Pennsylvania Dutch funny cake pie

This Pennsylvania Dutch funny cake pie is one of my favorite desserts from childhood. My best friend’s mom used to make it for us during our visits. 

I have known my best friend since we were both 6 years old. While that is pretty amazing, our moms have been best friends since THEY were both in junior high! That means our families have been best friends for over 50 years. My best friend has always been like a sister to me, and her mom has been like my second mother. We used to go over to each others’ houses at least once every few months (my best friend and her family lived in Pennsylvania at the time, while we lived in Delaware).

One of the best things about going to my best friend’s house was this funny cake pie. Her mom made one for us one day, and my mind was blown. It was chocolatey cake-like pie, but there were parts that were light and creamy too. The crispy, crackly top was a great surprise, too.  I would ask my best friend’s mom to make this for us every time we went over to her house. And I always ate 2 slices. My friend’s mom said that this was called funny cake because when you put the pie together, you put the chocolate layer on the bottom. But, while it bakes, the chocolate rises to the top, so it’s funny. I’m not sure if that is the real origin of the name, but I’ll take it.

I finally asked for the recipe one day and she gladly shared it with me (probably so I could make this on my own). Sadly, I did not make this until my adulthood and have only baked it a handful of times in the past 15 years.

I hope one day my best friend’s daughter and Addie will become close friends. How awesome would it be to have 3 generations of best friends within the same two families? Well, if Addie bakes this pie for them one day, I’m sure she’ll have a good head start to that friendship.

Pennsylvania Dutch funny cake pie

One of my favorite desserts from childhood - funny cake pie! This is a Pennsylvania Dutch staple!
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pies
Servings: 10
Author: Eva Bakes


Top part

  • 1 unbaked pie shell
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Bottom part

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons water
  • 4 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Prepare the unbaked pie shell in a standard pie plate and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
  • In a separate small bowl or in a measuring glass, mix together the milk and egg. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until well combined (alternatively, you can do this by hand if you don't own a mixer).
  • Alternately add the flour and milk mixtures into the mixer until everything is well combined. Add the vanilla and mix well. Turn the mixer off and set the batter aside.
  • In a medium sized bowl, create the "bottom part" by whisking together the sugar, water, cocoa and vanilla. It will appear watery. Pour this into the prepared pie shell.
  • Then add the "top part" directly on top of the "bottom part."
  • Bake in your preheated oven for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the pie to cool completely before serving.


Pie should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator and will keep for several days - if it even lasts that long.
Source: Rosa L; original source unknown

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