Do you cook or bake when you are on vacation? I don’t. Unless you count pouring almond milk over homemade granola. I will often prepare a batch of my granola before we leave but that kind of pre-baking doesn’t count. A make and take Shoofly Cake is a simple way to enjoy a homey breakfast or sweet treat without the hassle.
My mother-in-law always bakes several dozen iced sugar cookies for family vacation. She packs them in a gigantic popcorn/pretzel tin. If we are extra lucky she also makes a crumb cake. This year, with some help from aunt-in-law Lonna’s recipe box I found her mother’s recipe for Shoofly Cake! It had me at egg-free and with such few ingredients I was intrigued.
Old recipes are the best recipes, especially when it’s a eggless baked treat. When I asked friends about this cake Linda Seidel, a cookbook loving friend, not only knew about Shoofly Cake but enjoys baking it often. Linda’s recipe is tucked in a well worn and hand-noted, spiral bound St. Catherine’s Culinary Classics church cookbook.
When I mentioned this mysterious cake at a recent cooking class a gal said it was her daughter’s favorite. After growing up enjoying the cake the daughter frequently prepares it for her family. She calls it a Dry Bottom Shoofly.
The cake requires no mixer, rather two bowls and a quick stir. The batter will be wet, don’t be alarmed. You’ll also be surprised how nicely the cake rises. It is moist and keeps well for several days, which makes it ideal for traveling.
After my first bite of this cake I started dreaming of adding ginger and spice for a warming winter treat. I’m tempted to play with the flavors. This recipe begs for a bit of vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger but then it wouldn’t be Shoofly Cake, right?
I love to cook and bake but reading, resting and cocktail mixing are the passive activities I prefer when on holiday. I get it, we kitchen dwellers often feel meals we prepare are a gift. I’d like to argue that on vacation the best gift we can give is our time, relaxed disposition and the freedom of houseguests to enjoy their day without meal obligations. So make and take a Shoofly Cake. May you have safe summer vacation travels, enjoy many sunrises, sunsets and squares of Shoofly Cake.
Recipe featured in the June issue of Berks Country, Live, Love, Bake with Phoebe column. Peanut Butter Bites were another tasty recipe from my column!
- 4 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
- 2 cups brown sugar
- ¾ cup butter, cubed (butter substitute for a vegan cake)
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- Grease and flour a 9x13-inch baking pan. Preheat the oven to 350ºF
- In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, brown sugar and butter to form loose crumbs. Set aside one cup, as cake topping.
- Stir the the molasse into the water, mix in the baking soda.
- Add the molasses mixture to the flour mixture. Do not beat the batter. Mix until combined. Batter will be lumpy and thin.
- Pour the batter into the pan. Sprinkle the top with the remaining cup of flour mixture. Bake for 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool. Cut, serve, and enjoy!