Shoo-fly Coffee Cake

A slice of Shoo-fly Coffee Cake

Welcome to Granny's kitchen, where we're serving up a taste of the Pennsylvania Dutch country with our Shoo-fly Coffee Cake. This delightful treat is a celebration of the rich, earthy sweetness of molasses, a staple ingredient in Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. This dark, sweet syrup lends the cake a depth of flavor that is both robust and comforting. It's a taste that harks back to simpler times, evoking memories of bustling farm kitchens and the sweet smell of baking wafting through the air.

Perfect for breakfast, our Shoo-fly Coffee Cake pairs wonderfully with a steaming cup of coffee or tea. The sweetness of the cake complements the bitterness of the coffee, creating a balanced flavor profile that's just right for starting your day. But don't let the name fool you; this cake isn't just for breakfast. It's also a perfect dessert, offering a sweet ending to any meal. And of course, it's an ideal pick-me-up for those moments when you need a little sweetness in your day.


  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup light molasses
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Method

    • 1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a tube pan (10x4 inches) or two loaf pans (9x5x3 inches).

    • 2. In a large mixer bowl, combine the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and molasses. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes or give it 300 vigorous strokes by hand.

    • 3. Mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt alternately with the sour cream.

    • 4. If you're using a tube pan, spread 1/3 of the batter (about 2 cups) in the pan. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the filling (about 6 tablespoons). Repeat this process two more times. If you're using loaf pans, spread 1/4 of the batter (about 1 1/2 cups) in each pan. Sprinkle each with 1/4 of the filling (about 5 tablespoons). Repeat.

    • 5. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool slightly in the pan(s) before removing.

    Shoo-fly Coffee Cake: A Pennsylvania Dutch Delight

    The story of our Shoo-fly Coffee Cake begins with the Pennsylvania Dutch, a community known for their simple, hearty, and deliciously sweet dishes. The term "Dutch" here is a corruption of "Deutsch," referring to the German-speaking settlers who made their home in Pennsylvania in the 17th and 18th centuries. They brought with them a love for good food, a knack for farming, and a collection of recipes that have become beloved classics.

    Among these recipes was the Shoo-fly Pie, a molasses-filled treat that has become synonymous with Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. The pie gets its unusual name from the sweet, sticky molasses filling that was said to attract flies that needed to be "shooed" away. This pie, with its rich, sweet filling and crumbly topping, was a staple in Pennsylvania Dutch households, often enjoyed as a breakfast dish with a strong cup of coffee.

    Our Shoo-fly Coffee Cake is a nod to this traditional pie, but with a twist. We've taken the rich, earthy flavors of the shoo-fly pie and combined them with the comforting texture of a classic sour cream coffee cake. The result is a moist, tender cake with a deep molasses flavor, topped with a crumbly, buttery streusel that adds a delightful crunch. It's a fusion of two classic recipes, creating a unique treat that's perfect for any time of day.

    Enjoying this Shoo-fly Coffee Cake is like taking a step back in time. Each bite is a taste of history, a nod to the Pennsylvania Dutch community and their culinary traditions. Whether you enjoy it as a hearty breakfast, a sweet afternoon snack, or a comforting dessert, this cake is sure to bring a touch of nostalgia and a whole lot of flavor to your table.

    So, as you savor our Shoo-fly Coffee Cake, remember the rich history and tradition that it represents. It's more than just a cake; it's a celebration of our culinary heritage, a testament to the timeless appeal of simple, hearty flavors, and above all, a delicious treat that we're sure will become a favorite in your home.