Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake

10 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Cool 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake is a delicious and unexpected combination of buttery pie crust, rich chocolatey filling, and moist yellow cake. The next time you can’t decide if you want a pie or cake for Dessert, you can make this Funny Cake Pie and not choose at all. The sweet vanilla cake and chocolate mixture are baked in a deep-dish pie plate with a Flaky Crust, just like your favorite pie recipe. Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake slice on a plate Dutch Funny Cake is a favorite recipe in Pennsylvania Dutch Baking. The Amish or Pennsylvania Dutch are known for their classic baking, and folks just can’t get enough of their recipes. This can quickly become a favorite dessert, and it’s so easy to make with simple pantry ingredients. Simply combine the chocolate layer on the stovetop, then set it to the side. You can use a handheld mixer to combine the batter for the cake layer or skip the electric mixer and just mix it all by hand. Then pour both fillings into the crust layer and bake to finish. You’ll love the crusty edge from the crispy pie crust surrounding the rich, buttery cake with a layer of sweet chocolate beneath. Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake collage This is such a great comfort food. It’s perfect for a sweet, simple dessert, or even a rich breakfast. Enjoy a slice of cold Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake at your kitchen table with a cup of freshly brewed coffee, or with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream for a more classic dessert dish.
Where does the name Funny Cake come from? This dutch dessert gets its name “Funny Cake” because it’s quite a unique recipe. Even though it’s made with cake batter, it uses a buttery pie crust. It’s also funny that while you pour the chocolate mix over the top, it sinks to the bottom during the baking time.
Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake chocolate sauce in potCake Recipes 

Key Ingredients 

  • Chocolate Layer: You only need granulated sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, and milk to make the chocolate mixture. Use half of the sugar and half of the ¾ cup milk from the rest of the recipe. The combination creates a rich chocolatey filling, and as you cook, it will thicken. Though, you pour the chocolate mixture on top; it will sink during the baking time and end up as an amazing chocolate layer at the bottom.
  • Yellow Cake Ingredients: You only need a few pantry ingredients like baking powder, all-purpose flour, salt, an egg, and vanilla extract to make the batter. One unique ingredient is the shortening. While most cakes would have butter, this one has shortening. Whisking it with the other ingredients creates pockets of air for a light, fluffy cake.
  • Pie Crust: You can use any of your favorite pie crust options from the grocery store for a pre-made pastry crust, or make Homemade Pie Crust. To make the Homemade Pie Crust, you just need all-purpose flour, a pinch of salt, cold butter, and ice water for super-simple pastry dough.
Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake collageBaking Tips 
  • Chocolate Mixture: Add ½ cup granulated sugar and ¼ cup baking cocoa powder to a medium saucepan. Then slowly pour 6 tablespoons of the ¾ cup of milk into the pan, whisking as you go. Once the cocoa mixture is smooth, cook it over medium heat until bubbles start to form. Then cook for another 2 minutes to thicken, and remove from heat.
  • Cake Batter: Add the remaining ½ cup sugar, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt to a large mixing bowl. Then whisk the dry ingredients well. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons of milk, an egg yolk, shortening, and vanilla extract to a measuring cup. Whisk until combined. Next, add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until the batter is combined.
  • Assemble: Line a nine-inch pie plate with the pie crust. Then pour the cake batter into the pastry crust. Pour the chocolate layer over the cake layer in a swirling pattern.
  • Baking time: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Then put the Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake in the hot oven for 45-50 minutes. If you notice the edges browning too quickly, cover the edges in foil, then continue baking.
  • Serve: Carefully take the pie plate from the oven and let it cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake finished in pie dish Variations 
  • Chocolate chips: Along with the bottom chocolate layer, you can add a chocolate chip topping to the Funny Cake recipe. If you add the chocolate chips to the top before baking, they’ll just sink to the bottom with the rest of the chocolate. Instead, wait until about halfway through baking, open the oven and sprinkle them over the top.
  • Crumb crust: This Dutch Recipe is traditionally made with flaky, pastry pie crust. If you’d rather have a crumbly, buttery crust, you can follow our recipe for Graham Cracker Crust instead.
Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake finished in pie dishPie Recipes How to Store 
  • Serve: This Funny Cake recipe can stay good at room temperature for up to 2 days. Cover it in plastic wrap once it’s cooled so it can keep fresh.
  • Store: To keep Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake for up to a week, you can store it in the fridge instead.Freeze: To freeze the cake, double wrap it in saran wrap followed by aluminum foil. Then it can stay good frozen for about 3 months.
Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake slice on a plate

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Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake

Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake is a delicious and unexpected combination of buttery pie crust, rich chocolatey filling, and moist yellow cake.
Yield 10 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 cup sugar , divided
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup whole milk , divided
  • 1 pie crust
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • In a medium saucepan add ½ cup sugar and ¼ cup cocoa powder.
  • Whisk in 6 tablespoons milk until smooth.
  • Cook on medium heat until little bubbles start to form.
  • Cook for 2 minutes until thickened.
  • Remove from heat.
  • In a large mixing bowl add the remaining ½ cup sugar, flour, baking powder and salt and whisk well.
  • In a measuring cup add the remaining 6 tablespoons milk, egg yolk, shortening and vanilla extract and whisk until combined.
  • Add wet mixture to the flour mixture in the bowl and whisk to combine.
  • Line a pie plate with pie crust.
  • Add the cake mixture to the pie plate.
  • Pour the chocolate mixture over the cake batter in a swirling pattern.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. If the edges brown before your pie is done, cover the edges in foil.
  • Cool 15 minutes before serving (also great served cold).


Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 109mg | Potassium: 130mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 54IU | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg
Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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