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Blackberry Skillet Cake

Blackberry Skillet Cake is an easy, old fashioned buttermilk cake recipe studded with fresh blackberries. Such a perfect summer dessert!

Overhead view of a skillet cake studded with blackberries baked and golden and ready to serve

This is an EASY recipe. Like the easiest of easy. And yet, it’s still super delicious, just slightly sweet, and the natural fruit really gets to shine, so really it’s my favorite sort of thing to make.

It’s also a very forgiving recipe, and here’s how I know:
The last time I made it, I forgot to mix the melted butter in with the wet ingredients, and realized it right before I was putting the cake into the oven.

So I did what any person not wanting to throw away a pan full of ingredients does: I poured the butter over the top and crossed my fingers.

Buttermilk Cake Batter in a cast iron skillet sprinkled with fresh plump blackberries ready for baking

And you know what? It turned out perfectly.

These are the merits of a classic, old fashioned recipe.

Can I Make a Cake in a Cast Iron Skillet?

You might not be surprised to learn this, but cast iron pans are great for cooking AND baking. You can even use them to bake a box cake mix without any special concessions.

I made this cake SPECIFICALLY to be made in an 11 inch cast iron skillet, and since 12-inch cast iron skillets are a little more common, I wanted to give you a few good options.

  • Ecolution Farmhouse Pre-Seasoned 11-inch Fry Pan – This is a great low-cost option if you need to add this cookware staple but don’t wanna get too spendy.
  • Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Skillet, 11-inch in Red or Blue – A good mid-range price point from a brand I love. Caveat: it’s enameled cast iron and I have a Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, and the enamel has not held up that well. It has some pitting. It’s still REALLY pretty and I use it often, but I might go with a more high-end option when I replace it.
  • Staub 11- inch Cast IronTraditional Skillet in Cherry – My favorite option but also at the top of the price range. Staub makes stellar cookware and if you want something that looks great and will also last you a lifetime of cakes and bacon frying and whatever else you throw at it, this is it.

If your only option is a 12-inch skillet it WILL work. you just won’t have as much rise on your cake.

3 tablespoons of coarse turbinado sugar, topping fresh blackberries and buttermilk cake batter in a cast iron skillet

How to Make Buttermilk Cake

First! You need some cake basics.

  • flour
  • baking powder
  • sugar
  • salt
  • eggs
  • buttermilk
  • butter
  • vanilla
  • turbinado sugar to top – more on that in a sec

Do I have to use buttermilk?

Sooooooo this IS a buttermilk cake and I should probs say yes. But actually you have some solid options, especially if you are like me and running to the grocery store for the ONE thing you don’t have sounds like torture. In truth, lots of my recipes are borne out of straight laziness.

It makes me resourceful.

Anyway, if you don’t have buttermilk you have two solid options.

The first – add a tablespoon of white vinegar to a liquid measuring cup and then add enough milk to equal 1 cup. Let it stand for 10 minutes and then stir. TADAAAAAAA – buttermilk.

The second – BUTTERMILK POWDER! This is a really great option if you don’t use much dairy but like things like buttermilk pancakes or buttermilk cake. I’m partial to , but there are lots of options and you should be able to find it pretty easily in your baking aisle.

Close up view of a baked blackberry skillet cake to show the rise is about an inch over the lip of a standard 11 inch cast iron skillet
A slice of Blackberry Buttermilk Skillet Cake that's being lifted from the cast iron skillet. the view is from the side so that you can see the warm blackberries that have seeped into the tender crumb of the baked cake. It also shows the fully baked height of about 3 inches tall.
Blackberry Skillet Cake
Yield: 12 slices

Blackberry Skillet Cake

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Blackberry Skillet Cake is an old fashioned buttermilk cake recipe studded with fresh blackberries. Easy to make and so good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled just a little
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups fresh blackberries
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar for sprinkling on top


    1. Preheat the over to 400°F. Generously butter an 11 inch cast iron skillet.
    2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
    3. In a medium bowl whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and butter. Then stir in the vanilla.
    4. Dump the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and stir until it is just smooth and combined.
    5. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared skillet. Evenly sprinkle the blackberries over the top. Sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the entire top of the cake.
    6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. If you are worried that the cake is looking a little dark around the edges you can tent foil over the top for the last 5-6 minutes of baking.
    7. Serve warm or at room temperature with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 210Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 282mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 2gSugar: 14gProtein: 5g

I am a self-proclaimed fireworks junkie.

Growing up, every year for the 4th, we would spread blankets in the shady grass of a little park tucked into the corner of uptown Charlotte, North Carolina, and wait for the action to happen. Usually we’d swing by Kentucky Fried Chicken for a meal to tote with us. Sometimes my mom would make sandwiches. Always the recipe for the afternoon and evening was the same:

You have to arrive at the park hours before the show to find parking and just the right spot to spread out. The shady blanketed place where mom and dad sat was home base. We were free to run through the grass, make friends with neighboring children, feed the geese, do cartwheels, and take a zillion trips over the bridge to peer into the pond below. Reporting back to home base meant a drink, a snack, stretching across one of my grandma’s old quilts, and watching the clouds roll overhead. If you situated yourself just right mom would play with your hair. Asking my dad the time every fifteen minutes was a necessity because between 9:30 and 10 pm the 5 minute warning shot went off and then the fireworks would commence.

