Old Fashioned Sugar Cake

Old Fashioned Sugar Cake-no icing needed for this light and flavorful cake!

Old Fashioned Sugar Cake-no icing needed for this light and flavorful cake!

I love my cast iron. Some of it I’ve had for years. When we used to go camping, there was nothing better than cooking over the fire in my cast iron skillet. Everything tasted…better.  Especially breakfast. Maybe it was hunger. Maybe it was sleeping in the fresh air. I personally think it was the seasoned cast iron, or maybe it was the bacon grease. After all, bacon makes everything taste amazing.

Old Fashioned Sugar Cake-no icing needed for this light and flavorful cake!

These days, cast iron cookware can be hard to find. I know I can buy it new online, but a seasoned, well cared for skillet, it’s a treasure. Whenever I go to the flea market, or a yard sale, I keep my eye out for cast iron. You never know when you’ll find a piece for  just a few dollars. I grab it up. Even if I already have one the exact same size. After all, I’ve got 3 kids. One day, they’ll move out and need cookware of their own. I’ll want them to have the pleasure of using cast iron too.

Old Fashioned Sugar Cake-no icing needed for this light and flavorful cake!

The great thing about cast iron? You can use it anywhere and everywhere. Camping over an open fire, on the grill, on the stove top and in the oven. Especially in the Oven! Baking in cast iron is the bomb! You treat it just like any other baking dish. Cast iron will bake your cakes evenly. And outside of the cake, the part that touches the pan, it’s delicious! Just as moist as the very center.

Old Fashioned Sugar Cake-no icing needed for this light and flavorful cake!

This cake is perfect for baking in a cast iron skillet.

I just can’t say enough how amazing this cake is. Made with egg whites only, it’s light like an angel food cake but with a nice crumb. It was melt in your mouth delicious still slightly warm from the oven. But I think it might have been even better the next morning with my coffee.

Old Fashioned Sugar Cake-no icing needed for this light and flavorful cake!

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Old Fashioned Sugar Cake

Old Fashioned Sugar Cake


  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg whites
  • confectioner's sugar for dusting


  1. Cream together shortening and milk for about 3 minutes, (it will look like small curd cottage cheese.) Add in vanilla.
  2. in a separate bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add flour, one third at a time to the milk mixture, blending well after each addition.
  3. Lastly, add in egg whites, beating just until all combined.
  4. Pour batter into a greased and floured (do not use a spray) 10 inch cast iron skillet.
  5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes, using a toothpick inserted in the center to test for doneness.
  6. Let cool on wire rack for at least 45 minutes before serving, lightly dust with powdered sugar if desired.


You can also bake this in 10 inch casserole dish or a 10 inch baking pan.

recipe source ChocolateChocolateandmore.com


Old Fashioned Sugar Cake-no icing needed for this light and flavorful cake!

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  1. Your cake looks wonderful! I have those same dishes, love them! Nettie

  2. I love my cast iron as well but I do not use it nearly enough. I have actually never tried using it for a cake before. I need to attempt this! Looks great!

  3. I love baking in a skillet and this cake looks nothing short of amazing!

  4. oh my goodness! I love that you baked this cake in a cast iron skillet! can’t wait to try this! looks so elegant and delicious!

  5. I’ve never heard of a Sugar Cake, Joan, but I sure like the looks of it! Plus, I totally agree, love cooking in cast iron! Pinned!

  6. Bee-Gee says:

    A question….My grand mother made what she called fry bread in a cast iron skillet on the stove. It was a recipe my grand dad had used when he cooked on a chuck wagon as a young man. No one else in the family made it. It was white and had dark spots on it as she turned it like a pancake, but it filled the whole skillet. Is there a receipt for this?

    • I have a friend that used to make Indian Fried Bread, it sounds like what your describing, I’ll see if I can get the recipe from her and post it.

    • Ky girl says:

      I just wanted to share with Bee-Gee I have had fried bread all my life but, we have a very simple way of making it. We just take how ever much flour u want for how much u r wanting to make and add milk or water either one will work. And mix it till u have a batter that looks just like pancake batter then just make it like pancakes. Very simple make sure u have oil in ur pan when frying not a lot but enough to not stick and it helps with the flavor also. Hope u enjoy.

    • I’m not sure if this is what you are talking about, but I have heard it called “fry bread”. We call it “Ho Cake” for some reason.

      Mix 1 1/2 cups self rising flour with 3/4 cup milk. Scoop out into a plate that is covered with about 1/4 cup flour. Fold over a few times until the dough is not sticky. Flatten out about the size of the plate.

      Heat an iron skillet and melt about 3 tablespoons of margarine or butter in it. Place dough in skillet, cover and cook over medium heat until brown and crunchy on bottom. Turn to other side and cook. (when I pick it up to turn over, I like to melt more margarine in pan so other side will be crunchy and buttery) When this side is brown, it is ready to eat!

