My cast iron skillet is one of the most relied-upon kitchen tools in my entire cooking arsenal. I use it for making cornbread, searing steaks and baking up beautifully puffed Dutch baby pancakes. Its virtues are countless. I’ve even used it as a doorstop once or twice! It is truly utilitarian in all manner of speaking; in fact, a friend once used hers as a boat anchor. But that’s another story entirely.
This cake bakes up beautifully in a 12-inch skillet. Its edges turn golden and slightly more firm than its glorious gooey middle. Its texture is dense but creamy, like cheesecake-meets-custard-meets-gooey butter cake. I like to serve this with plenty of whipped cream and berries, and there’s no question that a sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar on top is in order. If you don’t mind sharing from the same pan, put this cake on the table with as many spoons as you have guests and let everyone dig in. It’s a skillet cake free-for-all! And there’s no shame in starting at the gooey center and eating your way out to the golden edges. It’s so easy to make, and if you don’t have a 12-inch cast iron skillet, you can bake it in an 11x9-inch casserole. Here’s how to make it!
First thing, preheat your oven to 350°F. The crust is made with a box of Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix, two eggs and 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter, melted.
Combine cake mix, melted butter and two eggs in a medium bowl. Stir together with a spoon until all ingredients are well incorporated.
Pour the crust mixture into a 12-inch cast iron skillet.
Spread the mixture into the bottom of a 12-inch cast iron skillet. Set aside.
In a medium bowl combine the sugar, butter and cream cheese.
Mix until well combined with an electric hand mixer on high speed. Add the eggs 1 at a time; mix well after each addition.
Mix in the lemon extract and lemon zest.
Add flour and milk alternately, beginning and ending with the flour.
Mix in sweetened condensed milk until just combined.
Pour batter on top of the crust in the cast iron skillet.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the cake is lightly golden on top and the center has only a slight wobble when the pan is moved. Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan.
Top the cake with whipped cream and berries. Lightly sprinkle entire cake with powdered sugar. Garnish with a lemon slice, if desired.
Serve the cake from the skillet. Transfer leftovers to a plate and cover with plastic wrap; store in the refrigerator.