Cranberry Skillet Cake: Comfort Baking

We’re in the middle of a cold snap here. Not as severe as the polar vortex that gripped most of the states earlier this month, but still, the weather is not ideal for outdoor adventures, or really, anything that requires more than a few minutes of exposure to the elements.

It’s a good thing I am content indoors with my knitting. Already I’ve managed to finish most of a first mitten for Addie, who’s about to outgrow her current pair. I also found myself in the kitchen, staring at the last bag of cranberries left over from the holidays and wondering what to do with them.

These tart little gems didn’t deserve to languish in our produce drawer until they shriveled into sad little lumps, so after a bit of thinking, I decided to do what any kindhearted cook would. I baked a cake. The weekend called for something unfussy. No cake pans, or buttercream, or fiddly garnishes. Just a simple batter with cranberries folded in.

This cranberry skillet cake fit my requirements exactly. Whole milk yogurt keeps the crumb nice and moist; dark brown sugar and cinnamon add depth and compliment the cranberries’ bright flavor. And baking — in a cast iron skillet if you can — takes only 20 minutes.

Z and Addie and I couldn’t resist having a bit before dinner, and there’s still plenty left to enjoy with coffee throughout this long weekend and into the work week.

Cranberry Skillet Cake: Comfort Baking
Author: Heidi Atwood
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time:  
Cook time:  
Total time:  
Fresh cranberries star in this rustic cake, which you bake right in the skillet.
  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • Juice of ½ an orange
  • ¾ cup of dark brown sugar, divided
  • ¾ cup of whole milk yogurt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup butter, melted plus additional butter for greasing skillet
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • Zest of one orange
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Grease a 12″ diameter cast iron skillet with a bit of butter
  3. Rinse the cranberries, drain, and place in a small bowl.
  4. Add orange juice and ¼ sugar and toss to coat
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, eggs, and butter
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients, including the orange zest
  7. Add yogurt mixture to dry ingredients and stir until combined
  8. Fold in cranberries and pour batter into the skillet
  9. Bake for 20 minutes or until only moist crumbs stick to a toothpick inserted into the cake’s center

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