This is a simple, one-layer, unfrosted cake that has always been well-received (except for the one time I put peeled sliced nectarines on top and everyone ended in tears). You can change the flavorings to suit your preferences and make it plain or add in chocolate, fruit, or nuts.
I found the recipe in a baking book that I checked out from the library. I do love libraries for accessing expensive tomes of reference material!
Any-Day Skillet Cake
From HomeBaking by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid
Makes 1 round low cake, about 9 inches in diameter and 1 ½ - 2 inches tall.
8 tablespoons (112 g) butter, very soft, plus 2 tablespoons (28 g or 30 mL) butter for the pan
1 cup (250 mL) sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup (250 mL) plain yogurt
1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract (can use other extracts or liqueurs)
1 ¾ cups (438 mL-ish) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking powder
½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) baking soda
½ teaspoon (2.5 mL) salt
1 teaspoon (5 mL) cinnamon
Big pinch of ground cloves (optional)
1 cup (250 mL) chopped nuts or chocolate or fruit (or whole berries)
2 tablespoons (30 mL) sugar (if using fruit)
Place rack in lower third of the oven and preheat to 400F (204C).
Beat the butter and sugar together in a medium bowl. Add eggs, yogurt, and vanilla and beat for about 1 minute. Set aside.
Place a 9-inch cast iron or other heavy oven-proof skillet over low heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter and melt it, then spread butter all over the inside surface of the pan. Leave the skillet on low heat.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large bowl, stirring to blend. Add the yogurt mixture and fold to blend well. Stir in chopped chocolate or nuts, if using. Working fairly quickly, scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Quickly arrange the fruit, if using, leaving about a 1 inch (2.5 cm) border around the edges. Sprinkle on the sugar.
Place the skillet in the oven and lower the temperature to 375F (190C), and bake until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, usually about 30-35 minutes, depending on whether or not you used fruit. The top crust will be a rich, golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before removing from the pan (or just leave it in the pan), but allow it to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.
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