FATHER'S DAY GIFT GUIDE 🍳

 

Table of Contents

  • Which skillet desserts not to try
  • Desserts that are better when cooked in cast iron
  • How to make a cast iron skillet cake
  • Recipe: Chocolate Skillet Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting
  • 15 cast iron skillet desserts recipes you need to try

Your trusty cast iron skillet can handle a lot more than roasting chickens and searing steaks, this dynamic tool is also the perfect baking sidekick. From cakes and cookies to clafoutis and crostatas, cast iron can do it all. Plus, serving up sweet treats in your skillet means your desserts look rustic and inviting every time.

Hungry yet? Read on to find tips for success, a step-by-step guide to baking our favorite skillet cake, and 15 more cast iron dessert recipes we absolutely love for every baker from the newbie to the seasoned pro (pun intended).

Which skillet desserts not to try

Baking with your cast iron skillet is not all that different from cooking with it—it’s all about that seasoning. The key to success is ensuring your skillet has developed a deep seasoning before whipping up sticky cast iron desserts like crisps, crumbles, or cobblers. The sticky syrup and crumbs left behind by these confections can require scrubbing during clean up, which isn’t ideal for your pan’s seasoning. It’s best to start with drier baked goodies like cookies and cakes in a new-ish skillet, and expand to stickier sweets once your pan is well seasoned.

Baking with a well-seasoned pan will also ensure that your skillet’s surface can stand up to the acidity of boozy desserts like whiskey bread pudding or citrusy treats like lemon cake.

Desserts that are better when cooked in cast iron

While skillet desserts are numerous and delicious, the unique capabilities of cast iron truly shine when baking sweet treats that combine a crispy, crunchy crust with a warm, irresistible center. Few things are as comforting as the gooey chocolate center of homemade skillet brownies or the delectable crust and jammy filling of a rustic peach pie baked in a cast iron pan.

How to make a cast iron skillet cake

Whether you’re baking for a casual weekend indulgence or a low-key birthday celebration at home, this chocolate cake by Stella Parks is a standout amongst other cast iron skillet cake recipes. Not only is it easy to make, this cake also boasts a light and fluffy texture, and bold, rich flavor courtesy of black coffee and dark chocolate. Top it off with homemade milk chocolate ganache and this charmer is sure to be a go-to year round.

Recipe: Chocolate Skillet Cake with Milk Chocolate Frosting

Yield: One 10

Instructions

For the frosting

1.

Add milk chocolate to a mixing bowl.

2.

In a Field No.8 Skillet, bring cream to a simmer over medium heat. When bubbling hard around the edges, pour over the milk chocolate.

3.

Whisk by hand until smooth, stir in salt to taste, and set aside until no longer steaming, about 15 minutes, then cover and refrigerate until needed.

For the cake

1.

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 350°F.

2.

Combine butter and coffee or tea in the same 10-inch cast iron skillet as before (no need to wash). Warm over low heat until butter has melted, then remove from heat.

Note: From here you can continue preparing the batter right in the skillet, or transfer mix into a mixing bowl if you prefer.

3.

Mix in cocoa and dark chocolate, followed by brown sugar, vanilla, and salt (if working in your skillet, mix gently to avoid splashes).

4.

Whisk in eggs, followed by flour and baking soda. Continue whisking until smooth and well combined.

5.

If working in a mixing bowl, scrape batter back into the skillet with a spoon or spatula.

6.

Bake until the cake is puffed and firm to the touch, your finger should still leave an impression in the crust, about 30 minutes. The timing will vary depending on the skillet's gauge, but a toothpick inserted into the center should come away with a few crumbs still attached.

7.

Cool cake in skillet until no trace of warmth remains, about 1½ hours.

To finish

1.

Vigorously stir chilled milk chocolate ganache with a flexible spatula until it thickens up to a consistency that's a little looser than a buttercream.

2.

Spread over the cooled cake and sculpt into swoops, using a small spoon or offset spatula.

3.

Enjoy immediately or leave at room temperature until ready to serve, up to 24 hours at cool room temperature. After cutting, wrap leftover slices individually and store at cool room temperature up to 2 days more.

Pro Tips

1.

The behavior and flavor of Dutch-process cocoa powder is distinct from natural cocoa, so no substitutes for this one.

2.

Don’t skip the sifting! Although it can be tempting to skip sifting flour, this step is key in creating a lump-free batter without using a stand mixer.

