Shoo Fly Cake (it’s naturally vegan)

Rich and gooey, Shoo fly cake is a twist on the more traditional Shoo fly pie which is deeply entrenched in the Pennsylvania Dutch tradition. Shoo fly cake is a dark, intensely moist cake with sweet crumbs and a rich molasses flavor. If you like gingerbread, you’ll love Shoo fly cake (this cake is my favorite sweet treat). Now I’m not saying this is “healthy” but anytime you make a homemade dessert instead of buying a processed one, it’s healthier in my book.

Shoo Fly Cake


4 cups all-purpose flour (you can use 1/2 white whole wheat and 1/2 all-purpose flour)

1 cup canola oil

1 lb brown sugar

2 cups boiling water

1 cup molasses

2 teaspoons baking soda


Set oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8 x 12 inch baking pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix flour, oil and brown sugar until it forms a course crumb. Reserve 1 cup crumbs for topping. Add boiling water, molasses and baking soda to remaining crumb mixture. Batter will be very thin and runny. Pour into prepared baking pan and top with reserved crumbs. Bake 40-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.

Nutrition Note: This is not considered a “healthy” cake but it is made with heart healthy canola oil and because it does not contain eggs or dairy, it’s a vegan dessert. The molasses used in this cake is the more traditional Grandma’s brand molasses but black strap molasses is a very good source of iron as well as other minerals. The serving size is small because this is a very dense, richly moist cake.

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