I’m back waving my #madeintheUSA cast iron skillet around. Technically there’s probably no such thing as a “Texas Skillet Cake” since it really refers to a Texas Sheet Cake which is, uh, made in sheet cake form. But there are no rules about cakes that aren’t meant to be broken and this is a good way to break it.
I only made a half recipe since I don’t have a large skillet and, even at half-recipe, I still used two 6” cast iron skillets as well as a small ramekin to fit all the batter. You don’t want this to overflow and waste batter.Like a regular Texas sheet cake, the batter is easy to make and so is the frosting which you pour over the cake while it’s still warm. The “gooey” part comes in when you dig into the cake. No need to underbake the cake (although you don’t want to overbake it either) because the frosting adds the gooeyness. The cake concaves in the middle under the weight of the frosting so when you stick that spoon in – and use a spoon because you don’t want to miss a crumb – the warm frosting over the warm cake pools into whatever space you created when you hooked in that spoonful.
You can eat this plain or go for caloric gold and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. If you use the 6” cast iron skillet, it’s definitely a dessert for 2 or even 3 chocoholics.You can use a regular cake pan if you don’t have a cast iron skillet but I did like using the skillet because the edges got crisp and added a nice texture contrast to the softness of the insides of the cake and the sweet flow of the frosting. I never used to think cast iron skillets were good for baking cakes because they’re dark-colored and heavy metal, both traits that absorb heat quickly and I thought the outer edges of the cake would dry out before the middle was done. I think, because the skillet size I used was so small, that wasn’t an issue since the whole thing baked fairly evenly.
One drawback to using the skillet though is you don’t want to leave the cake in the skillet if you don’t finish it all in one go. Cast iron skillets do take a little bit of babying to keep them in good shape. I transferred the uneaten cake to a plate, washed out the skillet and put it in a still-hot oven to dry. You don’t want to let it air dry or let water or moisture sit in it for too long or it can rust.
1 cup water
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 ounces unsalted butter
3 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup pecan pieces
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10-inch cast iron skillet or 2 6" skillets with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the water, cocoa and butter over medium heat. Bring to a boil then remove from the heat.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt.
- In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Whisk in the sour cream and vanilla until combined. Pour egg mixture over flour mixture and stir with wooden spoon until combined.
- Pour the chocolate mixture over flour mixture; whisk until combined and smooth. Pour mixture into skillet(s).
- Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs.
- While cake is baking, prepare frosting: in a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, cocoa and butter. Bring to a boil.
- Remove from the heat and add the powdered sugar. Use a hand mixer to beat the icing until fully smooth. Fold in pecans. Pour frosting over warm cake.