30-Minute Skillet Plum Cake

[Photograph: María del Mar Sacasa]

This easy skillet cake pairs nutty browned butter with fresh summer plums.

About the author: María del Mar Sacasa is a recipe developer, food stylist, and author of the food blog High Heels & Frijoles. Behind her girly façade lurks a truck driver's appetite. Read about her cravings and suffer through her occasional rants on Twitter @HHandFrijoles and see her constant stream of food images on Instagram: mdmsacasa.

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30-Minute Skillet Plum Cake

About This Recipe

Yield:serves 8
Active time:20 minutes
Total time:1 hour
Special equipment:10-inch cast iron skillet or 9-inch round cake pan, whisk
This recipe appears in: Let Them Eat: 30 Minute Skillet Plum Cake


  • 1 1/2 cups (about 7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (about 2 1/3 ounces) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure almond extract
  • 3 ripe but firm black plums, seed discarded, thinly sliced into wedges
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar


  1. 1

    Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk flour, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; set aside.

  2. 2

    Heat butter in a 10-inch round cast iron skillet over medium heat. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until beginning to foam. Remove skillet from heat when foam settles and butter smells nutty, 5 to 7 minutes. Immediately remove from heat and transfer to medium bowl. Stir in orange zest. Whisk in milk, eggs, and almond extract.

  3. 3

    Whisk brown butter/milk mixture into dry ingredients, stirring only until batter is smooth.

  4. 4

    Grease skillet with remaining 1 tablespoon butter, then scrape batter into skillet. Top with sliced plums, skin side up, pressing gently into batter. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and bake until cake tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.

  5. 5

    Transfer skillet to cooling rack and cool cake about 15 minutes; serve warm. Cake may be served at room temperature.


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