For a unique and delicious brunch dish, bake a cast iron skillet pancake! Whip up the fresh berry champagne compote while the pancake bakes for an extra special treat.
Just before we moved away from California, we took a trip to Paso Robles with some friends for a little wine tasting and relaxation. The morning we said our farewells to our friends, the Godfather and I decided we would hang out a little longer and walk around town to work up enough of an appetite so we could enjoy one more meal at one of our favorite places in town, Thomas Hill Organics.
On the menu that day was a cast iron skillet pancake. Baked in this adorable little skillet was a cornbread-like pancake served with a rosemary maple syrup and fresh fruit. It tasted wonderful, but the presentation had me swooning. What’s not to love about small cast iron skillets? We picked up two just before Christmas and decided that a version of the THO pancake was the perfect first recipe to “break in” the new skillets when the time was right.
The result was delicious, and I’ve made the recipe a few more times since. It’s morphed a bit for simplicity. I now use one large skillet instead of two smaller ones. It’s simpler, no separating batter, and there’s something lovely and rustic about placing the skillet on a trivet on the table.
This is also an impressive dish for a “non-cook” or “non-baker” to keep in their arsenal since it only takes one bowl to make the pancake batter and one pot for the compote.
Do I need to use a cast iron skillet?
No. If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, you don’t need to fret! An 8-inch round cake pan will work just fine. The skillet will give you a bit more of a crust, and the lovely presentation of course. Just be sure to use an oven mitt and have a trivet handy. Skillet or cake pan, it still gets hot!
Can I use anything besides blackberries for the compote?
Of course! Strawberries, blueberries, and even a bag of frozen mixed berries will work beautifully! Use fresh or frozen. The champagne is also optional. You can substitute any complimentary juice, nonalcoholic cider, or just a bit of water. The nice thing about compotes is that you can taste as you go and adjust the flavor as needed.
So is this a dessert or breakfast dish?
I suppose you could serve it as a dessert, but it’s pretty filling, so we stick to serving it for breakfast. The skillet pancake, while looking and baking like a cake, isn’t super sweet. Since the cake isn’t too sweet, it might not be right for a dessert. But it’s absolutely perfect as a pancake since you can top how you like!
You can serve this on its own, or add whatever breakfast side you’d like. We usually stick to fruit and whatever bubbly I used in the compote.
Without realizing it, this was actually my first foray into sheet pan pancakes, only on a much smaller scale. You wouldn’t make a whole sheet pan of pancakes for two people, but a cast iron skillet is just right. You’ll get 4 generous servings, and we used to enjoy 2 the first day, then save the rest for later. The pancakes microwave well the next day, or can be individually wrapped once cool and frozen up to a month.
I hope you love this cast iron skillet pancake recipe, darlings! If you’d like some other cast iron skillet recipes, check out my earl grey chocolate chip cookie or jicama breakfast skillet. Happy baking, darlings!
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temp
- 1/2 cup whole milk, room temp
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or one vanilla bean, scraped
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
Blackberry Champagne Compote
- 6 oz fresh blackberries
- 1/4 cup champagne or sparkling cider
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Place your cast iron skillet in a cold oven and preheat the oven to 350 F.
- While the skillet is heating, combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter
- Create a well in the dry ingredients and add the milk, buttermilk, vanilla extract, egg, and melted butter
- By now the oven has reached the correct temperature. Remove the cast iron skillet (use a mitt or holder!) and melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the skillet. Pour in the batter and ensure it's evenly distributed.
- Return the pan to the oven and bake for 25 minutes until the pancake top springs back when touched and the edges are a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve warm.
While the pancake is baking, make the compote...
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan with a lid.
- Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook over medium low heat for 10 minutes. Then uncover, raise the heat to medium, and simmer another 10 minutes to allow some of the liquid to evaporate. Set aside to cool until the pancake is done and you are ready to serve.
- To bring the milk to room temperature, I usually combine the milk and buttermilk in a measuring cup and microwave 10-15 seconds. That way you don't need to leave items out of the refrigerator unnecessarily. Safety first!
- The batter makes enough for two 6" skillets or one 8 or 9" cast iron skillet. Use what you have. 🙂
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