Apple-Honey Skillet Cake

Skillet cake. Photos by Keri White

I saw a version of this on Instagram that used strawberries as a base. I was skeptical that it would work, but I found the simplicity and the hack intriguing — a cake that is cooked on the stovetop? C’mon!

But it did work. Granted, the “cake” does not compete with the texture of a rich pound cake or a light sponge, as it has a dense, heavy texture. Nor does it have a particularly attractive visual presentation.

But it really is a good way to deliver a simple, accessible dessert for a small group if you don’t want to use the oven or if the oven is otherwise occupied cooking other things. Bonus: The leftovers were lovely with coffee for breakfast!

This recipe must be cooked covered, so be sure to select a skillet that has a lid.

Serves 4 sensibly or 2 generously

Skillet cake cooking

For the apples:
1 large apple, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons honey
¼ cup water, or more as needed
Sprinkle of cinnamon

For the batter:
2 tablespoons butter, melted
¼ cup sugar
Scant ½ cup flour
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1 egg

In a small skillet (8-inch), simmer the ingredients over medium to medium-low heat until the apples are fragrant and soft. This should take about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the pan, and add water as needed to prevent the apples from scorching. The end result should not be too liquidy, but there should be a bit of syrup amid the cooked apples.

While the apples simmer, mix the batter ingredients. When the apples are done, pour the batter over them and spread it in a thin layer above the apple mixture.

Skillet cake in the pan

Cover and continue cooking over medium to medium-low heat for about 10 more minutes. As the cake layer begins to cook and become solid, steam may collect on the inside of the lid — this will make the cake layer a bit gummy; to prevent that, wrap the lid in a kitchen towel and place it on the pan. This will absorb the steam and help preserve the texture of the cake.

The cake is done when the top layer is solid and a fork or toothpick comes out clean.

Serve the cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


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