Funny Cake

Funny cake is one of those uniquely PA Dutch desserts, it’s a cake baked in a pie shell, with a gooey chocolate layer between the cake and pie shell.  PA Dutch doesn’t necessarily mean Amish or Mennonite, it’s all those little nooks and crannies in PA with people of German ancestry, who were the original settlers in PA.   My ancestors arrived in the late 1700s and even my father grew up speaking both PA Dutch and English. The food is hearty, country fare and the PA Dutch people like their cakes and pies. The ones I grew up around (my large extended family) like to eat cake and pie with breakfast or often for breakfast.

2 – 9″ unbaked pie shells (if in a hurry use 2 deep dish frozen pie crusts)

Cake Batter

2 1/4 cups flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
3/4 cup milk
2/3 cup shortening
1 tsp. salt
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder

Beat all ingredients together, then add

1/2 cup milk
3 unbeaten eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat until batter is smooth. Divide batter evenly into the unbaked pie shells. It’s helpful to set the unbaked pie shells on a parchment paper lined large cookie sheet. Pull out your oven rack and place the cookie sheet on the oven rack, then carefully pour the funny cake liquid on the cake batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Test cake with a toothpick. The chocolate layer produces a marbled effect through the cake and a gooey chocolate layer settles in the bottom.

Funny Cake Liquid

1/2 cup Hershey’s baking cocoa
1 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients in a large measuring cup or a medium size mixing bowl. Do not cool. Pour hot liquid over the cake batter in the pie shells.

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