Chocolate Pound Cake - in an Iron Skillet!
I just took a chocolate pound cake out of the oven, and I wanted to share this pound cake recipe with you. I don’t do a lot of cake baking, but I have to say…there’s just something really homey about baking a homemade cake. My kitchen is now filled with a wonderful aroma, and it’s drifting into the office where I’m writing. I could barely wait for the cake to get cool enough to sample. I wouldn’t share a recipe here that I didn’t judge to be good, so until I tasted the pound cake, I didn’t know whether I’d be writing about it here or not. Thankfully, it’s delicious! This is going to be one of my usual dessert recipes now, since I almost always have the needed ingredients on hand. You probably have them in your pantry and fridge, too. The ingredients are simple, and the process is easy. Really, you can throw one of these together pretty quickly. If you like chocolate pound cake, please give my recipe a try!
If you live in the South, you know pound cake well. It’s the go-to classic southern dessert, whether served plain, with ice cream, whipped cream, or fruit. I once asked my mother why it was called a pound cake, and she said it was because you gained a pound every time you ate a slice. Hmmm…okay, that explains a lot. Of course, the real reason behind the name is that it takes about a pound of butter, a pound of sugar, a pound of eggs, and a pound of flour to make a traditional southern pound cake. That’s for a really big cake, though, so most pound cake recipes have been modified over the years.
Pound cake was my mom’s standard homemade cake, and hers was very good – moist, dense, rich, and crusty. The crust of a homemade pound cake has always been my favorite part. I used to ask Mom why she couldn’t make a pound cake that was all crust. I was too young to understand that doing so would be impossible. Still, there are ways to get a thicker crust on a homemade cake. How? By using a cast iron skillet for baking!
Actually, I’m not sure why I didn’t think of this before. I use my iron skillet to make cornbread because the iron gives the bread a beautiful crust. Why shouldn’t it work for homemade cake, too, and for pound cake, in particular? Well, my friends, it does. The cake didn’t stick to the skillet, either, even though I didn’t flour the pan. I oiled it, but I didn’t flour it. The cake came out perfectly after it cooled, just by inverting it with a plate.
Cast Iron Skillet
I’m not sure how any cook survives without a cast iron skillet! I make all sorts of cast iron skillet recipes, including a few desserts. Most people don’t associate desserts with an iron skillet, but it’s a fairly common practice among older southern cooks. I think that’s because the South used to include lots of poor folks who couldn’t afford fancy sets of cookware. Many of them had just a cast iron skillet and a big pot or two. Some pots had to pull double duty as wash pots and dishpans.
My mother used her old cast iron skillet for desserts sometimes, too. She used it to make pineapple upside-down cake, coffee cakes, blackberry cobbler, and pear crisp. The great thing about baking homemade cake in an iron skillet is that a nice crust forms, and as I’ve already said, I like the crust. I don’t ever remember my mom baking a pound cake in a skillet, but it seemed like a good idea to me.
The cast iron skillet I use is a very old one that was handed down through the generations. It’s a Wagner ten-inch skillet from the 1920s, so it’s almost 100 years old. Using this pan, my chocolate pound cake recipe turned out to be about two inches thick. Of course, if you use a smaller skillet, your cake will be thicker, and if you use a large skillet, your pound cake will be thinner.
Discount Cast Iron Skillet:
Chocolate Pound Cake
I’ve always loved chocolate pound cake. My mom never made the chocolate version, but my Aunt Mildred did, and hers were awesome. I’ve made chocolate pound cake before, but I always used a tube pan, loaf pan, or Bundt pan. When I went into my kitchen tonight to make the pound cake, I had all intentions of using a loaf pan. As luck would have it, however, my old cast iron skillet was sitting there on the stove, calling my name: “Use me! Bake your chocolate pound cake in me!”
Okay, I didn’t actually hear my skillet talking to me, so don’t call the loony bin. The words came somewhere from the deepest recesses of my brain. I listened to the voice, and I’m glad I did. My homemade cake turned out to be awesome! It’s chocolaty, and it’s soft and moist in the center and crisp around the edges, thanks to the iron skillet.
Next time you bake a homemade cake, try pouring the batter into a cast iron skillet. I think you’ll like the texture. Something else you’ll like is that the cooking time will be reduced. Had I baked the chocolate pound cake in a loaf pan, it would have required about fifty-five minutes or an hour of baking time. In the iron skillet, however, a pound cake will be dome in about forty or forty-five minutes. My chocolate pound cake recipe, below, will be a good way to try cast iron baking for the first time.
Rate my dessert recipe! Thanks!
- cooking oil
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 2 sticks salted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons fudge topping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease a cast iron skillet with cooking oil.
- Measure cocoa powder into a small bowl and cover with hot water. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, beat butter, vanilla, and sugar together until fluffy. Add an egg and beat. Add another egg and beat. Add remaining egg and beat.
- Place flour, cornstarch, and baking powder in a large lidded bowl. Shake vigorously to combine. Stir in butter mixture until all ingredients are moist. Add cocoa mixture and fudge topping and stir.
- Pour into prepared pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. Allow to cool.
- Place a plate over skillet and flip. Top pound cake with powdered sugar or frosting. Cherry pie filling or fresh raspberries are also great toppings. For even more chocolaty goodness, drizzle cake with chocolate syrup and place a serving of vanilla ice cream on top. Add more chocolate syrup to the ice cream. Of course, this chocolate pound cake is yummy all by itself, too!