Carolina Skillet Cake AKA Cinnamon Roll Cake

by Alli

Carolina Skillet Cake is a tender coffee cake topped with a crunchy brown sugar/cinnamon topping and finished with a powdered sugar glaze. It’s so delicious! 

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Everything’s better when it’s cooked it a cast-iron skillet. Don’t you agree? I always make my buttermilk cornbread in a skillet and this Carolina Skillet Cake is another excuse to pull out my skillet.

I’m pretty much obsessed with church cookbooks and that’s where I found this recipe many years ago. It’s funny how you find a recipe, put your own spin on it, and over time, it becomes known as your recipe and you’re asked to bring it to every family get together.

How to Make Carolina Skillet Cake

Before we get started baking the Carolina Skillet Cake, let’s talk skillets. If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, you can buy this one below using my affiliate link.  It comes pre-seasoned and ready to use.

Cast Iron Skillet for Making Carolina Skillet Cake

If you’ve never used a cast-iron skillet before, don’t be intimidated. You just have to season it every once in a while to keep the sheen and to keep food from sticking. Click here to learn how to season a cast-iron skillet.

Carolina Skillet Cake

I love the simplicity of this cake. It’s the perfect coffee cake. 

Carolina Skillet Cake is easy to make and fun to eat

As most of you know, I was born and raised in Georgia (Go Dawgs) and Georgia will always be home.

After getting married, having kids, and moving to Oklahoma to continue my education, my family ended up in South Carolina. We’ve lived here for over 28 years.

This Carolina Skillet Cake fits me to a tee. And I’m singing Going to Carolina in My Mind by James Taylor. Come on and sing along with me.

Ingredients for Carolina Skillet Cake

For the cake, you’ll need these ingredients. You can see the printable recipe card towards the end of the post for the complete recipe. 

  • Shortening
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Self-rising flour
  • Vanilla
  • Pecans, chopped

For the crumble, you’ll need:

  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Butter
  • Flour

For the glaze, you’ll need powdered sugar and milk. 

How To Make A Carolina Skillet Cake

Mix the batter ingredients together according to the directions below.

Mix the batter together for Carolina Skillet Cake

Use a pastry blender (or a fork) to blend the topping ingredients together. Sprinkle the topping over the batter evenly.

Sprinkle the topping over the batter of the Carolina Skillet Cake

With the rounded end of a wooden spoon or spatula, poke holes in the batter. You want some of the topping to go down deep into the cake batter.

Poke holes in the Carolina Skillet Cake so the topping can mingle with the cake.

Bake the skillet cake. Cool slightly and drizzle with glaze.

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Yield: 10 servings

Carolina Skillet Cake

Carolina Skillet Cake is easy to make and fun to eat

Carolina Skillet Cake has a delicious crumble topping and is drizzled with a powdered sugar glaze. This is my favorite coffee cake.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1-3/4 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped

Crumble Topping

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 Tablespoons flour

Powdered Sugar Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk


  1. Preheat oven to 375º F.
  2. Grease and flour a 10" cast iron skillet.
  3. Cream shortening, gradually adding sugar, until light and fluffy (about 4-5 minutes).
  4. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
  5. Add flour and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Stir in vanilla and pecans.
  6. Pour batter into skillet and sprinkle top with Crumble Topping.
  7. With the handle of a wooden spoon, make holes in the batter so that the topping will bake into the cake.
  8. Bake 35 minutes or until a pick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool slightly and drizzle with the sugar glaze.

Crumble Topping

  1. To make the crumble topping, mix all the ingredients together until well blended.

Powdered Sugar Glaze

  1. Place the powdered sugar in a small bowl and gradually add the milk and whisk until well combined. If the glaze is too thick, add another tablespoon of milk. If it's too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.

Did you make this recipe?

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This Carolina Skillet Cake is baked in a cast iron skillet and is so delicious

Carolina Skillet Cake one the easiest cakes you’ll ever make. Just because it’s easy, doesn’t mean it’s not delicious. This is one cake that you’ll want to make again and again. It pairs well with coffee and is the perfect ending to a rustic meal.

Don’t wait until you have company over to enjoy this cake. It’s also good for Saturday breakfast or brunch.





robin rue November 14, 2017 - 5:48 am

I’ve never made a cake in a skillet before, but it sounds all kinds of awesome to me. I am super excited to make this cake for my family.

candy November 14, 2017 - 7:15 am

Skillet cakes are fun and love to serve them out of the skillet. Great recipe with no unusual ingredients have everything already to make this cake.

Sarah Honey November 14, 2017 - 7:44 am

This is one thing that I’ve never thought of making in my cast iron skillet. I seem to always make the same old recipes in it. Must try this Skillet Cake. Looks amazing!

Heather November 14, 2017 - 8:19 am

Skillet baking scares me because I don’t have much luck cooking in it. Maybe I need to give it a shot!

Amber Myers November 14, 2017 - 8:27 am

Oh yum. I have never made a skillet cake like this before. Now I’m intrigued. This looks delicious!

Lindsay - Shrimp Salad circus November 14, 2017 - 8:27 am

It feels so pretty and rustic to serve it from the skillet. And church cookbooks are an untapped resource!

Jeanettte November 14, 2017 - 8:43 am

No I need to go out and get myself a skillet so I can do this! This looks so good and I do not have a skillet to make it in. I really need to make this so I am going to go buy a skillet.

Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh November 14, 2017 - 10:06 am

Yes, everything is better when made in a cast iron skillet! I’ve never made a cake in one before. This sounds delightful.

Lisa November 14, 2017 - 12:53 pm

That looks like a great cake. I’m a huge fan of my cast iron and use them all the time.

Jenn @ EngineerMommy November 14, 2017 - 3:04 pm

I hae never heard of a Carolina Skillet Cake but this sounds soooo delicious. I love that it’s made in a skillet. Fun & easy!

Anita November 14, 2017 - 5:15 pm

Wow, this looks good! I would like to try and make this for our next family dinner. Looks delicious!

Sarah Bailey November 14, 2017 - 6:34 pm

Do you know I have never tried to make a skillet cake but what a great idea I am going to have to give this a try thankyou.

Pam November 14, 2017 - 8:04 pm

I have never had a Carolina skillet cake before. It looks like it is really tasty. I need to make it.

Liz Mays November 14, 2017 - 8:12 pm

This is a lovely dessert idea. I think we’d have a lot of fun making our first skillet cake since it’s such a southern tradition.

Lian November 14, 2017 - 9:08 pm

This skillet cake looks amazing! This would be a perfect treat to make for my family, especially during the winter. We need something like this to keep off the chill off of us in the winter.

Amanda November 14, 2017 - 11:15 pm

I have never heard of a Carolina skillet cake before but it sounds absolutely amazing. I am all about heartwarming treats this chilly holiday season.

Paula A Bendfeldt Diaz November 15, 2017 - 6:26 am

I have never had Carolina Skillet Cake but this looks delicious and I love that you don’t have to bake it. I need to get one of those beautiful cast iron skillets!

Alli November 15, 2017 - 7:12 am

You do have to bake it. It bakes in the skillet. 🙂

Anosa November 15, 2017 - 11:53 am

I have never used a cast iron skillet before but would be nice to own one one day. I am loving the look of this cake, it looks yummy and delicious.

Erin November 15, 2017 - 10:03 pm

This looks incredible! I made this exact same thing last year in my old Griswold pan! I was nervous at first then I remembered the almost 100 years of seasoning on the pan and I didn’t have ANY sticking whatsoever! PS – I’m from North Carolina and this is a staple!

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