This post is brought to you by Pamela’s Products.
We made it to Boise almost four weeks ago. It’s been a whirlwind romance! I can’t believe it’s already been a month, but at the same time it’s like we’ve been here forever. You know that feeling when you love something so much and it’s the right fit, and it feel like life was always this way? It’s kind of like that. We absolutely LOVE living in Boise thus far. I have never lived in a place that I immediately loved this much. Even New York took about nine months to love. We have a backyard again and it’s just what we needed. I’ll have to take some pictures to share. It has an amazing deck with big shady trees. I’m in heaven. It also has a neat little patio, so we immediately went out and bought a giant pot-bellied charcoal grill. To break it in the kids requested burgers and hot dogs (I had salad!) and I made a Grilled Gluten-Free Skillet Cake that we ate topped with nectarines and blueberries. At that moment, even though I hadn’t unpacked all the boxes and everything was still a mess, all was right in the world. You can’t go wrong with cake!
I was feeling inspired by my friend Annalise’s post on How To Bake on a Grill and decided I needed to try grilling a cake. The more I thought about how I was going to do that, the more I realized I probably couldn’t or shouldn’t use my cake pans. Charcoal grills are a little trickier to regulate the temperature and all of that, and I didn’t want to ruin my pans or the cake. So I settled on using my beloved cast iron skillet. This gluten-free skillet cake is made with Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix. I love the ease of using this mix for this recipe – it really helps eliminate the guesswork. I am able to use is cup-for-cup as I would if I were using all-purpose flour. My other favorite thing about the mix is that one of the ingredients is ground almonds which really makes the texture great. It adds a bit of a nutty flavor, but also keeps the texture from being gummy or too chewy.
For the batter, I opted for a quick method that involves cutting cold butter into the dry ingredients and adding the liquid last, gently combining it. It has a texture that is somewhere between muffin and biscuit – kind of like a shortcake. I didn’t sweeten it too much because I knew I would be topping it with ripe, sweet summer fruit.
Before I grilled the cake, I wanted to make sure it was also good when baked in the oven. The top browns quite a bit more when baked in the oven, but the bottom doesn’t get as brown. It’s perfectly even and golden. Grilling takes a little more attention. Both times the bottom came out a little dark, almost to the point of being on the burnt side of the scale. We didn’t mind it, but keep that in mind. It’s better to grill the cake over indirect heat so it bakes evenly like it does in a traditional oven.
My family went wild over this cake. Because I had, ahem, made several over the course of a few days, there was no shortage of cake for breakfast, snacks, lunch, or dinner. I’m not exaggerating about the dinner part either. It is great as-is, but it was even better topped with fresh fruit and yogurt.
I’m dying to know – have you ever grilled a cake or cookies before? What did you think?
- For cake:
- 2½ cups Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix
- ½ cup evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar
- 8 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced, plus more for greasing pan
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- For topping:
- 2-3 nectarines, thinly sliced
- 1 cup blueberries
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat. (The actual temperature will range from 350° to 425°F. If using an oven, heat it to 400°F.) Grease a 10-inch cast iron skillet with 1-2 teaspoons of unsalted butter.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together baking mix and sugar. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, and vanilla extract. Using a pastry cutter or two butter knives, cut butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles cornmeal with some larger, pea-sized pieces remaining. Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk mixture. Use a fork to stir together gently. Do not beat the batter or stir until smooth. It should be lumpy.
- Pour into the greased cast-iron skillet and place on grill. Cover and let cook for 25-30 minutes, or even less depending on how hot the grill is. The cake should be set and a cake tester inserted into the center should come out clean. It may or may not be golden on top.
- Remove from heat and let cool before serving. To serve, cut into wedges and top with fruit and a dollop of yogurt.
HOW TO PHOTOS
The key to a delicate, tender crumb is to work gently. Because there is no gluten, it won’t get tough from being overworked like wheat cakes might. But you want there to be little pebbles of butter remaining which will make little air pockets as they melt.
The liquid ingredients go in all at once. A fork is a great mixing tool. The batter will be lumpy, but there shouldn’t be any dry, or unincorporated ingredients.
Be sure to butter the pan really well, especially if the cast iron skillet isn’t seasoned very well or the cake will stick. Place the pan over indirect heat and cover, leaving the grill vents open. Halfway through the baking time, rotate the pan in case there were any hot spots. The goal is to bake this as evenly as possible. The cake won’t fall, or at least not too much.
When the cake is done, a tester inserted into the center should come out clean. The edges will be golden and the top might even be a little bit too. But it will be lighter than a cake baked in an indoor oven.
Exercise extreme caution when taking the pan off the grill. It will be hotter than you think it will. Use thick hot pad or heat resistant gloves. I let the cake cool on the patio stones before I took it inside. (Be extra careful doing that if you have children around!) It’s best served up while warm, but is also fantastic at room temperature. Top it with fresh fruit and yogurt.
Disclosure: This post is part of an ongoing relationship with Pamela’s Products as a Baking Partner. All opinions expressed (and any gushing) are 100% my own. I only recommend products I love and use in my own kitchen.