Cranberry Skillet Cake

There's an emotional connection each time I use my grandmother's cast iron skillet that has cooked more bunuelos than I can recall.  She always used it around the holidays making it exciting for me to develop a holiday recipe using this precious piece of cookware. This skillet cake has tart and caramelized cranberries on top of a buttery cake.  It's a rustic cake that always seems to look fancy when plated.  Serve it with a dollop of whipped cream for dessert, or straight out of the oven for a delicious breakfast cake. 

Cranberry Skillet Cake

Servings: 10-12

TOPPING

¾ cup brown sugar, packed

4 Tbsp butter

2 cups cranberries

 

CAKE

1 ¼ cup sugar

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened

2 eggs

2 cups cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup orange juice

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 Tablespoon orange zest

10-11 inch cast iron skillet

TOPPING

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 

2. Place butter in skillet and put in oven until melted, 1-2 minutes.  Add the brown sugar and stir until all the sugar is moistened and spread evenly in the skillet.  Arrange the cranberries in a single layer over the sugar mixture and set aside. 

CAKE

1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar, butter and eggs until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.

2. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until combined.  Add the orange juice, vanilla and orange zest and mix until combined. 

3. Dollop the batter into the skillet spread evenly over the cranberries. 

4. Bake until the cake is golden brown and a tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, 35-45 minutes.

5. Let the cake cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes in the skillet.  Run a blunt knife around the inside rim of the skillet to loosen the cake.  Place a platter on top of the cake in the skillet.  Using oven mitts, turn the cake onto the platter.  Serve warm as a breakfast cake or at room temperature  with a dollop of whipped cream for dessert. 

Do Ahead: Skillet cake can be baked 1 day ahead.  Store covered at room temperature.