I’ve come to the conclusion that Instant Pots are the new EZ Bake Oven without the pesky hoping that I didn’t break the filament in the 100 watt bulb. Between the Instant Pot and the microwave, last minute desserts are in easy reach.

Don’t waste your money on microwave cake mixes. Just don’t. Chances are you have all of the building blocks for these mixes waiting in your kitchen — and more options to make them more flavorful! Mug cakes are easily made in the Instant Pot.

Fast forward to the itsy-bitsy pineapple upside-down cake project. I needed a last minute party dessert using what I had on hand and wanted an excuse to play with this (new to me) kitchen toy. The cakes came together really quickly, and they were so much fun that I decided to make chocolate lava cakes for breakfast the next morning.

These are the raw project notes. As is the case with most of my recipes, these are guidelines, and not always exact measurements.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

These were cooked in my 6qt Instant Pot, and my recipe is based on Trisha Yearwood’s from-scratch recipe cut in half. I mixed up the dry and liquid ingredients separately, then split them in half because the recipe has enough batter for 6 cakes, but the Instant Pot only holds three cakes at a time. You’ll need 3 baking custard cups.

1.5 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed 
Handful of frozen pineapple chunks (like the kind for smoothies)
Chopped preserved cherries (I used my pickled cherries) 
3/4 cup all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoons baking powder 
1/8 teaspoon salt 
1/4 cup spiced ghee 
1/3 cup granulated sugar 
1 large egg 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1/3 cup milk 

Melt the butter in the microwave on half power. Add the brown sugar. Take half of this mixture and divide it between the three baking cups. Throw in some of the cherries and pineapple chunks in each of the cups.

Blend the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt) well and divide in two.

There were 6 of these, but I had to try one to make sure I got the recipe right. There were 6 of these, but I had to try one to make sure I got the recipe right.

Cream the wet ingredients (ghee, sugar, egg, vanilla extract, milk) and divide in two.

Gently blend one half dry and one half wet ingredients to make half the batter. Pour this batter into the three baking cups.

Put a cup and a half of water in the bottom of your Instant Pot, then place the rack at the bottom. Put the 3 cups on top of the rack. Close up the pot, and set it for high pressure, 15 minutes.

One the appliance cheerfully tells you cooking is complete, carefully open the pot and pull out your cakes. Set the baking cups upside-down over a plate until they fall out. Wash the cups for the next round of cakes. Bonus points your kitchen is better equipped than mine and has six cups so you don’t need to wash them between baking.

Repeat blending and baking instructions outlined above, and enjoy!