Cast iron skillets are durable and have excellent heat retention. Because of the great heat retention, cast iron skillets distribute heat evenly, which makes them excellent for baking cakes. Ten-inch skillets are generally preferred for baking because they are large enough to contain the rising dough.
It is a good idea to grease the skillet before baking with it. This ensures that the cake won’t stick to the cast iron. If the cast iron is well seasoned, only add enough oil to cover the bottom and sides of the skillet.. After the skillet is greased, pour the batter into the skillet until the skillet is ¾ full. This will prevent the batter from spilling over the top of the skillet.
Cast Iron Skillet Vs. Cake Pan
Cake pans are generally round and constructed from aluminum, so the cake cooks evenly and tenderly. Cake pans are non-stick and come in a variety of sizes. 8-inch cake pans are the most popular size for baking cakes. Cake pans can be used to cook a variety of baked goods, from cheesecakes to brownies.
Cast iron skillets are arguably the most versatile tool in the kitchen. They can be used on any cooking medium, from stovetops to firepits and ovens. If cast iron is seasoned correctly, the skillet will be non-stick. A10 inch cast iron skillet is the preferred pan to bake a cake with to prevent the cake batter from spilling over the top during baking.
The benefit of a cake pan is that they are lightweight and non-stick. On the downside, aluminum pans scratch easily. When scratching occurs, part of the non-stick is removed. This can cause uneven cooking, and the cake will stick to the scratched areas. Another downside to aluminum cake pans is that they don’t have a handle. This makes removing them from the oven cumbersome.
The benefits of a cast iron skillet is its heat retention and versatility. If the cast iron skillet is seasoned, it is as non-stick as an aluminum cake pan. Virtually anything can be cooked in a cast iron skillet, eliminating the need for multiple pans and mixing bowls. If you are melting ingredients for the cake, you can do this in the cast iron skillet before you bake with it.
The only downside to using a cast iron skillet is that they are heavy. This can make removing a cake a little awkward. Using a 10-inch cast iron skillet with a second handle is best. Then the cake can be removed from the oven with two hands, preventing burning yourself or dropping the cake.
Do You Grease Cast Iron Before Baking?
Before baking, you should grease cast iron to prevent the cake from sticking to the skillet. Baked goods can stick to cast iron, no matter how well-seasoned. One tablespoon of melted butter should do the trick It is best to use a pastry brush to get the butter around the entire surface and sidewalls.
After the skillet has been greased, adding a little flour is also a good idea. The flour helps lift the cake from the skillet without it sticking to the skillet. To do this, apply a light dusting over the sink while turning the cast iron. Hold the skillet upside down when you are done, and give a gentle pat. This will release any excess flour.
There are alternatives to butter. You can use cooking spray or cooking oil. The oil’s smoke point must match the oven’s temperature if oil is used. If it isn’t, the oil can burn off and leave you with a mess. If cooking spray is used, a light coating will suffice. Ensure that the entire cooking surface, including the side walls, is evenly coated. A paper towel can remove excess cooking spray by dabbing the skillet.
How Do You Prepare Cast Iron For Baking?
Cast iron should be well seasoned before baking. Make sure the skillet is clean, and wipe the entire skillet with cooking oil. Vegetable oil or canola oil are the best oils to use. After the skillet is oiled, place it upside down on the oven’s center rack and bake at 400℉ for one hour.
If the skillet has not been seasoned before, this process should be repeated 3 or 4 times. Once the cast iron is seasoned, it’ll have a matte finish. If any area is not seasoned, concentrate on these areas first. Once the skillet is seasoned, allow it to cool and store it.
What Temperature Do You Bake A Cast Iron Skillet?
Cast iron is very durable and can withstand temperatures of up to 500℉. It is best to season cast iron at 400℉. However, 350℉ is the average temperature to use for baked goods. Cakes in cast iron brown faster, so the finished product should be checked a few minutes earlier than usual.
The Baking Process
To bake a cake in cast iron, preheat the oven to 350℉, and melt a tablespoon of butter in the microwave. While preheating the oven, apply the melted butter to the skillet with a silicone pastry brush. Ensure that the entire surface is coated. Next, add flour to the surface using the method described earlier. If you prefer, you can mix the batter in the pan to avoid dirtying up mixing bowls.
Once the battery is prepared, pour the mixture (if using a mixing bowl) into the skillet and smooth the batter with a spatula. Place the cake in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Once the cake has been baked for 20 minutes, check the center with a skewer to check for doneness. If the skewer comes out clean, the cake is ready.
If the cake is not ready after 20 minutes, check it every 5 minutes. Once the cake is ready, remove it from the oven using a handle cover or a dishtowel around the handle. Allow the cake to cool and, using a butter knife, go around the sides of the cake to help lift it from the skillet. Once loose, gently lift the cake and place it on a platter. If its a firm cake, the skillet can be inverted to slide the cake out, and the cake can be turned right-side up.
My name is Jason Phillips and I cooked for many years, primarily aboard Merchant Marine vessels and in fast-paced commercial kitchens. My passion for culinary arts led me to attend a culinary arts academy in 2019 where the instructor piqued my interest in food and beverage writing.