And it comes together in 30 minutes. 
Skillet cake
Credit: Getty / manyakotic

Sometimes I just really need cake, I need it fast, and I need it not to be a giant frosted sugar bomb. Every meal deserves dessert, and sometimes afternoon tea or coffee need a pal, but that doesn't mean I can throw caution to the wind every time a craving hits.

That is why I love this cake. It is as speedy as a boxed mix to throw together, but a little bit on the light side. Better yet? It has deep banana split vibes. 

My favorite skillet cake: Chocolate Banana Skillet Cake

A twist on an upside-down cake, this recipe begins with cooking bananas in a light caramel in a skillet, then adds a light chocolate batter to the top before baking. Once flipped, the banana topping makes frosting unnecessary, and as with all single-layer cakes, even a generous wedge fits into a rational eating plan. The lightness comes from using egg whites (save the yolks for another use), and sour cream, with just a small amount of oil instead of the usual large amount of butter or oil that make cakes more indulgent.

Some cinnamon in the batter is an unexpected and welcome bit of spice, but if you prefer, you can leave it out.

And this recipe is a speedy wonder! The cake usually takes me only about half an hour in total, which means I can be eating warm cake about an hour after the craving hits (or whipping it up for spontaneous visits). Both are big, tasty wins.

How to make Chocolate Banana Skillet Cake

Here's the recipe—it couldn't be easier! 

Chocolate Banana Skillet Cake

Serves 6-8

2 tablespoon butter

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 medium bananas, sliced

Heat your oven to 350° with the rack in the center position. Melt the butter in a 10-inch nonstick oven-safe skillet, and then add the brown sugar. Stir to melt, then add the bananas. Cook for just a minute to coat the bananas, then remove from heat and set aside, arranging the bananas into an even layer over the bottom of the skillet.

For the batter:

¾ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder

¾ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional but highly recommended!)

½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

4 large egg whites

¾ cup light brown sugar

¾ cup sour cream or full-fat yogurt

1 tablespoon neutral oil

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla

1. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy, then add the sour cream or yogurt and vanilla and the oil. Blend well.

3. Add the mixture to the dry and mix well. The texture should be like a thick pancake batter. 

4. Pour the batter over the banana mixture, transfer to the oven, and bake for 18-24 minutes, or until the middle of cake springs back when touched and a cake tester comes out clean.

5. Cool on a rack in the skillet for 5 minutes, then carefully invert onto a cutting board or plate, being careful not to get any of the caramel on you. Let cool and slice into wedges to serve, either plain or topped with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.