“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

Chocolate Fudge Skillet Cake


  • 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
  • Frosting:
  • 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. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  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. 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!

  6. Mora says

    So sorry to read about Kell’s accident. Last year my son broke his collar bone and it left quite a raised knot across his shoulder. He ended up having surgery to insert a metal plate to align the bones so that they would heal correctly, then had another surgery to remove the plate after about 6 weeks. The Dr’s at the ER said there was nothing that could be done about the broken collar bone, so I’m glad we went to the surgeon for a second opinion. He haas healed up nicely and the shoulder looks more normal. Best of luck to Kell in his healing.

    I’ve been drooling over that skillet cake from Willow’s from some time now, I think I will have to try it soon!

  7. kim says

    I need a dietary tutorial… what does ‘gluten free’ mean and why do you need to do it? I hear this phrase alot but apparently it doesn’t apply to me, or I would know, right? The cake looks delicious by the way! Is there any difference in taste than if it wasn’t gluten free? Thanks! And best whishes for a speedy recovery for Kell.

    • Molly says

      To answer your question, gluten free, as the name would suggest, means free of gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It is also fantastic at binding things together, which is how it makes its way into things like soy sauce, caramel color, as well as other equally random things. Oats, a lot of the time, are also told to have gluten, because most of the oats in the united states are contaminated with gluten. Recently, eating gluten free has become a sort of trend. However, I have celiac disease, which means my body treats gluten as a toxin. Due to this, I eat gluten free. Others are simply gluten intolerant, which is more like an allergy.
      In terms of taste, yes, there is. Gluten free tends to crumble, because of the lack of gluten. We can make up for that by using things like xanthan gum, which also acts as a binding agent. Good gluten free cooking can taste just as good (if not better) than the normal stuff! I hope this answered your questions, let me know if you have any more!

  8. Molly says

    My family and I have been gluten free for coming on 13 years, and we have perfected a lot of recipes, including my go-to gluten free flour mix:

    2 cups rice flour (I use half brown and half white)
    2/3 cup potato starch
    1/3 cup tapioca flour

    I get all of my flours from Bob’s Red Mill and they work beautifully! Let me know if you try the recipe out!

  9. Sarah Wisner says

    Kim-gluten free refers to food products that don’t contain wheat, barley, or rye (which contain gluten in them). A lot of people are either insensitive to it or have celiac disease, which triggers an autoimmune response in your digestive system when you eat it. Imagine your body attacking itself-no fun!

    Jillee-thanks again for another great recipe to try for my bf! Think I’ll convert it to a regular pan though since my cast iron isn’t gf right now and would take a lot of work to get there… Also, I have a mix of flours to try for you as well that has NEVER failed me yet. :) It’s even parts white rice flour, brown rice flour, potato starch (or flour), and coconut flour (fiber) plus a 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum per cup of mix. The only trick when converting recipes is to watch the liquid levels. Sometimes you will need a tiny bit more to compensate for the density of these flours compared to regular white. People never believe that my baked goods are actually gf-which is the goal!

  10. Georgie says

    The cake looks wonderful, will be trying this one. A website I have found is one hundredbooks.com

    I have gotten so many free gluten free recipe books that I have downloaded to my Kindel

    They email every day what new books are available.

  11. Jane says

    Jill! This looks yummy! I assume that I can make this without it being gluten free, right? Can I just substitute my own freshly ground white wheat/oat/or Chef Brad’s Wonder flour with barley/brown rice and spelt? Conley and I are teaching a Dutch Oven Cooking class this coming Sat. at our Stake Emergency Preparedness Expo. and this might be fun to make for it!

  12. Jill Schwieger says

    Jill…..No one in my family is GF, but I had to read your post today to see how your son was doing. I just now took time to pray for your Kell, and ask blessings on you and your family…..Jill

  13. Paulette says

    Longboard? In the snow? A longboard makes me thing of the ocean but you live in Utah. Tell me about it….. In an aside, my husband has a knot on his shoulder from a car wreck and my daughter has one from childbirth! (Guess I pushed too hard but she was a big baby, too.) So guess knots are to be expected. Get well, Kell. Battle scars.

