Skillet Desserts: We’re Sweet On Cast Iron

We’ve raved about everything you can do with a cast iron Dutch oven. From baking bread to braising meat, this multi-purpose cooking pot is a kitchen essential.

Now it’s time to look at what you can make with a cast iron skillet — specifically, skillet desserts. It might surprise you how the same pan that sears meat and bakes cornbread is also perfect for cake, pie and s’mores.

Skillet Desserts: Keep Your Skillets Straight

Before we dive into the delicious recipes we found, we want to offer a bit of advice. Properly seasoned cast iron builds up a layer of fat that isn’t scrubbed away between uses. That coating tends to absorb the flavors of the foods you’ve prepared in the pan.

You can see where this is leading: If you bake brownies in a pan that you usually use for searing meat or frying fritters, your brownies might taste a little off.

Properly seasoned cast iron builds up a layer of fat that isn't scrubbed away between uses. That coating tends to absorb the flavors of the foods you've prepared in the pan.

You have three choices. One, buy two skillets, and dedicate one to savory foods and the other to sweet foods.

Two, use a single pan for both purposes, but scrub it with kosher salt before making any skillet desserts.

Three, buy an enameled cast iron skillet, like the ones we carry from Le Creuset. Yes, they’re pricey, but they last forever and don’t require seasoning or hold onto flavors.

The time you spend scrubbing and re-seasoning may make it worth getting a second skillet or investing in enameled cast iron, especially if these recipes tempt you like they tempt us.

Skillet Desserts: Salted Caramel Skillet Cookie

Just like your cast iron Dutch oven, your skillet is suited to the stovetop, oven or campfire. This mega-cookie recipe from Kleinworth & Co. bakes up ooey, gooey and delicious in your oven or while camping. If you take it out into the wilderness, just mix up the dough at home beforehand and store it in a refrigerated cooler.

You’ll need a stand mixer to power through this dough. We recommend one of the KitchenAid 7-Quart models, like this gorgeous red one. The recipe even suggests using the Flex Edge Beater attachment, which scrapes dough from the sides of the bowl as it mixes.

Skillet Desserts: Texas Sheet Cake Skillet

Texas Sheet Cake is a southern classic. It’s typically baked in a jelly roll pan, but this variation from The Cookie Rookie uses a cast iron skillet instead. Perfect for sharing!

Plus, one of the best things about Texas Sheet Cake is that you don’t have to wait for the cake to cool before frosting it. In fact, the warmth of the cake helps the frosting spread until it’s nearly a glaze.

In addition to your skillet, you’ll need a saucepan for this recipe. Use the saucepan to heat the chocolate mixture. You’ll also need a whisk to combine the eggs, sour cream and vanilla.

Skillet Desserts: Skillet Apple Pie

This recipe from Brown Eyed Baker is ideal for roughing it. Pack up a few prepared pie crusts, a couple cans of your favorite pie filling, and some butter, sugar and cinnamon. Sure, it’s not from scratch, but conveniences are worth it when you’re camping. They make up for the fact that eating this pie à la mode isn’t an option while camping.

There really isn’t much else you need to make this pie, other than your skillet, a can opener and utensils. It’s that simple, and yet you’d never know it from the results.

Skillet Desserts: Indoor S’mores

Finally, s’mores are a must-have while camping, but why should you have to wait all year to eat them? With this recipe from Dessert for Two, you don’t have to.

Fill your skillet with chocolate chips, top it with marshmallows, and pop it in the oven or set it over the fire. Then use the graham crackers to scoop up the melted chocolate and marshmallows. So much easier than trying to assemble s’mores. Plus, this recipe is a perfect justification for splurging on a mini skillet from Le Creuset in your favorite color.

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