3.

Exercise patience and let your cake cook down completely before icing it. Any trace of warmth left in the cake will melt the ganache (still delicious, but not what you worked for!).

15 cast iron skillet desserts recipes you need to try

Easy

Whether it’s your first foray into cast iron baking or you’re cooking with kiddos, these easy cast iron skillet dessert recipes are the perfect way to satisfy your cravings.

1.

Cast Iron Apple Crisp

The only thing that can make digging into an apple crisp feel even cozier is serving it up in your cast iron skillet. Try using a variety of apples to make this family favorite more dynamic.

2.

Kate Wood's Strawberry Almond Skillet Cake

This sunny skillet cake combines sweet strawberries with tangy sour cream, while sliced almonds add a nice crunch. Top this easy dessert with fresh whipped cream for an extra special treat.

3.

Skillet S'mores

With no mixing and no gadgets required, few recipes are as easy (or as fun) as this one for cast iron skillet s’mores. Serve with graham crackers for dipping.

4.

Cast Iron Huckleberry Cobbler

Frozen berries and simple whisking keep this cobbler from Martha Stewart nice and easy, while a mix of cornmeal and flour give it a unique texture and flavor. Serve this golden brown beauty warm with vanilla ice cream. Tip: frozen blueberries can easily sub for the huckleberries.

5.

Plum Clafoutis

Simple and elegant, clafoutis is a light and delicious skillet dessert year round. A dusting of confectioners sugar before serving adds to this dish’s understated beauty.

Normal

From tried and true classics to unique new favorites, these recipes are sweet, sweet perfection for every cast iron baker.

1.

Chrissy Teigen's Skillet Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies

Peanut butter and chocolate—a match made in heaven. Chrissy Teigen brings together this iconic duo in her skillet blondies recipe made with dark chocolate chips and crunchy peanut butter.

2.

Cast Iron Peach Crostata

Rustic and beautiful, this open face tart combines a flaky brown sugar crust with an irresistible fresh peach filling. Made from scratch, this pie crust is easy to work with and gives this dessert a charming homemade look.

3.

Whiskey Caramel Date Bread Pudding

Fluffy challah bread, medjool dates, brown sugar, whiskey—this cast iron skillet bread pudding has got it all. Danielle Oron’s delicious recipe truly shines with a decadent homemade whiskey caramel that's soaked into the bread and drizzled over the finished dessert.

4.

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Your cast iron skillet is the perfect vessel for baking upside down cakes as it helps caramelize the fruit. To make this tangy dessert look even sweeter, add maraschino cherries to the center of the pineapple slices.

5.

Classic Skillet Brownie

Crunchy on top and perfectly gooey in the middle, this chocolate-y skillet brownie recipe ticks every box. A couple of sneaky spoonfuls of maple syrup make these brownies even more irresistible, if that’s even possible.

Professional

Want to wow your guests or satisfy your own sweet tooth with nothing short of skillet-baked-art? Look no further than the advanced cast iron dessert recipes below.

1.

Raspberry Jam Coffee Cake with Pistachio Streusel

A layer of sweet raspberry jam in the center and crunchy pistachio streusel sprinkled on top make this one of our favorite skillet-baked treats. Spiced notes of cinnamon and cardamom pair perfectly with a freshly brewed cup of coffee.

2.

The Ultimate Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie

With 12 inches of warm chewy cookie encrusted with sea salt—this chocolate chip skillet cookie by Kelly Senyei is the ultimate! Opt to add a cup of crushed pretzels or chopped nuts to your batter, and top the finished product with a few scoops of vanilla bean ice cream to really knock some socks off.

3.

Olive Oil Lemon Skillet Cake From 'Seriously Delish'

Lemon zest, whole wheat pastry flour, and olive oil come together beautifully in this rustic skillet cake. And the garnish of sweet and bright caramelized Meyer lemons is pure magic. Tip: An olive oil that’s light and fruity will best complement the citrus.

4.

Peach Dutch Baby Pancake with Cherry Compote

Caramelized peaches, fluffy pancake, and a tangy homemade cherry compote make this warm dutch baby truly unforgettable.

5.

Cinnamon Apple Skillet Bread with Salted Maple Butter

Yes, this tastes (and looks) as incredible as it sounds. The irresistible blend of tart apples rolled in cinnamon sugar and sticky salted maple butter make this impressive skillet bread well worth the effort.