Shoo-fly Cake


Shoo Fly Cake | From My Sweet Heart

More than anything else that I bake, I LOVE baking cakes

And when I began blogging, I happened upon a couple of blogs that featured a group known as The Cake Slice Bakers.  They always featured some amazing cakes, yet I could not find much information about them.  A secret society of cake bakers?  I wanted in!  I am so fortunate to have been invited to be a member.  The women in this group are fun and fabulous bakers and you can find them listed at The Cake Slice .  In the 2012-2013 season, we baked from . . . . .


. . . . . Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson! 


Vintage Cakes | From My Sweet Heart


I LOVE this book and had actually purchased it even before I found out it would be the featured book for this group.  It truly is a “confectionery stroll down memory lane.”  Stop by on the 20th of each month to see what masterpiece of American baking we will feature next!

Shoo-fly cake is a twist on the Pennsylvania Dutch classic, Shoo-fly Pie.  This is a scrumptious cake made with blackstrap molasses and warm spices, and topped with a sweet, buttery crumb.  It’s been said that when the pies were left on the window sill to cool, the molasses would attract flies, which were then shoo’d away.  Thus the name. . . . . shoo fly!




Shoo Fly Cake | From My Sweet Heart



This is really terrific served warm, out of the pan.  But I allowed mine to cool a bit (far away from my windowsill!) so that I could top it with a scoop of sweet, orange scented whipped cream!  I’ve adapted the recipe slightly to allow for a combination of spice that I really favor.


Yields:  8-10  sweet and sticky servings

Level of Difficulty:  Easy



  • 1/3 of a cup of firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 of a cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 of a cup of unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, at room temperature

This is a fun and easy topping to make, and one that works best if you just use your hands!  Combine the flour and the sugar together in a small bowl.  And then toss in the butter cubes, using your fingers to pinch and work the butter into the dry ingredients to form crumbs.  Place the bowl in the freezer while you make the cake.

Preheat your oven to 350°F.  Generously butter a 9 x 2 inch round or square pan. Be sure you are working with a pan that is at least 2 inches deep.  Otherwise, when you bake this particular cake, your cake is going to spill all over your oven.  (Yes…I’m happy if someone else can learn from MY mistakes!)



  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 3/4 of a cup of unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 of a cup of unsulfured blackstrap molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of warm coffee (may be reheated from your morning brew)


Shoo Fly Cake | From My Sweet Heart



In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, butter, molasses, and vanilla until they are smooth.  Blend in the eggs one at a time.  Then, in a separate bowl, sift together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda and salt.  Give the ingredients a little whisk to ensure that they are well mixed.  Next, alternate whisking in the flour mixture in 3 additions and the coffee in 2 additions; beginning and ending with the flour.  You will end up with a pretty thin batter in the end.  Pour the batter into your prepared pan and sprinkle it with the chilled crumb topping.  Bake this in the center rack of your oven until the top is firm, about 45 minutes.  Cool the cake on a wire rack for about 30 minutes before serving warm from the pan.

I love this cake!  It is similar in texture and flavor to gingerbread, but I actually prefer it to gingerbread!  Ms. Richardson suggests serving it with chocolate ice cream!  I bet that is an interesting combination of flavors and I am definitely going to try that because it seems so unusual to me.  I thought about coffee ice cream, too, since there is coffee in the batter.  But I also really wanted to pair this with a lighter, citrus flavor.  And orange came to mind.  So I whipped up a little cream scented with orange.  It was perfect!



Shoo Fly Cake | From My Sweet Heart




  • 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar
  • splash of pure vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 orange

Place all ingredients in the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip it.  Whip it good!



I love finding vintage kitchen stuff, especially bake wear and dishes.  I am lucky to have 2 really great thrift stores nearby.  I scour them both EVERY Saturday morning!  I happened to find these pretty, vintage looking plates.  They were $1.49 each and sadly there were only 3 of them.  But they had this white, milk glass look to them.  And they are more sheer at the scalloped edge, so when held to the light, the edges had a pretty blue hue.  I think they were a perfect way to serve this delicious, vintage cake!



Shoo Fly Cake | From My Sweet Heart


So I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I did. Thank you to Paloma of The Coffee Shop for all her wonderful work in leading this amazing group of women. And please visit my fellow Cake Slice Bakers to see how they enjoyed this cake as well!


