I asked my dad what type of cake he wanted for his birthday, and his answer was chocolate cake with white frosting or white cake with chocolate frosting. Really, dad? I repeatedly told him how boring that was and offered him literally 20 or more recipes I had bookmarked to try with enticing options. He still wanted plain chocolate cake with white frosting or white cake with chocolate frosting.
Begrudgingly, I honored his request. I did, however, find a bookmark tucked away for Cookies and Cups' cake made in a cast-iron skillet. That's the recipe I selected since it let me try a new recipe and was at least a bit unique. I didn't manage to get a picture before we ate it, so I guess that tells you it was a solid cake. It's worth repeating ... if I'm ever requested to bring a plain chocolate cake anywhere.
Skillet Chocolate Cake
1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used a mix of regular and dark)
1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup water, brought just to a boil
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350°
F. Grease a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with butter. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper, grease again and dust lightly with flour. Set aside.
(Note: the parchment paper was necessary for me. As in, I didn't do this step and had my cake not come out of the pan in one piece.)
medium bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Pour hot
water over top, let sit for 1 minute and then whisk until smooth. Set
aside to cool.
In another bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer, beat together butter and light brown sugar until
light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in eggs and vanilla beating
until combined and smooth. Turn the mixer to low, and pour in melted chocolate mixture slowly until incorporated. Finally add the flour mixture and buttermilk in alternating portions, beginning and ending with flour. Stir until just combined, scraping sides when necessary.
Pour batter into prepared skillet. Bake for 40-50 minutes, turning skillet halfway through baking.
Cake is done with a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with only a few crumbs dangling.
Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes in the skillet, and then invert onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Frost as desired. Makes about 12-18 servings.