  7. I looove cast iron skillets! This cake is so beautiful and simple and I love how delicate and light and perfectly sweet it looks!

  8. Oh Joan this looks so good! We love cast iron in this house too! So glad that Grace is doing so well we have been praying for you all.

  9. i made some substitutions and it turned out good. Instead of Vegetable Shorting I used the same amount in Coconut Oil, I also used Almond Milk instead of real milk, and I used nutella for frosting. It was a real treat for my family :-D

  10. Visiting from the “Wake Up Wednesdays” link party. This looks delicious! I’ve never baked in a skillet before.

  11. Should the egg whites be beaten stiff before mixing into the batter? That’s what I’ve always done for Angel Food cake.

  12. If there is a Cracker Barrel near you, their store sales the cast iron.

  13. heather r says:

    I love my cast iron, too, but make sure you do NOT use it on a smooth top/glass top range! Besides the issue of using such a heavy pan on this kind of range (even a very small “drop” could have disastrous consequences!), cast iron can easily scratch these ranges, and even the oils on the bottom of the pan can damage smooth tops.

    • So true, thanks for the reminder!

    • My glasstop stove is about 15 years old and I have always used my cast iron….of course, I am very careful not to drop it, but have not had any other problems.

    • I use Lodge cast iron on my glass top stove ALL of the time and it’s perfectly fine. In fact, in my manual it even says it’s okay. As long as the bottom is flat and you’re careful moving it around you should be fine. It cooks amazing, even on glass top…………I would never give up my cast iron!!!

  14. I love how simple this is and would go great with any flavor of ice cream!

  15. jeannette says:

    I made this tonight, and it was wonderful. I wanted a light cake to make a summer time dessert, and this fit the bill perfectly. I topped it with a Lemon curd/mascarpone/whipped cream concoction that was really REALLY good, and some fresh blueberries to serve after a fancy pants dinner and it got rave reviews. Thank you for the recipe. A true keeper!

  16. Made this last night came out great although it had a cornbread taste to it lol they loved it as they couldn’t tell if it wascake or very sweet cornbread

  17. I have made your Old Fashion Sugar Cake and loved it! I added whipped cream with some blueberries on top. I have it posted on my blog………..thewednesdaybaker.blogspot.com Thanks Joan for another great recipe. I enjoy baking with my cast iron Come over and check it out Andi

  18. I want to make this cake as a sort of sponge cake for my shortcakes but I don’t have a cast iron pan. Could you suggest any other pan in the place of the cast iron?

  19. I just made this tonight. It was so good! Tasted kinda like a cake donut or a funnel cake with the powdered sugar on top. Turned out perfectly in the cast iron. I was afraid it would stick but it didn’t at all!

  20. Love my cast irons skillets. I have no idea how old they are. They make the best pineapple upside down cake ever because you can caramelize the sugars before you pour in the batter. This is the way my Grandma made hers. Will try your sugar cake, looks yummy.

  21. Has anybody cooked this in a baking pan? Any advice for giving a baking pan a try? Thanks!

  22. angela carrillo says:

    Can this be made using whole eggs instead of egg whites?

  23. Hi Joan. Can I use “egg beaters” egg whites?

  24. I owe you many thanks for this cake recipe. At this very moment I am sitting in the kitchen waiting for my umpteenth one to come out of the oven. I’ve made more than I can count since I found your recipe and we just love this simple cake — and the neighbors do too! It’s going to be one of my holiday giveaways this year …thanks to you! :)

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  25. thoughts on adding choc chips?

  26. I don’t have a cast iron skillet. Could a cake pan be used instead? This looks delicious!!

  27. Karen Harter says:

    Just an FYI….Cracker Barrel carries a nice line of cast iron cook and bakeware .

  28. Hi there, my question is about the flour. Is the extra 2 T supposed to go in the batter or is it for flouring the pan?

  29. Although my skillet hasn’t seen cornbread for at least 30 years, my cake had the cornbread consistency and even a bit of a taste of it. It’s also crunchy with sugar.
    Should I have creamed the sugar & shortening (actually, I used butter), vs. milk & shortening.
    Did I not blend it long enough?

    • Sounds like you might need to re-season your skillet if your cake tasted like cornbread. As for the consistency, this cake should be light and airy, even using butter instead of the shortening.

  30. I just took this beautiful cake out of my oven and my whole house smells like heaven! Everybody’s mouths are watering while we wait for it to cool. I know this will be a go to for simple elegance in any situation. p.s. smells like my beautiful grandma’s house…thanks!

  31. Hi! I was wondering – can I make this as cupcakes? I’m making some things for a bake sale and want to use this recipe but wanted to do cupcakes. Thanks!

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