Shoofly Cupcakes

Life is getting back to normal, but I feel a little edgy and am having a hard time making decisions — especially baking decisions. Everything sounds tasty, but too complicated, too expensive, too rich or too much. I almost took the day off, when what should appear in my email but a note from Louise saying she was typing up a special recipe.

Straight from Pennsylvania, home of coconut eggs, Whoopie Pies, Hershey Bars and The Office, it’s Shoofly Cupcakes!

Have I ever mentioned that I don’t like Shoofly Pie? Yes, multiple times. But these cupcakes were very tasty and made with ingredients I had on hand here in temporary housing.

shoofly cupcakes

And they were simple. You make a quick molasses batter (it’s odd looking, until you add the flour)….

shoofly cupcakes

Divvy it up between muffin tins, top it with a crumb made of butter, sugar and flour, then bake.

The result is an interesting looking cupcake with an old fashioned molasses flavor and wonderfully soft crumb. Thanks, shortening! I know lots of people shy away from it, but it’s what the recipe called for and I must say it worked beautifully. The molasses gave it the cake plenty of flavor and I didn’t miss the salt. Most versions of this recipe don’t have salt, and Louise’s didn’t either.

For the butter in the crumb topping, I used unsalted. Louise doesn’t keep salted butter in the house so she uses unsalted too. For my tastes, I think I’d prefer a salted butter in the topping, but I’m not complaining. Thanks to Louise for sending me the perfect recipe for a day like today.

Shoofly Cupcakes (aka Molasses Crumb)

1 cup soft shortening
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, well beaten
1 cup molasses (dark or light)
1 teaspoon baking soda, dissolved in 1 cup lukewarm water
3 cups all purpose flour

Cream shortening and sugar in a bowl; add eggs, blending well.

In a small bowl, combine molasses and dissolved baking soda and water. Slowly add to the creamed mixture. Gradually beat in the flour. Pour batter into paper cupcake liners 2/3 full.

Crumb Topping:
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter

Combine all ingredients and make into fine crumbs.

Sprinkle crumb topping over each cupcake. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Makes 18 cupcakes.

UPDATED: These were good, but this morning I found one that might be better. Taste of Home has a Shoofly Cupcake which uses all butter and has just enough salt to ramp up the flavor a bit.

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  1. Jennie says

    Ha Ha! Anna, this message straight from PA… I am the only member of my family, both immediate and extended that doesn’t like shoo fly pie. I feel like the black sheep of the family! My grandfather loves to bake them, I feel like I break his heart every time I turn down a slice.
    Maybe I need to try the cupcakes…

  2. Puppydogs says

    Oh those do look delish! I am sorry, I can not find the recipe…..can you tell me where it is?


  3. says

    Jennie, I think your grandfather would understand if you baked him some cupcakes. It would make up for everything.

  4. says

    I’m pretty sure I’ve never tried shoofly pie, let alone cupcakes, but I do like molasses-y things. Wondering about with no spices though.

  5. Louise says

    Katrina — shoo-fly pie doesn’t need spices. Look at Pecan Pie and you’ll see most recipes don’t have spices either but rely on the nuts/sugar for taste. Here it’s molasses. Some use a combination of brown and white sugars. My personal preference is wet-bottom shoo-fly, and a single slice, not a whole pie, does me just fine. And like anything else, there are good and bad ones with some just not worth the calories. And the crust has to be a very good one too.

  6. Karen says

    Thanks for posting, I’m PA Dutch and used the recipe however, I used salted butter as my oil. I also doubled up on the crumb topping….very good! Thanks for posting.

  7. says

    Hi Karen,

    Thanks for the comment! This is a recipe I haven’t made in a while (notice the old formatting?) but really did like back when I made it. I’m definitely going to try it again with your tips.

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