Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate Funny Cake Pie

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After writing my previous blog about the Pennsylvania Dutch cooking and baking from Sphere magazine, I knew I would be trying more of the intriguing recipes. One that captured my attention was simply the title:  “Chocolate Funny Cake Pie.”  How can one resist something with a name like that?  So of course I had to make it. Plus it has chocolate.

Chocolate Funny Cake Pie 1

It looks just like a plain old pie on the outside; could be almost anything on the inside.  But when you cut into it, there’s the layer of chocolate on the bottom.

Chocolate Funny Cake Pie 3

After a one-crust pie layer is made and placed in a pie plate, a simple mixture of sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, water, and vanilla is mixed together and poured into the pie shell.

Chocolate Funny Cake Pie 4

The chocolate layer is topped with a mixture of flour, sugar, baking powder, butter, egg, milk, and vanilla.  When baked, this layer turns soft and cake-like yet the top has a thin layer of nice crunchiness.  Such simple ingredients, like so many Pennsylvania Dutch recipes happen to be.

I can just see some women sitting around a kitchen table after coming up with this recipe and wondering what to name it.  I don’t know, they say.  It’s sort of a funny-chocolate-cake-pie.  Good name.

Chocolate Funny Cake Pie
Cuisine: Pennsylvania Dutch
  • Pastry for a 9-inch one-crust pie (your favorite recipe)
  • Chocolate Layer:
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 Tablespoons water
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • Cake layer:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup cold salted butter, cut into small pieces (or if use unsalted butter, add ¼ teaspoon salt)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  1. Prepare your favorite pie pastry for a one-crust pie, and line a 9-inch pie pan. (Or you can use one refrigerated pie crust, if desired.) Set aside.
  2. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, prepare chocolate layer by whisking together the chocolate layer ingredients; set aside.
  4. For cake layer, in a medium mixing bowl stir together the flour, 1 cup sugar, and baking powder. (and salt if using unsalted butter as noted). Cut in the cold butter using a pastry blender until mixture forms small pieces. Stir in the egg, milk, and ½ teaspoon vanilla; mix well. Spoon mixture carefully in dollops over chocolate, and evenly smooth out, trying to keep the chocolate layer from peeking through.
  5. Bake until the center is done and a pick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35-40 minutes. Cool pie on wire rack before cutting into wedges. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Chocolate Funny Cake Pie 2Chocolate Funny Cake Pie 5


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7 Responses to Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate Funny Cake Pie

  1. lisa Keys June 29, 2016 at 7:08 am #

    that looks good

    • Debbie June 29, 2016 at 11:04 am #

      Thanks, Lisa. Fun, easy recipe.

  2. Shirley DeSantis July 1, 2016 at 5:36 pm #

    Haven’t had one of those in quite a few years – but see them (some with other flavors rathr than chocolate) every time I go to the Farmers Market. They’re still popular. Funny – your post brought back memories of when PBO did not limit # of ingredients, time, etc….. and I remember someone in the family trying a couple of versions of this — probably my x-daughter-in-law or my daughter. Some were good .. some weren’t …. so I think with ‘no calls’ way back then . they discarded that idea!

  3. Rosalie December 22, 2016 at 3:24 pm #

    Hi, you are supposed to pour cake batter in first then cover with the chocolate layer. During the cooking process the chocolate settles to the bottom creating a moist treat. So the disappearing choc. layer is the reason for the name.

    • Debbie March 6, 2017 at 1:01 pm #

      Hi Rosalie- I know exactly what you mean, but I made this recipe exactly the way as it was written. It still worked with the layers. Maybe that’s why it was funny?

      • Linda March 30, 2018 at 6:29 pm #

        No, it is funny because you put the cake batter in first and then the chocolate on top. When done baking the chocolate is on the bottom.

        • Debbie March 30, 2018 at 9:46 pm #

          As I told a reader with a previous comment, I made the recipe just as the magazine printed it. Whenever I make the vintage Sphere recipes, that’s what I always do.

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