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.
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups self-rising flour (don’t have self-rising flour?)
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 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.