Red Velvet Skillet Cake

Earlier this week, I posted a story about the birthday cake I made for my friend Sam.  This cake is so delicious, it would be a shame to have to wait for another birthday to have it again.  So I’ve designed a smaller, simpler version of that cake- the same recipe but less fuss and I bake and serve it right in a skillet!  It’s super moist, easy to put together and travels great right in the skillet for a party with friends.  And with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, this bright red cake will steal any heart!

Red Velvet Skillet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Servings: about 8


1 3/4  cups cake flour (plus a tablespoon or so for dusting the skillet)

1/2  teaspoon kosher salt

1/2  teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons red food coloring

2  tablespoons unsweetend dark cocoa powder

1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1  large egg

1/2 cup buttermilk (shake carton before pouring)

1  teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2  cup sour cream

1/2  tablespoon distilled white vinegar

Cream Cheese Frosting (See recipe below)

1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped fine (optional but strongly encouraged) *See note below on How to Toast Nuts


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 10-inch skillet with butter, then line bottom of skillet with a circle of parchment paper and generously butter parchment.  Dust buttered skillet with cake flour and knock out the excess.

In a medium bowl, combine cake flour, salt and baking soda.  Mix well and set aside.

In a small bowl, stir the red food coloring and cocoa powder to form a smooth paste.  Set aside.

Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment or a hand mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy- about 2 minutes.  Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula.

Add the egg and beat just until combined, then add cocoa paste and beat for 4 minutes on medium speed.

Pour buttermilk into a measuring cup and add the vanilla extract to the buttermilk.

Turn the mixer on low and add the flour mixture in 3 increments alternating with the buttermilk mixture in 2 increments, starting and ending with the flour mixture.  Beat just until combined.

Add sour cream and vinegar and beat on low just until combined.

Pour batter into greased skillet.

Bake for about 30-35 minutes (rotate skillet halfway through for even baking) until a toothpick comes out of the center clean.  Do not overbake.

Let cake cool completely on a wire rack right in the skillet before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes about 2 cups


1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature

1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese at room temperature

2 cups sifted powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese


Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, cream together the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and salt on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Turning the mixer on low, add the vanilla extract and the mascarpone cheese and mix just until everything is combined.  Do not overmix.

*Frosting can be made the day before and refrigerated- just make sure to take it out and soften to room temperature before frosting your cake.

Frost cake and sprinkle on toasted, coarsely chopped walnuts. (Walnuts can be omitted for anyone with a food allergy.)

How to toast nuts:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spread nuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes.  Halfway through toasting, give nuts a little toss for even cooking.  Watch them like a hawk for the last few minutes of toasting so that they don’t burn.  Nuts are done when they smell toasty and have a deeper more concentrated flavor.  Cool completely before chopping and sprinkling onto cake.

Red Velvet Skillet Cake…

3 Responses to Red Velvet Skillet Cake

  1. steve says:

    looks great!

  2. baudin says:

    this is just flat out wonderful. yes, take it to a party and make a stunning entrance. let’s see. i have a red velvet vest and a fluffy white beret. i can coordinate. heh.
    the cake looks amazing in the black pan, and i know it will taste great because none of your recipes have failed me yet.
    thank you chef jess.

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