We loved the deafening boom that echoed off the buildings. The loud crackles that lit up the air and made us smile and laugh involuntarily. We’d try to pick our favorite displays of color, each one outdone by the one that followed. We’d sit together, faces tilted toward the sky, and watch in awe. Notes of the national anthem would float by, broadcast from a car stereo manned by one of our for-the-night neighbors sharing in the experience. The “grand finale” was a spectacular display of lights, colors, and sounds, all blending together, that seemed to go on and on and on forever until your senses could barely stand it.

When it finally stopped and the sky went dark, there was always a pause. A silence so big and full of awe it was almost audible. Then the night would erupt with cheers and clapping and whoops and hollers as the entire city reveled in the celebration. You could hear crowds cheering from parking lots, stadiums, and rooftop decks for blocks upon blocks, the joy spreading from one picnic blanket to the next.

Then we’d snatch our belongings and race to the car so my dad could try to “beat the traffic”.

I would use every color in my crayon box to recreate the fireworks on construction paper for days.

This tradition peresevered for years and years for our family and many others. I adore the 4th. As we’ve all grown older our Independence Day traditions have moved zip codes and morphed a bit, but we still celebrate and share each other’s company as much as distance and schedules will allow.

Sandra - The Foodie Affair

Wednesday 4th of July 2012

You don't mess with the date! That's just wrong! Great childhood memories you shared. We had the best block parties on our street when I grew up. Relay races, food, running around all day and night, and our own firework show!! Where we live now, it's so low key, and because of funding our town doesn't have a firework show! A few bites of your buttermilk cake just might help me forgive this town for the injustice I'm enduring :))

Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

Thursday 5th of July 2012

Oh we had parties like that at the pool! I distinctly remember diving to the bottom of the deep end for quarters and cans of soda :) No fireworks is so sad!! Hopefully you have neighbors that enjoy shooting fireworks so you can see the sky light up without having to go to an organized event. We drove a few towns over to enjoy a BIG show last night. It was great.


Wednesday 4th of July 2012

Honestly you should write a novel, you have such a way with words! The way you described watching the fireworks as a child, I felt like I was there, I love how descriptive you are! "When it finally stopped and the sky went dark, there was always a pause. A silence so big and full of awe it was almost audible." I love the way you put that! You're a super talented chef/baker/writer!! Is there anything you can't do??? haha Chad is a lucky guy, you better remind him of that and tell him to track down some fireworks for you or go buy some sparklers (at least! haha) BTW Your skillet cake is adorable...I heart strawberries! YUM!!!

Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

Wednesday 4th of July 2012

Thank you!! What sweet things to say! I was very super blessed to have really super parents, 4 awesome brothers and sisters, and a boatload of really great memories. I'm glad that translates on the page. Mostly I write to get the words out of my head. If I didn't I'd probably never stop talking! Chad DID buy us some sparklers :) I freaking love those things. AND we caught fireworks last night in a town nearby. They were sort of amateur and lame, but they did the trick. And now I'm going to gorge myself on BLT's and watermelon. Happy 4th!!!


Tuesday 3rd of July 2012

Loved reading about your celebrations as a child - they sound wonderful! gutted you missed the fireworks this year (the rescheduling does sound stupid!) this has started happening in UK as well around Bonfire Night - it arrives and you look for firework displays to go to only to find they've happened the weekend before and nobody knew! Strawberry cake looks yummy though - hope you get to enjoy some sort of family celebration tomorrow, fireworks or not!

Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

Tuesday 3rd of July 2012

We need a "Stop the Rescheduling" campaign. Worldwide. Buncha nonsense!! I have the most fond memories of summer and holidays with my family. I want my kids to have the same. But it's really hard to do when you miss things because they take place in the wrong month. We will find something to do, no doubt! (bought a big bag of fireworks just in case) What is Bonfire Night? That sounds like something I wanna be a part of :)


Monday 2nd of July 2012

What is the point in moving the celebrations to a different date? That is crazy! I love hearing about Independence Day. To tell the truth a big part of me has always wished I was American, probably explains why I am obsessed with the culture and food :0) That strawberry buttermilk cake looks so yummy!

Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

Tuesday 3rd of July 2012

Hey Nickki! Independence Day is awesome... or it always has been in years past. I suppose no matter what we do the spirit is there. And even if we don't find a big display to get to, it's hard to get through the afternoon and evening without a neighbor shooting fireworks off. And sharing food with family and friends is definitely a part of it that they CAN'T reschedule! Buttermilk in cakes is very American. And Southern. And awesome :)


Monday 2nd of July 2012

I am so mystified by the that even legal? I mean really? There was such hoopla last year about rescheduling Halloween and that's just Halloween!

Love this amazing cake...I am all over anything that includes buttermilk.

Heather @ SugarDish(Me)

Monday 2nd of July 2012

The Halloween rescheduling was soooo on my nerves. If we are not celebrating and watching fireworks on the 4th then why make my life hard and close the bank? Buttermilk is the BEST. The fat free version is my bff. I also think rescheduling Independence Day is totally against the law.

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