What’s for Dinner: Gooey Chocolate Skillet Cake - SLO Classical Academy
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Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering several options to make our education work for families with infants through high schoolers. Our signature hybrid program, which is part-time classroom and part-time home instruction, provides an engaging education for preschool through middle school (with full time options available). We also have a university model high school. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because, in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home.

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What’s for Dinner: Gooey Chocolate Skillet Cake

{image credit: Julie Ruble for Willow Bird Baking}

Gooey Chocolate Skillet Cake Ice Cream Sundae

Willow Bird Baking

Serves 6-8

I don’t know about you, but I’m in the mood to celebrate – who cares about dinner, let’s eat dessert! Here’s one that’s fit for a special occasion, such as finishing an amazing school year. Grab a handful of forks or spoons and dig right in to the skillet, family-style. Yes, you do deserve it! 



1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup sugar

dash salt

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

2 tablespoons cocoa

3-4 tablespoons milk (as needed for consistency)

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

2 cups powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

ice cream (for serving)

caramel sauce (for serving; this one is delicious!)

whipped cream (for serving)


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

In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, bring the butter, vegetable oil, cocoa powder, and water to a boil. Remove it from the heat and whisk in the dry ingredients well. Mix in the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. Bake the skillet cake at 350 degrees F for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with just a few moist crumbs.

While the cake starts to cool, make the frosting. In a medium saucepan, bring the butter, cocoa, and milk to a boil. Remove them from heat and add the icing sugar, nuts, and vanilla. Stir to combine. Pour over the warm cake, spread with a spatula, and serve with vanilla bean ice cream, caramel sauce, and whipped cream.

{image credit: Julie Ruble for Willow Bird Baking}

Click here for a printable pdf of this recipe.

SLO Classical Academy is not affiliated with the above mentioned website or individual.

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