Chocolate Skillet Cake Ice Cream

The only time I’ve lived away from my hometown was during my sophomore year in college when I moved to Beaufort, a small town on the coast of North Carolina. I lived there for a few months before traveling for a month down the Eastern seaboard to study marine zoogeography. That semester changed my life, and I’ve continued to process the memories over the years. Periodically I’ll share stories here on Willow Bird Baking from that time.

In a week’s time we would be sitting in the hot black night, lit by a strand of round bulbs on a bustling restaurant patio in Key West. Having not glanced in a mirror even once for days, I would be unaware of my white blonde hair, my dark sienna face. I would be blissfully aware, though, of the cool soda bathing my tongue in the heat. My first taste of sweet potato fries. The rolling beat of the reggae pouring from a club somewhere down the street.
Cake Ingredients:

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 vanillaFrosting Ingredients:

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.
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