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Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate Funny Cake | All Images © Beyond the Butter, LLC

Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate Funny Cake

Author: Jennifer
This Chocolate Funny Cake recipe is a Pennsylvania Dutch classic treat! It has a vanilla cake top with a layer of thick ooey-gooey chocolate, and it's all baked in a homemade buttery, flaky pie crust! It's very good and perfect to have any time of the year! Makes 2, 9 inch pies.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert
Cuisine American, Pennyslvania Dutch
Servings 20 servings (2 pies)


homemade buttery flaky pie crust (makes 2, 9 inch pie crusts)

  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 6 tablespoon Unsalted Butter, cold and cut into small cubes
  • ½ cup Vegetable Shortening, cold and cut into cubes
  • 4-6 tablespoon Ice Cold Water, or until your pie dough can form a ball and is no longer crumbly

top cake layer

bottom chocolate layer

  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 cup Boiling Water
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract


homemade buttery, flaky pie crust 

  • In a large mixing bowl and using a pastry blender (or two forks), mix together the all-purpose flour, salt, cold cubed butter, and cold vegetable shortening until you have small pea-size pieces. Some larger pea-size pieces are fine too! You can use a knife to clear out the pastry blender if it gets clogged as you mix everything together.
  • Add in the ice cold water 1 tablespoon (tablespoon) at a time, using a spatula or your hands until can form a ball and it is no longer crumbly. If there are any crumbly bits, just add the tiniest bit of water so they blend in with the rest of the dough.
  • After forming the ball of pie dough, place it on a lightly-floured, clean surface and divide it in half using a pastry cutter. Pat each half into a 1″-1 ½″ thick disc, then double wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place them in the coldest part of your refrigerator (usually the back) for a minimum of 1 hour. 

chocolate funny cake

  • Adjust the oven rack to the 2nd level mark (just above center) and preheat the oven to 375º F.
  • On a well-floured, clean surface, roll out one of the discs of pie dough you made earlier (or unroll if using store-bought) ) and carefully place into the 2, 9″ pie plates. Trim and crimp the edges to your liking, then place it back in the refrigerator as you make the cake and chocolate layers.
  • For the top cake layer: In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour and baking powder. Set dry mixture aside.
  • Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed, cream the granulated sugar and vegetable shortening together until blended. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract, and mix until combined.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low and alternate between adding the dry mixture and milk. Mix together until just combined, then set aside.
  • For the bottom chocolate layer: In a medium bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar and unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Slowly pour in the boiling water and add in the vanilla extract. Stir continuously until unsweetened cocoa powder is fully dissolved.
  • Divide and pour the cake batter into the 2 unbaked 9" pie crusts, then divide and pour the chocolate layer over top of each. The chocolate layer sinks to the bottom during baking which then forms the thick chocolatey layer on the bottom. It also gives the top of your funny cake a nice chocolate swirl on top!
  • Place the funny cakes in the oven side-by-side and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Mine baked for almost the full 50 minutes. I highly recommend using a x-large baking sheet or jelly roll pan to move the funny cakes into the oven and removing when done. It makes it a lot easier!
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before serving.

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from my Grammy's recipe and family cookbook ❤
Please note the chocolate funny cake recipe shared in Taste of Home's August/September 2020 issue was modified by the Taste of Home test kitchen to make this in deep dish pie plates. I have not tested their version of this recipe.
Keyword chocolate funny cake, dessert, funny cake, pennsylvania dutch, pennsylvania dutch chocolate funny cake, pennsylvania dutch funny cake, pies
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