waffles! Cooking the pineapple in a buttery brown sugar and cinnamon sauce makes it ultra tender and mellows some of its natural tartness.
5 from 1 rating


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups diced pineapple (fresh or frozen)


  • Melt butter in medium sized skillet over medium high heat; stir in brown sugar and cinnamon.
  • Add pineapple; cook until pineapple is glazed and sauce has thickened slightly, stirring frequently, 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Remove from heat; cool slightly before serving.


  • Makes about 2 cups.
Serving: 0.5cup, Calories: 126kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 69mg, Potassium: 105mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 17g, Vitamin A: 299IU, Vitamin C: 39mg, Calcium: 22mg, Iron: 0.3mg