Funny Cake

My poor dad. His birthday always falls on the same day every year. The day right after Christmas, December 26th. The day when everyone is done celebrating. The day when any gift ideas anybody had...have already been bought and opened the day before. The day when nobody wants to bake a birthday cake because there are already so many leftover sweets, treats, and candies.

Every year, we try to go out of our way to make sure his birthday is a birthday and not just an extension of Christmas. Birthday gifts are to be wrapped in birthday paper, for example. Cards, candles and singing, required.

This year I decided to do something special. Small, but special.

On Christmas Day, my dad was telling us about a cake his mom used to make called "funny cake." He described it with fondness. It sounded sort of "funny." There was a pie crust, with cake batter baked on top. And then there was a layer of chocolate that started on the top, but during the baking process would sink to the bottom of the cake. Apparently that's how the cake got it's name, because it was "funny" the way the chocolate and cake layers would flip while baking.

Dad said maybe next year for Christmas he would make one. But I beat him to it. I got home and searched the internet for a funny cake recipe and found many. Most of them were very similar with only minor differences. I picked one that sounded the best and tweaked the recipe just a touch, based on other recipes.

The result? A not-so-pretty but oooooooh so yummy chocoholics delight.

See the chocolate layer on the bottom? It started on the top.

Dad says this is traditionally a breakfast cake, and would be dunked in coffee for a morning treat. I'm open to chocolate for breakfast any day!

Here is the recipe, if you'd like to try it for yourself! This is not my grandmother's recipe, but I hope to one day find and create hers!

Funny Cake
  • You will need 2 pie crusts (I used the Pillsbury ready-made ones)
Batter Ingredients:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Chocolate Layer Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Pre-heat oven to 350.

TO MAKE CHOCOLATE LAYER: In a sauce pan, mix all ingredients. Bring to a boil for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool while mixing the cake batter. This is almost as thin as water, but it thickens while baking.

TO MAKE BATTER: Cream sugar and margarine. Add the eggs until smooth. Alternately add flour and milk. To the last of the milk, add the baking powder and vanilla. Divide the batter into the 2 pie crusts. Pour the chocolate on top of the batter.

Bake about 40 minutes or until the top of the cake is a light golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Bon Apetit! And happy birthday, Daddy!


Karen Wall said...

I totally remember that cake/pie being delicious! I have some of Memaw's old recipes, but I searched through them and there is no "funny cake" to be found. Do you know if it had another name? I would be happy to look through them for you.

bruce said...

Hey Sweets,
I never got a chance to tell you how much the carmels, lefse and funny cake that you made blessed me this year.
I really enjoyed them. They, along with, potato sausage, lingonberries, and frut soup are part of my families Christmas traditions.
Other things, that are much too much work to create, are marzipan, and special cookies that are really crepes. All part of Grandmas Swedish heritage (except the funny cake. That was Grandpa's Pennsylvania Dutch heritage.) You are a blessing.