Skip to content

Energetic bakers tackled cake recipes, even funny ones

This week's recipes include Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake, Chocolate Sauce Topping and Rum Layer Cake
From the Kitchen by Joyce Walter

A cake, whether in layers or single flat pan presentation, has always been a comfort food and often a treat for a special occasion or visits by favourite relatives.

In the cookbook, A World of Baking, authors suggest “making a great cake in Colonial times was a task to awe the most energetic housewife. Everything had to be done by hand, often with directions that were slightly less than vague.”

Now the art of baking a cake is assisted with an array of kitchen gadgetry and controlled-temperature ovens that remove the guess work of ovens powered by wood, coal or cow chips.

This week’s recipes offer two older, adapted recipes that might have been baked in times when recipes were less concise and directions not as direct.

• • •

Pennsylvania Dutch Funny Cake

9 inch unbaked pie shell, with high fluted rim
1 1/2 cups sifted pastry or cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 cup crushed pineapple or apple pie filling

Prepare the pie shell. Place fruit in shell.

To make cake batter, sift the flour, baking powder and salt directly into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and into this put the softened butter or margarine, sugar, milk and vanilla.

With an electric mixer beat for two minutes, scraping down the sides regularly. Add the egg and beat for another minute.

Pour the cake batter evenly over the fruit layer.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 50-55 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool then serve. Note: The Pennsylvania Dutch serve this cake for breakfast.

Optional: fruit may be left out with cake batter poured directly onto the pie crust. Bake as directed and serve with chocolate sauce topping.

• • •

Chocolate Sauce Topping

1 sq. unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Put chocolate square and water into a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until chocolate is melted. Stir in sugar and cook, stirring until mixture just comes to a boil.

Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Stir until butter is melted. Cool before pouring over slices of cooked cake.

• • •

Rum Layer Cake

2 2/3 cup sifted pastry or cake flour
2 tbsps. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup rum
1/2 cup milk
2/3 cup butter or margarine
1 1/3 cups fine granulated sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Sift the flour with baking powder, salt and soda. Set aside.

Combine rum and milk.

Cream the butter, gradually adding the sugar and creaming until light. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat until light.

Add the sifted dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with the liquid ingredients, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.

Beat the egg whites until stiff then fold into the batter

Pour into two 9 inch round layer pans that have been buttered and floured. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5 minutes before turning out onto racks to cool.

Frost and fill centre with whipped cream flavoured with rum.

Joyce Walter can be reached at