Want to try another casual cake from Vintage Cakes?  Take a look at these:

Honeybee Cake | From My Sweet Heart

Honeybee Cake

Red Velvet Cake | From My Sweet Heart

Red Velvet Cake

Butterscotch Cream Roll Up Cake

Butterscotch Cream Roll Up Cake










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    • Anne says

      Thanks Krista! Loved your beautiful upside down version and what a great story that was! So glad to be baking with you in this group! : )

  1. says

    Love this vintage cake…. No flies are getting my cake…. I would eat it too fast. :) Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday Anne!!

    • Anne says

      Thanks Ramona….and now you’ve got me in the mood for kale, white bean and sausage soup! And that Christmas tree cinnamon roll dessert has my name all over it! : )

    • Anne says

      Thanks John….but I have to tell you….those chocolate pepper cookies are just so unique and outstanding…..and your photography just leaves me speechless!
      : )

    • Anne says

      LOL….I am excited Uru! I LOVE baking cakes! Loved your article on coconut oil and those breakfast parfaits look sensational! : )

    • Anne says

      Thanks Paloma… glad you are the fearless leader of The Cake Slice Bakers and really happy to be baking with you! : )

  2. says

    Oh My Oh My!!

    What a fabulous feast for my eyes! Thankfully you baked it a second time and we see the awesome results. Love that moist texture of your cake and oh that Orange scented cream topping… to die for!

    Envy you for treasure troves in the two thrift shops, love those plates! Yes, they do compliment the cake!

    • Anne says

      Thanks Emily! And what a great idea to bake your cake in mini loaves….perfect for gift giving! I need to do that more often! : )

    • Anne says

      Thanks Sandra….and I hope you managed to stay off your feet for this holiday….though I think I already know the answer to that! Loved your leftover ideas with that amazing stuffing frittata! And those cranberry orange bars are just stunning! : )

    • Anne says

      Thanks Angie….and your brown rice pilaf with dried figs and pomegranate really takes the hum drum out of my day! What a fabulous side to any meal! : )

    • Anne says

      Thanks Dorothy! And that Gingerbread Butterscotch Poke Cake looks fabulous! And your post about the American Girl doll…..hysterical! (And yes…I’m laughing WITH you!) : )

  3. says

    Oh, this does look wonderful!!! Something about vintage recipes is always appealing…I think it’s that they’ve stood the test of time. What a fun group to bake along with!!! Can’t wait to see what you come up with next :) Happy Thanksgiving, my friend!!!

    • Anne says

      Thanks Liz and I hope you and your family shared a wonderful Thanksgiving! A lovely recipe you’ve shared for orange rolls and an even lovelier message on sharing with those in need! You are definitely one good egg! : )

  4. says

    I love shoo-fly pie but have never had, nor heard of Shoo-fly cake. It has that rich, dark color of the pie which tells me how dElicious this cake is! Gotta love that dark molasses! It sure looks pretty setting on top of these white milk glass plates. Vintage cake, vintage plates and vintage cookbook. You obviously had fun with this cake and post! Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! I would say take the day off, but it’s days like this that us foodies love! So have fun!!!!

    • Anne says

      Thanks MJ….and yes….I’m OLD! I LOVE VINTAGE! :- } Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well. That mushroom garlic soup looks spectacular!

    • Anne says

      Thanks Kris! You’ve had a crazy week or two! I am glad that you are okay and that the chickens are doing well! Those banana nut oatmeal streusel muffins look like they will fix anything! : )

    • Anne says

      Thanks Elizabeth and so glad to have discovered your lovely site as well! Your wonton soup is just beautiful! Perfect for the upcoming cold weather! : )

    • Anne says

      Thanks Bibi…and I was excited to see that you are a Cake Slice Baker this year. I know how hectic life gets, especially with kids. But I’m looking forward to baking with you! : )

  5. says

    Your Shoo-Fly turned out beautifully! I love your spice tweaking and especially love the orange whipped cream–yum! Beautiful photos, too. I’m also so excited to be using Vintage Cakes–such a gorgeous book; I can’t wait to try every recipe.

    • Anne says

      Thanks Anabel… happy to be a part of the group…..and I need to seriously take some photography classes, too! I’ve had my camera for a year and I still don’t know how to put the strap on it! : – 0

  6. says

    What a tasty looking cake! I’ve also got this book, but haven’t gotten around to looking through it properly yet. How do you become a member of this group Anne, it sounds great and I’d love to take part in it.

    • Anne Boeckl says

      Thanks Laura. It is such a good book! I was invited to be a member of this group by our leader, Paloma. I’m going to toss you an email when I finish typing this! BTW…..your home made peanut butter looks incredible! : )

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