By Karen Gaudette Brewer
November 29, 2014

Congratulations, cast iron skillet owners! As any seasoned Southern baker or campfire cook knows, you have access to one of the most versatile and durable of baking pans. If you're not already turning out perfectly crusted cornbread, heavenly pies, golden baked pancakes, and deep-dish pizza with yours, get started with these eats and sweets (No. 7 is my big brother's favorite).

1. Grandma's Iron Skillet Apple Pie | Ready in 75 minutes

Grandma's Iron Skillet Apple Pie
Grandma's Iron Skillet Apple Pie | Photo by Luckie Meh

Thanks, Grandma, for this rich, dreamy, three-layer apple pie that wins raves from prolific pie bakers and newbies alike. #Protip: Serve this pie hot so you're easily able to scoop every last bit of buttery crust.

2. Mom's Sweet Buttermilk Corn Bread | Ready in 35 minutes

Mom's Sweet Buttermilk Corn Bread
Mom's Sweet Buttermilk Corn Bread | Photo by Kim's Cooking Now!

See those crisp edges? Time to get your cornbread fix! Enjoy this slightly sweet cornbread with chili, use it in stuffing, or make like Allrecipes member Nandabear: put the leftovers in a cup with milk and stash in the fridge overnight for a comforting breakfast.

3. Southern Biscuits with Mayonnaise | Ready in 45 minutes

Southern Biscuits with Mayonnaise
Southern Biscuits with Mayonnaise | Photo by Pam3BoysMama

Cluster these beauties in your skillet and enjoy the oohs and ahhs when you smack the pan down in the center of the breakfast bar (or your coffee table. Or the kitchen counter. Wherever, really, as long as you get to tear these tender biscuits UP with fellow biscuit fans).

But why stop at breads and pie when a whole other world of cast iron goodness awaits?

Hangtown Fry with Parmesan and Fresh Herbs
Hangtown Fry with Parmesan and Fresh Herbs | Photo by Fava Bean
| Credit: Fava

Oyster lovers, rejoice: here's yet another way to enjoy them at breakfast, courtesy of the original San Francisco 49ers celebrating their gold rush finds with the most expensive ingredients gold could buy on the West Coast at the time: oysters, bacon, eggs (this particular recipe doesn't call for bacon, but I always add it for good measure). It's a frittata or an omelet or a souffle, depending who asks.

5. Deep Dish Cast Iron Pizza | Ready in just over 2 hours

Deep Dish Cast Iron Pizza
Deep Dish Cast Iron Pizza | Photo by david

Buttery, thick, and chewy pizza baked in—you guessed it—your cast-iron skillet. The possibilities are endless!

6. See how to make this Crustless Cranberry Pie | Ready in 55 minutes

Crustless Cranberry Pie
Crustless Cranberry Pie | Photo by Melissa Varner

This sweet and tart dessert is what you should make with that extra thing of cranberries you buy on sale each November, toss in the freezer, then promptly forget about until the following Thanksgiving (although ideally, you'd bake this in early December, because it's so festive for a holiday table).

7. Pineapple Upside-Down Cake | Ready in 75 minutes

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake | Photo by Kathy B

Quick. Easy. Oh-so beautiful. What are you waiting for? #Protip: If you're not a cake mix type of baker, feel free to substitute your own favorite cake batter.

8. Spotted Dog Irish Bread | Ready in 75 minutes

Spotted Dog Irish Bread
Spotted Dog Irish Bread | Photo by AlaskaJulie

A fun alternative to traditional soda bread for St. Patrick's Day (or anytime you need some bread to enjoy at breakfast or with stew). Top with butter and dig in while it's hot.

9. German Pear Pancake | Ready in 50 minutes

German Pear Pancake
German Pear Pancake | Photo by Candice

An easy and delicious breakfast that's fancy enough for company. #Protip: Be sure to preheat your skillet to distribute the heat evenly for a well-browned, even pancake.

Are your cast iron cooking and seasoning skills a wee bit rusty? Brush up with this how-to video.