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.