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I Made Him a Cake in a Cast Iron Skillet

Happy Friday everyone!  Gary’s birthday was this week.  As a special treat, I made him a cake to celebrate.  It was a surprise because I do not bake.  But it turned out great and so here is the recipe.  Ok, fine the top is not very symmetrical but give me a break, please.  I BAKED!

Pineapple-Coconut-Banana Upside-Down Cake


2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can of pineapple slices in juice, undrained
One (1) cup flaked sweetened coconut
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 banana)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large egg


Preheat oven to 375°.

Melt butter in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet; sprinkle evenly with brown sugar. Drain pineapple slices over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup juice. Place 1 pineapple ring in the center of skillet. Cut remaining pineapple rings in half; arrange around center pineapple ring. Sprinkle evenly with coconut. Set aside.

Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (flour through salt) in a large bowl. Combine reserved juice, banana, oil, and egg, stirring with a whisk. Add pineapple juice mixture to flour mixture, stirring until combined. Pour flour mixture over coconut. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Invert onto a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pineapple-Coconut-Banana Upside-Down Cake batter


  • I did not have a 9-inch cast iron skillet but had a 15 inch cast iron skillet, so I doubled the recipe. 
  • Since I doubled the recipe – One can of sliced pineapple and the second was crushed pineapple with the juice pushed out through a sieve.
  • I also did not have regular flour, so I used gluten-free all purpose baking flour.
  • Added a teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Gary loves maraschino cherries, so I added them.
  • I did not have a cooling rack large enough to use, so I flipped it onto a serving tray.
  • 15 inch cast iron skillets are really heavy.  Just try flipping a cake out of one!


PDF Version of the Recipe: Pineapple-Coconut-Banana Upside-Down Cake

Seasoning your Cast Iron Skillet

I have a love/hate relationship with my cast iron skillet.  Living in a warm, damp, salty-aired climate means you have to be extra diligent in caring for cast iron.  I have two skillets.  The 15″ one is so large it has to reside in the oven.   I seasoned it as soon as I got it and it seems to be fine.  No problems.  I have not been so lucky with my 12″ skillet.  I pulled it out to use it for the above cake, and it was coated with a thin layer of rust.  Arrgghh!

This is what I did to bring it back to life.

To remove the rust, I used an S.O.S. pad under warm water.  Cleaned, rinsed and then rinsed again and then dried with paper towels.  Once dry, I checked it again to make sure I removed all the rust.  I placed a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom rack of the oven and then turned on my oven to 375 degrees.  While it was coming up to temperature, I placed the skillet in the oven for just about five minutes to pull any extra moisture off of the skillet.  I then removed skillet from oven and let it cool down.  The next step is to slather the pan in Crisco.  So I took my Crisco shortening stick which I keep just for this purpose and rubbed in a thin layer all over the inside of the pan. But I also included the edges and the handle.

I then placed the pan upside down on the top rack of the oven and let it bake for an hour.  At the end of the hour, I turned off the oven but left the skillet in the oven until it was completely cool.

That’s it!  It is seasoned again.  Now I store it in the oven with my other skillet.





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  1. Bob Klytta

    The cake sounds delicious and I always add cherries to my pineapple upside down cake. I love the addition of coconut too!

  2. Steven E. Clem

    “Pineapple Upside Down Cake” was a childhood favorite – than you for providing a recipe! I hope Gary enjoyed the dessert AND your effort!

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