When my wife and I first moved in together, I was always looking for an excuse to bake an elaborate breakfast recipe or a fancy multi-layered cake for dessert. Of course, I had to keep this desire to bake under control or we literally would have had a new tasty treat coming out of the kitchen every day. (I hadn’t yet discovered the world of food blogging where baking tasty new treats every day is completely acceptable.)
So I would eagerly await the times when family would come to stay or friends would come for dinner since that meant I could open the vault of baking recipes. I would quite literally plan out the desserts (and sometimes breakfasts) for the several days when company was in town.
Thinking back on it, my wife must have been wondering what she had gotten herself into. The joke is on her since I now have an excuse to open the recipe vault on a daily basis – and yes, I still plan out recipes weeks and months in advance.
What can I say? I’m a planner!
Well, this Almond Skillet Cake is quite the opposite of any of those planned recipes. This cake is quick, easy, and it goes well with a morning cup of coffee or an evening glass of wine.
I first came across this Almond Skillet Cake in Dorie Greenspan’s excellent book Baking. (On a side note, this book makes an excellent gift for any bakers in your life!) I have an immense amount of respect for Dorie.
In the intro, she describes how she earned a doctorate in another field, but then realized that she just wanted to bake all day. I felt like that described me perfectly! Here was someone else with a PhD in an academic field who decided to change paths and become a baker. But back to this Almond Skillet Cake.
Dorie explained that her recipe came from a Swedish friend whose mother would often make this cake for friends. She called it a Swedish Visiting Cake because you could start making the cake when you saw friends coming up the walk, and the cake would be in the oven by the time your friends had gotten in the door. And you know what? She’s right.
This cake literally took 10 minutes to make. Maybe 15 minutes because I forgot to preheat the oven while I was mixing the batter.
I can attest that this cake has magical friendship properties. More specifically, if you give it away, you’ll make friends. After making this cake, I took half of it over to my neighbors since my wife is out of town and I didn’t need an entire cake sitting on my kitchen counter.
I ended up staying for dinner, followed by a glass of wine and a piece of cake. (Yes, the very cake that I took over there to begin with!) I’ve made a couple minor changes from Dorie’s original recipe, but this recipe is definitely worth stashing away for whenever you need a quick breakfast treat or a simple after-dinner dessert.
Skillet desserts are kind of the best thing ever. Don’t miss Skillet Peach Cobbler or David’s Cast Iron Chocolate Chip Cookie too.
Almond Skillet Cake Recipe
- 1 Granulated Sugar
- Orange Zest from one whole orange
- 2 Egg
- 0.25 Salt
- 1.5 Pure Vanilla Extract
- 0.5 Pure Almond Extract
- 1 All-Purpose Flour
- 8 Unsalted Butter melted and cooled, plus more to grease the pan (1 stick)
- 0.25 Slivered Almonds
- 1 Sanding Sugar or Demerara Sugar
- Powdered Sugar for garnish (optional)
- Grease a 9” cast iron skillet (or round cake pan) with butter. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and orange zest until well blended. Add the salt, vanilla, and almond extract; whisk until well combined.
- Add the flour to the bowl, and gently stir until well combined. Fold in the melted butter until a smooth batter forms.
- Pour the batter into greased skillet and smooth top with the spatula. Sprinkle the sliced almonds and course sugar evenly across the top of the batter.
- Bake at 350°F until top is golden and edges are slightly crisp, about 35 minutes.
- Allow cake to cool for 5 minutes before slicing or transferring to a serving plate. Garnish with a light dusting of powdered sugar (optional); serve warm or at room temperature.