Amish Shoofly Cake

Shoofly Cake

StreuselHappy April Everyone!

Strudel and I feel like CAKE this month.  How about you?

I’ve made and eaten lots of cake in my time but none is easier or tastier than this cake!  I recently learned about this cake from a colleague visiting my work from Pennsylvania.  His grandmother used to make this cake and when I made it for him he said this one tasted just like hers.

This recipe comes from The Candlelight Inn, a bed and breakfast in Lancaster County, PA.  Shoofly Pie and Shoofly Cake are classic Pennsylvania Dutch desserts.  I love how easy this recipe is and that it gets its rise simply from baking soda!  If you need a quick cake (prep to table in under an hour) to bring to a brunch, give this one a try.  The rich molasses taste and the crumb topping make it hard to stop eating.  There will be no need to shoo any flies away from this cake!

Shoofly Cake

slightly modified from this recipe

4 c. flour

2 c. packed dark brown sugar

1 c. salted butter, cut into chunks and room temperature

2 c. boiling water

1 c. molasses

2 t. baking soda


Preheat an oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.  Butter a 9 x 13 pan.  Combine the flour, sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix for a minute or until combined.  Pull out 1 1/2 c. of this mixture and set aside.  In a separate microwave safe bowl boil the two cups of water.  Remove from the microwave and add the molasses and baking soda.  Use a bowl that allows at least 2 inches of head space.  When the baking soda is added the mixture will bubble up.

Shoofly Part I

Add this liquid mixture to the stand mixer with the flour mixture and mix on slow speed until combined.  The batter will be very runny!  Don’t worry.

Shoofly Part II

Pour the batter into the 9 x 13 pan.  Mix and clump with your hands the remaining 1 1/2 c. of crumb mixture to create large crumbs.  Spread this crumb mix on the top of the cake.

Note:  I think I added too many crumbs because the cake sunk a little in the middle from the weight of them.  I have made this cake before and it didn’t do that.  I sometimes have the theory that more is better.  In the land of cake crumbs this may not be true!

Bake for about 30 minutes or until set in the middle.  Let cool.  I think it tastes best while still a little warm, the molasses flavor is the strongest at this point.  This cake will keep for days covered but honestly it won’t stay around that long.  It tastes great for breakfast with a hot cup of coffee!

Don’t like molasses?  I made another cake substituting 1 c. real maple syrup for the molasses and also added 2 t. cinnamon and 1 t. pure maple extract.  Still tasted great, just didn’t have as strong of a flavor as the molasses.

Maple vs Molasses


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