When you have friends popping by on a whim (or you just feel like baking for yourself), making a mess of your kitchen is that last thing you need. But when you get hit with an unstoppable sugar craving, you’re never thinking about the messy aftermath. This time, instead of firing up the oven and pulling out several mixing bowls, reach for the cast-iron pan. It’s the kitchen tool that never fails to get a one-pan dinner on the table, and now it’s bringing you the sweets too. Watch your no-fuss dessert come together in less than 30 minutes and think about the process as your new therapy.
A cast-iron pan provides a more even, steady heat to bake your treats to perfection (yes, that means less possibility of torching it). It’s time for a baking marathon—try each of the healthy desserts below and you’ll have no regrets tomorrow.
1. Coconut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie
We’ve never met an oatmeal cookie we didn’t want to get our hands on, and this recipe adds spoonfuls of both coconut and chocolate chips to up the (healthier) levels of indulgence. They’re packed with healthy oats, white whole-wheat flour, unsweetened coconut, chocolate chips, and honey.
2. Easy Skillet Apples
This recipe is an easy path to something sweet and speedy: It’ll only take you 15 minutes total (both prep and cook time!). Consider it an excuse to use up all the apples left in your fruit bowl because you’ll need eight of them. The butter, brown sugar, and warming spices that get added are what make you forget you’re eating fruit.
3. Vegan Pumpkin Cookie Skillet
We always hear about peanut butter and chocolate, but this textured, dense treat is where pumpkin stands in for PB. The pairing is so good you might as well throw a party to show it off. Get this skillet dessert on its way with super-basic ingredients (pumpkin pureé is the most “exotic” thing on the list). You will only be cooking for 20 minutes, you guys!
4. Flourless Chocolate Fudge Banana Skillet
Staring is rude, but this gooey treat is hard to look away from. Our aprons are already on to make melt-in-your-mouth chocolate forkfuls in 20 minutes. Achieved without any flour or refined sugar, this sweet treat asks for coconut oil, cocoa powder, mashed bananas, pure maple syrup, vanilla extract, and almond butter. That’s all, folks.
5. Gluten-Free Oatmeal Apple Cookie Skillet
Rolled oats, nut butter, and maple syrup are just a couple of the basic ingredients that take this sweet recipe straight to the healthy list. The recipe uses gluten-free all-purpose flour so even those with gluten sensitivities can eat it up. You’ll be topping your cookie with heated apples in butter (YES) and spicing things up with cinnamon and nutmeg—the perfect pairing for those gluten-free oats.
6. Chocolate Skillet Brownie
If you’ve ever had a sugar-filled brownie sundae, then you’ll appreciate how this brownie skillet successfully locks in that same fudgy, chocolaty texture while keeping to gluten-free, refined sugar-free, Paleo, and vegan standards. Espresso (or instant coffee) is added to this chocolate combo for a surprisingly unique taste.
7. Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake
This not-too-sweet zucchini cake is just what your cup of tea needs. The best part is you won’t even notice the 2 1/2 cups of shredded veggies hidden inside. The other ingredients (oats, cinnamon, ginger, Greek yogurt, coconut oil, almond milk, and, of course, semisweet chocolate chips) cover it up just fine.