Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake

Unlock the Magic of Tradition: Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake

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Embark on a journey through culinary history as we delve into the rich traditions of Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine with our delightful Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake recipe. Hailing from the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, this beloved dessert has been passed down through generations, captivating taste buds with its unique combination of flavors and textures. With a tender cake layer floating atop a rich, chocolatey sauce, each bite of this whimsical creation is a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of Dutch settlers. So, join us as we explore the origins of this charming dessert and learn how to recreate it in your own kitchen.


  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 3/4 cups milk, divided
  • 1 (9-inch) unbaked pie shell
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Prepare the Chocolate Sauce: In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of sugar, baking cocoa, and 1/4 cup of milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Assemble the Pie: Place the unbaked pie shell in a 9-inch pie dish. Pour the chocolate sauce into the pie shell, spreading it evenly across the bottom.
  4. Prepare the Cake Batter: In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the egg, softened butter, vanilla extract, and remaining 1/2 cup of milk. Mix until smooth.
  5. Layer the Cake Batter: Carefully pour the cake batter over the chocolate sauce in the pie shell, spreading it evenly to cover the sauce.
  6. Bake: Place the pie dish in the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool and Serve: Allow the Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake to cool slightly before slicing and serving. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Add Nuts: For extra crunch and flavor, sprinkle chopped pecans or walnuts over the chocolate sauce before adding the cake batter.
  • Experiment with Flavors: Customize the cake batter by adding spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg for a warm, aromatic touch.
  • Serve with Ice Cream: Elevate the dessert by serving each slice with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream for added indulgence.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Almond Flour Substitute: Replace the all-purpose flour with almond flour or coconut flour for a keto-friendly option.
  • Sugar-Free Sweetener: Substitute the sugar with a low-carb sweetener such as erythritol or stevia to reduce the carb content of the dessert.
  • Use a Keto Pie Crust: Instead of a traditional pie shell, use a keto-friendly pie crust made with almond flour, coconut flour, and butter for a low-carb alternative.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  1. Why is it called Funny Cake?
    • The origin of the name “Funny Cake” is unclear, but some believe it may refer to the unconventional method of pouring the cake batter over the chocolate sauce, creating a whimsical effect.
  2. Can I use store-bought pie crust for this recipe?
    • Yes, you can use a store-bought pie crust if you prefer. Simply follow the instructions for assembling the pie as outlined in the recipe.
  3. Can I make this dessert ahead of time?
    • Yes, you can prepare the Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. Reheat individual slices in the microwave or oven before serving.
  4. Is it necessary to sift the dry ingredients for the cake batter?
    • Sifting the dry ingredients helps to aerate the flour and ensure a smooth, lump-free batter. However, if you don’t have a sifter, you can whisk the dry ingredients together until well combined.
  5. Can I freeze leftover Funny Cake?
    • Yes, you can freeze leftover slices of Funny Cake in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating in the oven or microwave.

Celebrate the legacy of Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine with our enchanting Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake – a delightful dessert that pays homage to the traditions of generations past. With its harmonious blend of chocolatey goodness and tender cake, this whimsical creation is a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of Dutch settlers who made their mark on American culinary history. So, embrace the magic of tradition and treat yourself to a slice of nostalgia with this charming dessert that’s sure to bring smiles to faces and warmth to hearts.

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