What Are the Best Tips for Making Skillet Cake?

A.E. Freeman

When making skillet cake, it is best to use a heavyweight pan that is safe to put in the oven. The cake should not be baked for too long or left to sit in the skillet for too long after it is finished baking. A baker can make a wide variety of different cakes in a skillet, from cakes studded with fruits to upside-down and chocolate cakes.

Skillet cake can be made in stainless steel pans.
Skillet cake can be made in stainless steel pans.

A cast-iron pan is generally the best type of pan to use to make a skillet cake. The cast iron heats evenly and is also oven-safe up to a very high temperature. As most cast0iron skillets are seasoned, the cake will not stick to the pan.

A cast iron skillet.
A cast iron skillet.

Another option is to use a stainless steel pan or another oven-safe pan. Many non-stick pans or pans with plastic handles are not suitable for oven use. If the baker owns an electric skillet, she can try baking the skillet cake in that and not use an oven at all. Using an electric skillet may be a great idea in the summertime, when it is too hot to use an oven.

As cast iron retains heat for a long time, the skillet cake should be removed from the pan within 15 minutes of baking to prevent the bottom and sides of the cake from becoming over-cooked. A baker should let the pan and cake cool on a rack for 10 or 15 minutes and then turn the skillet over and carefully remove the cake. Running a knife around the sides of the pan will make removing the cake easier.

After it is removed from the pan, some cooks prefer to cool the cake to room temperature before serving. Others will serve the skillet cake warm. A cool cake may be preferable in the summer and a warm cake in the winter.

Ingredients for a skillet cake can vary greatly. Some recipes call for using mixes or even prepared dough to make a coffee cake base. Some cakes are designed to mimic birthday cakes and are very sweet, as with a chocolate cake served with chocolate frosting.

A fruit-studded coffee cake is commonly made in a skillet. Some cakes call for sprinkling the fruit on top of the batter. The fruit can also be arranged on the bottom of the skillet so that it caramelizes as the cake bakes. To serve, the cake is turned upside down so that the fruit is the top of the cake.

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