Breakfast Desserts Other Recipes

Apple Fritter Skillet Cake

Cake baked in a cast iron skillet with chunks of apple peeking through the cake.
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Apple fritters are good but this apple fritter skillet cake is downright delicious.  If you can imagine an airy cake consistency with little bites of butter and brown sugar cooked apples and finished off with a hint of cinnamon then you can probably imagine just how good it tastes.

While apple fritters are fried and messy to make this skillet cake is just the opposite. Sauté the apples in a large skillet, pour the hand mixed batter into the same pan and bake it until golden and fluffy. It almost sounds too good to be true but it really is that simple – even if you’re not typically a baker.

About the Ingredients

Apples – It is almost always best to use Granny Smith apples when doing any sort of baking. There are two main reasons for this. First, they are tart. That nearly sour flavor is a good balance for the sugar in most baked goods recipes. It helps keep that recognizably apple flavor instead of just becoming a sugary surprise. Second, they have a low moisture content. If you have an apple with too much juice, you’ll be adding too much moisture to your cake and it won’t cook to the same consistency.

Butter and brown sugar – Melt the butter and brown sugar together in the skillet. This will be the sauce the apples are coated and cooked in before adding them to the batter.

Dry ingredients for the batter – all-purpose flour, baking soda AND baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger and nutmeg.

Wet ingredients for the batter – melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, sour cream, milk and vanilla extract. The eggs should ideally be at room temperature. Don’t worry – they wont spoil if they get warm. Just leave them on the counter for about an hour before you begin making the recipe. If you forget to warm them up (or just run out of time) place the cold eggs in a bowl filled with luke warm water for about 10 minutes. This will speed the warming process up without cooking the eggs.

A triangle piece of apple fritter skillet cake on a plate with crumbs sprinkled around.

How to Make Apple Fritter Skillet Cake

Cook the Apples

Melt the butter in a large cast iron (or oven proof) skillet. Add the brown sugar and whisk until a grainy paste forms. Now add the diced apples and stir everything together. The apples should be coated in the brown sugar paste. Continue cooking and occasionally stirring for 5-7 minutes or until the apples are soft but not mushy. Turn off the heat and leave the apples in the pan.

Make the Cake Batter

Melt the remaining butter in the microwave in a small mixing bowl and set it aside to cool.

In a medium size mixing bowl whisk together the dry ingredients EXCEPT for the brown sugar. Set this bowl aside.

Once the butter has cooled, whisk into it the brown sugar, sour cream, two eggs at room temperature, milk and vanilla extract. This mixture will not be smooth and that is perfectly fine. Those little lumps are sour cream. Not to worry, the bits of sour cream will melt in the baking process and your cake will not have lumps.

A chunky mixture of wet ingredients being poured into a bowl of dry ingredients that look like flour.

Slowly, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients while stirring to combine but only until just combined. Don’t over mix it. Over mixing will result in a dense cake instead of a fluffy one.

Bake the Apple Fritter Skillet Cake

Pour the batter into the apples in the cast iron pan and fold. 

Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the fritter cool slightly and serve warm! 

Raw batter with chunks of apple in a cast iron skillet.

Variations and Recipe Tips for Apple Fritter Skillet Cake

Serve with a Vanilla Icing Drizzle

If you want to add a little extra something sweet to your Apple Fritter Skillet Cake try a vanilla glaze. Simply mix up an easy icing and pour it straight onto the cake while it’s in the pan.

To make the glaze, mix the ingredients below in a small mixing bowl. Start with only 1 tablespoon of milk and add more if needed.

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons milk, varies for desired consistency
  • 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Serve with Ice Cream

A scoop of vanilla or caramel ice cream beside your Apple Fritter Skillet Cake will be a the perfection combination if your serving it for dessert.

A wedge slice of caramel color cake and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a plate with a brass fork.

Substitutions

To get a deeper apple flavor substitute unsweetened applesauce for the sour cream. The moisture content should remain pretty similar so the baking time won’t be effected.

FAQ’s

Why does my apple cake fall apart?

It may have not cooled enough before removing it from the pan or cutting it. It could also crumble if it’s too dry from not following the measurements precisely.

What are apple fritters made of?

Apple fritters are made of flour, baking soda, sugar, apples, milk, egg, butter, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. They are then fried in oil.

Why separate the dry ingredients from the wet ingredients for the batter?

Adding the already mixed dry ingredients to the already mixed ingredients will help prevent over-mixing the batter. It will keep air in your batter and result in a lighter, fluffier cake.

Cake cooked into a cast iron skillet with a golden brown top and peeks of cubed apples.

The Recipe for Apple Fritter Skillet Cake

The recipe is attached below for easy downloading and printing.  If you test it out be sure to leave a note in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you thought and whether you thought it was breakfast or dessert. Enjoy!

Cake baked in a cast iron skillet with chunks of apple peeking through the cake.

Apple Fritter Skillet Cake

A fluffy cake baked right in a skillet with sautéed brown sugar and and butter apples. Sweet enough for dessert but also light enough to pair with coffee for a morning or daytime treat.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 14 servings
Calories 518 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 12" cast iron skillet or any oven proof skillet

Ingredients
  

For the apples:

  • 5 granny smith apples peeled, cored and diced small
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 pinch salt

Dry ingredients for the cake batter:

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Wet ingredients for the cake batter:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Dice 5 granny smith apples into 1 inch cubes.
  • Heat 3 tbsp butter in a large cast-iron skillet. Whisk in 1/3 cup brown sugar until dissolved. Add 1/2 tsp lemon juice and 1 pinch salt. Add the cubed apples and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  • Melt 1/2 cup butter in the microwave in a small mixing bowl and set it aside to cool.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients: 2½ cups all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon , 1/2 tsp ground ginger, and 1/4 tsp nutmeg.
  • Once the butter has cooled, whisk into it 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup sour cream, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup milk and 2 tsp vanilla extract. This mixture will be lumpy. That's perfectly fine as long as the ingredients are combined well.
  • Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients while stirring to combine. Stir only until just combined, don’t over mix. Pour the batter into the apples in the cast iron pan and fold together.
  • Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the fritter cake cool slightly and serve warm!

Notes

You can substitute a cast iron pan with a smaller diameter. The cooking time will need to be increased so keep an eye on the oven as the cake bakes. 
Storage:  Store the fritter skillet cake at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days or in the refrigerator for 7 days.
Keyword apple, cake, skillet

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