One of my favorite spring desserts is pineapple upside-down cake! A retro dessert, which became popular in the 1930s, this upside-down cake features caramelized pineapple on top of a moist, buttery cake. However, since this dessert is normally made in an oven or stovetop, I haven’t been able to enjoy it in my dorm room.

So, I decided to experiment and find a way to make pineapple upside-down cake in the microwave! Fair warning: this is a “don’t judge a book by its cover” kind of recipe! It might not be as beautiful as a regular pineapple upside-down cake, but it tastes amazing. Because it’s not baked in a traditional oven, it stays extremely moist and gooey, and is almost like a pineapple bread pudding. This recipe would be the perfect treat on “National Pineapple Upside-Down Day”, which falls on April 20th this year!

Sarah Anwar


-1/3 cup spice or white cake mix (use the rest making this microwave apple cobbler)

-4-5 large chunks of fresh pineapple

-One Tablespoon Brown sugar

-2 Tablespoons butter


-Maraschino cherries (optional)

-Whipped cream (optional)

-Vanilla ice cream (optional)

-Toasted Coconut (optional)

Sarah Anwar


1. Dice pineapple into small cubes. For the photos, I used ringed pineapple from a can. While this made it look prettier, I think it tastes better with more pineapple! The smaller cut up pieces also get softer and more caramelized, so I would highly recommend sticking with the fresh pineapple. One ring just isn’t enough to get that great pineapple flavor.

2. Mix pineapple with brown sugar until all pieces of pineapple are evenly coated.

3. Optional. Place one (or several!) maraschino cherries at the bottom of a mug.

4. Put pineapple into a mug. A mug with a wider rim works best!

5. Mix cake mix and butter, then add water until the mixture has the consistency of a thin cake mix. This recipe is super forgiving, so don’t worry too much about exact measurement!

6. Pour the cake batter over the pineapple in the mug.

7. Microwave for 3-4 minutes, until the cake is solid and cooked through. This can be hard to tell, because it’s such a moist cake, but the cake mixture should not look shiny. If it’s shiny, it’s not fully cooked.

8. Remove carefully from the microwave—it’s hot! Using a potholder, invert the mug onto a plate. Wait for about a minute for the cake to cool, then remove the mug and enjoy your pineapple upside-down cake! Optional: Top with whipped cream or ice cream and toasted coconut.