“Get Well” Chocolate Fudge Skillet Cake {Gluten-Free}

skillet cake

After taking a bad tumble off his longboard Friday night, my son Kell ended up in the E.R. with some pretty serious abrasions and a broken collar bone. It’s been interesting to watch his progression of emotions through all of this. It went something like this:  Shocked >>> amused >>> proud >>> non-chalant >>> pain >>> frustration >>> bummed >>> resigned.  Poor guy.

With every move he makes SOMETHING hurts. So today I decided to make him a treat to try and take his mind off his troubles. Of course for ME “a treat” usually involves CHOCOLATE…so that’s the direction I took. I’d seen a recipe for Gooey Chocolate Skillet Cake at Willow Bird Baking recently and was itching to try my hand at making it gluten-free.

After MUCH trial and error…I succeeded!  Not only in making a delicious gluten-free version of this yummy cake, but in taking Kell’s mind off his troubles for at least a little while. :-)

I ended up making FOUR different versions until I got it right. Gluten-free baking really does try my patience at times!

pamelas baking mix

For the FIRST attempt I used Pamela’s Gluten-Free Baking Mix…my go-to mix for when a recipe calls for some flour and I don’t feel like going to the trouble of mixing up my own GF flour blend. The problem with this first version was I didn’t take into account that Pamela’s Baking Mix already has baking soda, salt, etc in it. I should have eliminated the baking soda altogether from the recipe, but completely forgot.

So with TWICE the baking soda in it than it should have had, the cake rose WAY too high and then collapsed. It actually came PERILOUSLY close to going over the sides of the skillet when it was in the oven. It actually ended up still being edible…just not very pretty.

The SECOND attempt I decided to try the SAME mix, but instead of cooking it in a cast iron skillet, I cooked it in a quiche pan. I’m not exactly sure what my logic was behind this…but this time it didn’t come CLOSE to overflowing…it DID overflow! All over the bottom of my oven. *sigh*

almond flour

After cleaning up attempt number two, I decided to try a different flour altogether. I’d heard good things about almond flour, so I ordered a big bag of it recently. I’ve only tried it in one other recipe so far and, to be quite honest, it was a major FAIL.  But being the pollyanna that I am (sometimes) I thought…maybe it will work in THIS recipe!  lol.  Once again….I can’t explain exactly what I was thinking…I guess you could say I WASN’T! :-)  Needless to say the THIRD attempt was not only a FAIL…but a COMPLETE FAIL! It wasn’t even edible. It never actually turned into anything even resembling a cake. It remained a liquid MESS!  ugh.  At least it didn’t overflow the pan!  (I know…grasping at straws here!)

At this point, most SENSIBLE people would have thrown in the towel…but not me! lol. I simply refuse to accept defeat, even when it’s staring me in the face! I decided I would try ONE MORE TIME!  And guess what?? All that stuff you’ve heard about the THIRD TIME being the charm….WRONG!  The FOURTH time is the charm. :-)

And here’s the proof!

skillet cake

This time I decided to switch flours…again…and used Pamela’s Bread Mix & Flour Blend.

pamelas flour blend

This mix of flours does not contain extra baking soda, salt, etc so there was no batter overflow threat.

“Get Well” Chocolate Fudge Cake In A Cast Iron Skillet {Gluten-Free}

adapted from: Willow Bird Baking
Yield: 4-6 servings

  • 1 cup gluten-free flour (I used Pamela’s Bread Mix & Flour Blend)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk (more if needed to thin it out)
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted almonds
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

skillet cake


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt together and set aside.

skillet cake

Add the butter, vegetable oil, cocoa powder, and water to a 10 inch cast iron skillet and bring to a boil.

skillet cake

skillet cake

skillet cake

Remove from the heat and whisk in the dry ingredients. Mix the milk, egg, and vanilla together in a separate bowl and add to the mixture.

skillet cake

Place the cast iron skillet in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

skillet cake

While the cake is cooling, make the frosting.

skillet cake

skillet cake

skillet cake

In a small saucepan, bring the butter, cocoa, and milk to a boil. Remove from heat and add the powdered sugar, chopped roasted almonds, and vanilla. Stir well to combine.

skillet cake

Pour over the warm cake, spread with a spatula, and serve with vanilla ice cream (or not).

skillet cake

The fourth version of this cake came out perfect! Well, as perfect as gluten-free gets. :-)  It was gooey and fudgy and chocolately….just as promised, and Kell LOVED it.  I mean really, really LOVED it!

Which did my heart good because he’s had a pretty crummy 48 hours. ;-)

Kell in ER

Kell in E.R. – after receiving pain meds, before reality has set in.



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  1. Kim says

    The cake looks wonderful! Cannot wait to try it – now that you have figured out all the “bugs.” :-) I hope Kell is feeling better soon. That just looks painful!

    Have you seen the book “Gluten-Free Makeovers” by Beth Hillson? I picked it up some time ago, and it’s awesome. One of the most valuable sections, in my opinion, is the section of different flours and flour blends you can make for different cooking/baking purposes. It’s taken a lot of the guess-work out of things for me. As funny as your “struggles” with this project were, you might not like to go through that every time. I know I wouldn’t!

    Thanks for a great recipe and an entertaining story!

  2. Goldie says

    I hope and pray your son heals up quickly. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I will have to try it soon! Happy Memorial Day.

  3. Leslie says

    All best wishes for healing and peace and strength to Kell. Thanks for another fabulous recipe.

  4. says

    Hi Jillee, I hope your son feels better soon.
    As for the GF flour, I don’t know if it is available outside of the UK but I use a brand called Dove’s Farm. They have a whole range and I don’t even keep non GF flour in the house anymore. A lot of my friends are gluten free and it’s no fun not being able to share your cakes with them so I am a convert now.

  5. Linda says

    Hi Jill, You are so funny! But I know your son appreciates you! I really feel for him cuz a broken collar bone is a big hurt. I will have to try out your recipe, and I thank you for all your trial and error that I won’t be needing to do! Have a great holiday!

  6. PA says

    Wow, Jillee. I don’t know if he shows/recognizes it now, but you are really giving Kel so many reasons to know that you love him!

  7. says

    Hey Kell;
    So Sorry to hear of your injuries. My nephew is also recovering from a sudden incident. As to your injury, I’ve been there from a fall and, yes, it hurts, but you will heal. And, your mom came up with a whole new chocolate cake just for you! (“Kell-Fell Cake”) It might just become a family heirloom healing recipe. I am not making light of your injuries, just hoping to get you to giggle a bit.
    Get well and mend fast. Your youth will help you in that. That’s a wonderful Plus!
    Think CHOCOLATE! (It’s an old home remedy that really works!)
    Be well and be good to yourself. Eat your chocolate cake and rest. Best wishes to you and hoping for a speedy recovery with minimal pain.

  8. says

    You’re funny! Only because I’m much less likely to try and perfect something that’s gluten-free. I’m the only one who is GF in my family, so if it’s edible, I’m pretty happy. I’m perfectly happy, though, to let you and others perfect recipes for me. ;) Thanks!