6 Scrumptious Desserts You Can Make Using Your Cast-Iron Skillet

When most people think skillet, especially cast iron, they think cooking. A number of savory recipes can be mastered in the flat-bottomed pan, but what some don’t realize is that the sweet stuff can be cooked in there, too, and that is actually a technique that home bakers have been taking advantage of for generations. If you’re already stocked with a cast-iron skillet, put away the pie or cake pan and instead check out one of these 6 recipes. These recipes are simple, sweet, and require little clean-up. Some you can even eat right from the pan!

1. Skillet Berry Crisp

Skillet berry crisp

Skillet berry crisp | Source: iStock

Our first dessert recipe is from Baking Bites, and it’s for a fresh fruity sweet treat. Now that fruit is back in season, our fructose cravings are back in full force, and this formula for skillet berry crisp is perfect. The recipe developer promises that it takes half the time for a traditional crisp or crumble recipe, and that’s all the convincing we need to welcome the season with this fun treat. Use fresh or frozen fruit for the crisp.
Ingredients:
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup ground almonds
  • ⅓ cup rolled oats or quick cooking oatmeal
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon or allspice
  • ¼ cup butter, melted and cooled
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling

  • ⅓ cup sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 pound sweet cherries, jarred or frozen
  • 8 ounces blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup dried cherries or cranberries

Directions: In a medium bowl, make the topping. Whisk together flour, ground almonds, rolled oats, sugar, brown sugar, salt, and spice until well-blended. Add in melted butter and vanilla extract, then stir with a fork until the mixture resembles wet sand and the butter is completely incorporated.

Pour topping into an 8 or 10-inch skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the mixture begins to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. When it starts to brown, stir slowly but constantly until mixture is well-toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

To make the filling: In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon cornstarch and set aside. In the same skillet, combine remaining sugar, cherries and blueberries and cook over medium heat until the juices from the fruit are released and start to bubble 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in vanilla extract and dried cranberries or cherries, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Stir in cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and top with topping mixture. Allow crisp to cool for at least 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

2. Skillet Brownies

Skillet brownies

Skillet brownies | Source: iStock

Bake your chocolate brownies in a skillet and you won’t regret it. This recipe from A Beautiful Mess yields one giant brownie that is shareable or not, depending on the day you’ve had. The batter is also the perfect amount to sizzle in your 12-inch cast-iron skillet so preheat the oven. Enlisting only the baking staples, along with some optional peanut butter, these brownies can be made tonight.

Ingredients:

  • 1⅓ cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 7 to 8 ounces dark chocolate, melted
  • ½ cup peanut butter chips

Directions: In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Now combine the flour mixture, the butter mixture, and melted chocolate in one bowl, and stir until just combined.

Spoon the batter into a well-buttered cast-iron skillet. Top with peanut butter chips if using. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 32 to 35 minutes.

3. Meyer Lemon Skillet Cake

cake you can make in a cast-iron skillet

Meyer lemon skillet cake | Source: iStock

This next skillet cake from Beard & Bonnet is gluten-free but can feed both gluten-lovers and abstainers. What’s more, it capitalizes on one of the best fruits of the season: meyer lemons. Making 8 to 10 servings, this meyer lemon skillet cake is best served as a sweet breakfast, snack with tea, or dessert. Time to pull back out the cast-iron skillet.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • Grated zest of 2 Meyer lemons
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds

Directions: Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a well-seasoned 9-inch cast-iron skillet or other heavy ovenproof skillet or 9-inch cake pan.

In a medium sized bowl mix the sugar and the lemon zest, rubbing the zest into the sugar granules with your fingers, until the sugar is moist and aromatic. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until well blended, add the salt and the extracts and whisk well to mix. Switch to a rubber spatula and stir in the flour, then gently fold in the melted butter until completely incorporated.

Pour the batter into the skillet and smooth the top with your spatula. Sprinkle the sliced almonds and extra sugar over the top of the cake and place in the oven.

Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it is a beautiful golden color and slightly crisp on the outside. Remove the skillet from the oven and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then run a thin knife around the sides and the bottom of the cake to loosen it.

4. Skillet Cookie Sundae

skillet cookie

Skillet cookie | Source: iStock

Our next recipe featured on Food Network is one that no one will be able to turn down, and for good reason. This skillet cookie sundae is devastatingly decadent and delicious, and can be eaten right from the pan. You first bake your big cookie in a cast-iron skillet, and then once cooled, it’s time for the sundae portion of the fun. Get out your ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, and spoons, and prepare to become the most popular person in your family.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 heaping teaspoons instant coffee
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Ice cream
  • Hot fudge
  • Canned whipped cream
  • Maraschino cherries

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cream together the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a large bowl. Add the vanilla and eggs, mixing well. Combine the flour, instant coffee, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 batches, mixing after each one. Stir in the milk and semisweet chocolate chips.

Spread the mixture into a 10-inch skillet and bake until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven, top the cookie with several scoops of your favorite ice cream, drizzle on some hot fudge and top with whipped cream and a cherry.

5. Indoor S’mores

S'mores ingredients

S’mores ingredients | Source: iStock

Another sweet treat you can master right in your flat-bottomed pan is a skillet-sized s’more. These ooey gooey treats are usually roasted over a campfire, but cravings can’t be stunted by weather woes, and that’s where the cast-iron skillet comes in. Follow this recipe for indoor s’mores from Dessert for Two and enjoy the treat in any season. You’ll make your s’mores right in your kitchen while you wait for summer to arrive. This recipe serves 2.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 8 large marshmallows
  • graham crackers for dipping

Directions: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. In a cast iron skillet, add the chocolate chips. Snip the large marshmallows in half and top the chocolate chips with them.

Once the oven is up to temperature, add the skillet to the oven. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, or until the marshmallows turn golden brown. Serve with graham crackers for scooping.

6. Brown Butter Banana Skillet Cake

skillet

Skillet | Source: Thinkstock

Lastly, another fruit-inspired cake that you make in the cast-iron. Joy The Baker has a recipe for brown butter banana skillet cake and it’s just as delicious as it sounds. Thanks to the natural sugars in bananas and a little browned butter, this cake is one you can feel good about baking and feeding friends and family. Pull out your skillet and get ready to go bananas for the beauty of brown butter and this naturally sweetened cake.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 small ripe banana
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup hulled and sliced strawberries

Directions: Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt butter in an 9-inch cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in sugar and vanilla extract and remove from heat. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Allow mixture to stand and cool for about 5 minutes.

When the sugar and butter mixture has cooled slightly it will look a bit clumpy, greasy, and broken. Add the egg and whisk together until smooth. The mixture will be glossy and no longer greasy. Add banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, and stir to combine. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir carefully until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated. Add the pecans and fold together. Spread evenly across the pan and place sliced strawberries on top. Place in the oven. Bake for 18 to 25 minutes until mixture is dry on top, but still slightly soft in the center.

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