Old Fashioned Skillet Cake (or Plain Cake)

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This recipe isn’t for cornbread, but since this cake is cooked in a cast iron skillet and comes out looking like cornbread, today’s story is about cornbread.  Now, I don’t think I’ve told y’all this story before, but if I have, y’all just bare with me a minute here.  Back when Heather and I were first dating, I took her to meet my family and have dinner with my grandparents one Sunday.  Heather was trying her best to impress my family and was trying to help out with preparing supper when she grabbed a knife and started to cut up the cornbread.  Well, if you’re from an old school Southern family, then you know we “break” bread, not cut it.  And somehow Heather had missed this little jewel of Southern etiquette and was about to hack away.  Well, my usually quiet grandfather, seeing what was about to happen, piped up with one of his typical Papa-style disapproving grunts and just about scared poor Heather to death.  I thought she was going to run out of the room in tears at one point.  We all got a big laugh out of it and Heather can even laugh about it now too.  She got welcomed into the family that day and never since then has she gone at cornbread with a knife.  Bless her heart.

This recipe is one from my great aunt.  Though I never got the chance to meet her, she had a whole mess of children and when you’re poor, you just have to do what you have to do to make ends meet.  This was an easy, inexpensive treat for her family.  Mom pulled this recipe out of her recipe box for me and it was dated 1976.  I love old recipes.  And y’all also know how I love simple recipes – not only because they are easy, but also because I love simple flavors.  This is real favorite of mine because of that.  The way the sugar hardens against that cast iron skillet gives the crust a crunchy texture that I really like.  It’s great served with some fresh fruit and whipped cream or perhaps even a little bit of chocolate sauce.

Ingredients

 

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Grease a large (12 inch), well-seasoned cast iron skillet by pouring  a little vegetable oil in the skillet and coat it using a paper towel.
  3. Add batter to skillet.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and set.  Allow to cool in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes before turning the cake out. 

Old Fashioned Skillet Cake (or Plain Cake)

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Old Fashioned Skillet Cake (or Plain Cake)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Instructions

Combine ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

Grease a large (12 inch), well-seasoned cast iron skillet by pouring a little vegetable oil in the skillet and coat it using a paper towel.

Add batter to skillet.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and set. Allow to cool in the pan for 15 to 20 minutes before turning the cake out.

http://southernbite.com/2011/09/01/old-fashioned-skillet-cake-or-plain-cake/

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Comments

  1. Marylyn Gillespie says:

    I am trying to NOT rush to the kitchen to make this — yes I have self-rising flour on hand but, sad to say, it is Gold Medal and not White Lily. When I married my southern raised husband at age 40 and he started taking me to visit his family I certainly learned a lot about cooking that was not mid-western. but I won’t make the cake today — because I have a peach cobbler to finish, made using a method (not a recipe — did she even have a recipe?) from his sister taught to me 30 plus years ago. So enjoy your site — and, oh, yes, when I do make this cake I will stir up the batter in my ‘so fun!’ bowls I won. Thanks once again.

  2. Debbie Strum says:

    WOW! I never had heard about not cutting cornbread before! Gotta remember that piece of Southern charm! That’s the best ‘something new’ I learned today! I’ll have to try this recipe soon. A friend bought be a BIG bottle of Watkins double-strength vanilla and I’ll bet that would be great used in this cake! Thank you!

  3. Kim Osburn says:

    My Bigmama used to make a simple cake like this and pour warm fudge sauce made with Hershey’s Cocoa over it. She never measured and she baked it in a single layer cake pan. But I’m thinking this is gonna be just similar enough to work. I had never heard of the not cutting the cornbread thing either. Maybe that’s why it always tears up on me before I can get it out of the pan. LOL. Love your blog. Thank You for sharing this recipe.

  4. I found this recipe (and then your blog) on Pinterest. I made this cake tonight and love it! The texture is great and it’s not too, too sweet – even with the two cups of sugar. I didn’t have a 12 inch cast iron skillet so I used my 10 inch and just increased the cooking time a little. I will definitely be getting a larger skillet. I love cooking in cast iron. I’ve saved your blog to my Favorites list. We Southerners have the best food in the world! Keep the recipes coming!

  5. I use to make this cake a lot with my grandmother and when I first get married, but over the years I had forgotten about it. I’m so glad you reminded me and I plan on making it sometime this week. But I have never heard of not cutting corn bread before , I’m born and raised in the South, by parents born and raised in the South, by their parents born and raised in South, by the appearance that was born and raised in the South,by their parents who where slaves in the south and we always use the knife on the corn bread, except for fried corn bread.

    • Great! Isn’t that funny!?!? You know the saying is “Let’s break bread together,” but I’m not sure if that’s where my grandfather got it or not. Regardless, we certainly don’t use a knife in our house. :)

    • Janet Beaman says:

      I was born and raised in the south by southern parents. My mom always cut the cornbread and because she did, so do I. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone just break a piece off!

      Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  6. I am from Tennessee, born and raised, and we always broke our cornbread too! My Mom always baked hers in an iron skillet and I love the crispy bottom and sides!

  7. My mother was from the south. My grandmother cooked on a old wood burning stove.
    How she didn’t burn things is beyond me. She used to make this cake and put a meringue
    icing on it.

    You haven’t eaten until you’ve had cornbread, pinto beans, and blackberry cobbler (made from fresh picked blackberries) cooked on a wood burning stove!

  8. Am looking for a old fashion syrup cake also baked in a iron frying pan if you have one please send it to me ======= Thanks Connie

  9. My grandmother used to make this and we called it cornbread cake. She passed away many years ago. I have thought about this cake many times and regreted no one in our family had the recipe. I am glad to see it on your site. Can’t wait to make it.

  10. Shay Billings says:

    I made this but I added a half teaspoon of cinnamon. Wow! It’s amazing!

  11. Stella Wilson says:

    Got my Southern Bite cookbook in the mail today and the skillet cake is in the oven in my cast iron skillet my mother gave me 48 years ago. A lot of fried chicken has been cooked in that skillet.

  12. Gayle Spears says:

    Today is my son’s 20th birthday and I had planned to make him a yellow cake (boxed) with homemade frosting. Of course, was completely out of cake mix. My daughter told me “to just make a homemade cake”. That got me started looking for a plain cake. Found your reciepe and Oh My Word! It was so easy and the cake was wonderful! I topped it with a homemade chocolate frosting. So good! Thanks for the idea!! Love your cookbook and website!

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