Can't choose between cake and pie for your favorite type of dessert? You need a funny cake. This traditional Pennsylvania Dutch dessert recipe is a mash-up of a cake and a pie, which means never having to pick just one kind of dessert. If you live near Amish country in the northeastern part of the United States, you may have a handwritten family recipe that's been passed down over the years.

The funny cake recipe also appeared on boxes of Swans Down Cake Flour in the 1940s; the name probably comes from the fact that the vanilla cake part bakes up moist and fluffy with a slightly crackly top, while the chocolate layer sinks to the bottom of the cake, making it a kind of trick cake pie.

Lyndsay Burginger

The funny cake recipe is an easy dessert to make, too. Put your favorite pie crust (homemade or store bought) in a pie pan and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Make the cake layer by combining cake flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, milk, unsalted butter, vanilla extract and an egg, plus some chopped walnuts in a mixing bowl. Then make a chocolate sauce by heating a mixture of 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water and a teaspoon vanilla extract in a small saucepan.

Lyndsay Burginger

Pour the cake batter into a 9-inch pie shell, then slowly pour the chocolate mixture over the cake mixture. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the cake is set and a toothpick poked in the middle comes out clean. Serve your funny cake pie with a dollop of whipped cream; you can sprinkle chocolate chips over the top, too, for some extra chocolate flavor. The funny cake is going to be a family favorite recipe, perfect for birthday parties, neighborhood potlucks and any time you can't decide if you want cake or pie for dessert!

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Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake 

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 45-55 minutes



  • 1 9 inch pie shell
  • Cake
  • 1 1/4 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • Chocolate Sauce
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Make the cake layer

Mix the cake flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.

In a mixing bowl, combine the milk, butter and vanilla.

With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients until they are just incorporated.

Increase the mixer speed to medium and add the egg. Beat the cake mix for 2 minutes, then add the walnuts and beat for one more minute.

Make the chocolate sauce

In a small saucepan, combine the cocoa powder, sugar, water and vanilla. Heat the mixture over low heat until the cocoa and sugar is dissolved.

Build and bake the pie

Pour the batter into the prepared pie shell, then carefully drizzle the chocolate sauce over the cake batter.

Bake the pie for 45-55 minutes in a 350 degree oven. The pie is done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. If the crust starts to brown, you can cover it with a bit of foil.

Nutrition Facts
Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 881 Calories from Fat 405
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 45g 69%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Polyunsaturated Fat 20g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Cholesterol 58mg 19%
Sodium 396mg 17%
Potassium 303mg 9%
Total Carbohydrates 111g 37%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 53g
Protein 14g 28%
Vitamin A 6%
Calcium 10%
Iron 8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.