  14. Helen in Meridian says

    When I broke my shoulder, my goal for the week was to be able to pull up my undies on both sides. I discovered the joy of wearing undies two sizes too big. He may find that larger briefs really come in handy too.

  15. Sharon says

    Hopefully your son is on the mend by now! Looks like he is taking it pretty well-poor kid with summer coming! As for almond flour SUBSTITUTE only part of the flour with almond flour. I usually swap 1/4 of the flour with the almond flour. It has tons of benefits that are missing from our regular flour blends and does add a good taste to things.

    This recipe looks awesome! Can’t wait to try it. Love chocolate!!!

    Thanks for a fantastic website!

  16. says

    My favorite GF Flour is Jules Gluten Free flour! It is amazing! It tastes and acts just like AP flour. No guess work or altering the recipes, just sub Jules GF flour for the amount of AP flour called for in the recipe. People don’t believe me when I tell them it’s gluten free! It is fabulous! Try it! Jules is a fantastic resource for all things GF as well. :)

  17. says

    This looks so yummy! I love your blog, found it one day when looking at cleaning solutions and love it even more now that you post recipes like this! I have Type 1 (I spy with my diabetes eye the edge of Kell’s pump in that picture, its the same I use!) and I have a gluten allergy so I really love seeing what recipes you come up with as I tend to be too lazy to figure out these things and I just tend to go without. I am definitely trying this. Do you know about how many grams of carbs a serving of this was?

  18. Alice says

    Poor Kell! Wishing him a speedy recovery. But this might cause cute girls to flock to his side so they can ‘ooh and ah’ over him. Maybe that will be a silver lining. LOL!
    Due to an auto-immune illness, I’m considering the paleo diet which eliminates all inflammatory foods. In my research, I found this website: http://www.elanaspantry.com/ . She’s got info on many special diets, including GF, and tons of recipes. Maybe others will find help there, too.

  19. Cynthia says

    This sounds amazing. I will certainly have to try it.
    I understand where you’re coming from with the get well cake. My nephew does FCA Motocross and we always make him brownies when he doesn’t do well in his races or when he crashes his bike. He’s never had any serious injuries, but I have a feeling the day will come.
    Hope Kell feels better soon!

  20. Joyce says

    Thanks for the recipe! I want to go gluten free because every time I eat food with wheat in it, I feel yucky afterwards…I am having a hard time since I love to bake muffins, pancakes, etc…My first step is to go out and buy a cast iron skillet! I really don’t have one–shocking, huh? Question: What about coconut flour? Has anyone used it? Will it get same results? Thanks!

  21. KG says

    HI JILLEE! Thanks for sharing this! I wanted to let you know of an awesome app for iPhones (I don’t know if you or your son owns one) that allows you to scan barcodes from groceries and informs you whether or not it contains gluten or ingredients that people can be allergic to. It’s called Allergy & Gluten Free Diet Tracker by Fooducate. I use it and I also LOVE their original Fooducate app (available on Android, too) when I go grocery shopping. It lets me know about any GMO’s or any crazy sounding stuff. You should check it out! :)

  22. Nicole says

    Prayers for your son! Question. I do not have a cast iron skillet yet. I want one but in the mean time could I start it in a skillet then pour it into a pan top cook in the oven?

    Hope your son feels better soon! Also thank yOu for trying so many times ! I would have stopped after the first time. <3

  23. Lynda says

    One thing I really appreciate about people like you, is that you let us know about all your trial versions of anything until you get it right. There’s a millions bloggers out there that have their ways………..we try them, and they don’t work for us, but we don’t know why………with you letting us know how badly things turn out when trying something, and then trial and error ideas until you get it the way you want………well, that’s just awesome. It helps me understand what kinds of things I should or shouldn’t do.

    Your obsessiveness is a huge payoff for all of us who follow you! Thanks so much. I absolutely love reading about all the homemade things you’ve done. I never seem to have all the ingredients to try everything, though :(

    Thanks for all your hard work. Good luck to your son in his recovery. I have a feeling it will be a good and speedy one with a Mom like you.



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