Side view of the skillet chocolate cherry cake.

Skillet Cherry Chocolate Cake

It may look like an unusual cake recipe, but this Skillet Chocolate Cherry Cake will be an absolute hit with your family and friends.

Two slices of Skillet Chocolate Cherry Cake with the remaining cake still in the skillet.

Chocolate Cherry Cake

This is not my recipe. This is a rather popular cake recipe from a 1974 Pillsbury bake off contest. 

The ingredients, or lack there of, for this cake may strike some as odd, but I promise it is delicious. After all, it did win a contest nearly 45 years ago.

The lack of liquid, both water and oil that you’re accustomed to using in cakes is missing, but the cherry pie filling will make this cake moist and delicious.

I used three eggs, for a more fluffy texture, but the original recipe only uses two. It’s a bit chewier with two. I love it both ways.

Close up view of the frosted and ready to be served chocolate cherry pie in the skillet with forks and plates off to the side.

Can You Bake in Cast Iron?

Absolutely. 

Cast iron is versatile inasmuch as it can from the stovetop right into the oven or vice versa. So there is no reason not to utilize this kitchen workhorse for baking as well. 

Cast iron is also known for its even heating properties, making it ideal for all your baked goods, but only once it’s been pre-heated

Inside and side view of the chocolate cherry cake in the skillet.

Tips for Baking with Cast Iron.

Just as with all your favorite dinner recipes, using your cast iron for baking is wonderful.

Cast iron takes a bit of time to heat up properly and doesn’t do so evenly. However, once it is hot, it cooks evenly.

Pre-heating your cast iron before baking is just as important as it is for any other recipe.

It’s best to heat it gradually. When you are pre-heating your oven for baking, toss your cast iron it and allow it to come to heat with the oven. Just be careful to use oven mitts and trivets when dealing with a hot skillet.

Light and fluffy piece of chocolate cherry cake.

If you’re using an heirloom piece, it might be fully seasoned to be non-stick. Perhaps you’re using a newer, pre-seasoned item, it might not have the full non-stick properties as older pieces.

When making baked goods, I still use cooking spray to ensure easy removal, particularly when I want to present the baked good outside my cast iron.

Chocolate Cherry Cake ingredients, including the cake mix, almond extract, eggs, cherry pie filling all in the cast iron skillet with a wooden spoon and rubber spatula.

How to Make Chocolate Cherry Cake in a Skillet.

Cake mix, three eggs, and almond extract added to a pink mixing bowl.

Add the cake mix to your favorite bowl, like my lovely pink one here. Add the almond extract and eggs.

I break up the eggs by starting to stir them into the dry cake mix. It will be too dry to completely incorporate, but at least the yolks will break.

Half of the cherry pie filling can has been added to the mostly dry cake mix.

Gently fold in half of the cherry pie filling. It’s really easy to break the cherries apart, so I begin with just half the can. Once it resembles batter, fold in the remaining half of cherries. 

Using an electric mixer is not recommended for this cake recipe. The cherries are delicate and will be complete decimated if one is used.

The cake batter in a pink bowl is fully combined and mixed.

I fold in half the pie filling as gently as I can, but many of the cherries will break apart. After the batter has formed, folding in the second half of the pie filling will allow the rest of the cherries to stay intact.

There’s nothing more tasty than getting a full cherry in a bite of this scrumptious cake.

Once it’s all incorporated, the batter will look rather thick, but don’t despair, it will turn out fluffy. 

Chocolate cherry cake batter has been poured and smoothed into the prepared cast iron skillet.

Pour it into your cast iron skillet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Despite our iron being well seasoned, cake can still stick if not well lubricated. You can use your favorite cooking oil instead of cooking spray.

Pop it into a pre-heated 350° oven and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Once baked, allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes before frosting. 

The freshly baked chocolate cherry cake has been frosted while still in the skillet with a butter knife in view.

Frost with your favorite canned frosting or even homemade. Slice and serve. 

Dessert Recipes in Cast Iron

Here are some other delicious desserts made in cast iron.

Popovers in cast iron bakeware sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Chocolate Dessert Recipes in Cast Iron

Fruit Dessert Recipes in Cast Iron

Cherry Clafoutis in a cast iron skillet
Slice of skillet apple pear spice cake with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Skillet Chocolate Cherry Cake

It may look like an unusual cake recipe, but this Chocolate Cherry Cake will be an absolute hit with your family and friends.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Resting time15 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chocolate Cherry Cake
Servings: 8
Calories: 567
Author: Ned Adams
Cost: $6

Equipment

  • 12-inch cast iron skillet

Ingredients

  • cooking spray
  • 15.25 oz Devil's Food cake mix
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 21 oz cherry pie filling
  • 16 oz prepared chocolate frosting

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 350° with the skillet to preheat as well.
  • Add the cake mix, eggs, and extract together in a medium sized mixing bowl and stir to break the eggs.
  • Fold in half of the cherry pie filling as gently as possible.
  • Once the batter has been formed, gently fold in the remaining cherry pie filling.
  • With care, remove the cast iron skillet from the oven.
  • Spray 11or 12” cast iron skillet with cooking spray or coat with cooking oil.
  • Pour batter into the skillet to a 12″ Skillet 
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let cool for at least 15 minutes.Frost with your favorite icing. 

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 567kcal | Carbohydrates: 96g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 586mg | Potassium: 390mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 54g | Vitamin A: 242IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 4mg

This post has been updated from its original publishing with new content, clarified recipe directions, and photography.

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