Did you know you can bake cake in a cast iron skillet? It’s a wonderful way to create a soft, delicate treat that has a crisp outer edge from the hot cast iron. This basic buttermilk cake is light, springy, and has just the right level of sweetness without being cloying. It’s wonderful served alongside fruit and topped with some freshly whipped cream.
8-inch cast iron skillet
Stand mixer (an electric mixer would also work)
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (plus more for skillet)
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Optional: 1 ½ teaspoons buttermilk powder
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature (plus more for skillet)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
½ cup buttermilk
Step 1: Butter and flour the skillet.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Generously butter an 8-inch cast iron skillet, then dust it with flour. Tap out all of the excess flour.
Step 2: Combine the dry ingredients.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Step 3: Mix the batter.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for several minutes until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides with a spatula, then turn the mixer to low and add the vanilla, followed by the egg. Give the egg time to completely incorporate into the batter, then turn off the mixer and once again scrape down the sides. With the mixer on medium speed, alternate between adding the dry ingredients and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Scrape down the bowl all the way to the bottom to ensure that everything is evenly combined.
Step 4: Transfer the batter to the skillet.
Pour the batter into the prepared skillet and even out the top with a spatula. While not essential, a small offset spatula is an excellent tool for this job.
Step 5: Bake and serve.
Bake the cake for 30 to 33 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Allow to cool in the pan for several minutes, then turn out onto a clean cutting board or cooling wrack. Serve on its own, with your favorite frosting, whipped cream, and/or with fresh fruit.