Gob Cake! A Pennsylvania specialty!

Gob Cake, a special treat from my Pennsylvania friend!

I work at Candace’s shop a couple of days a week. I call it her “shop”, but it is actually a small specialty restaurant. Kayla Shaulis, her manager, is from Pennsylvania. We’ve had many discussions of favorite recipes and foods from her “neck of the woods”. So, for Christmas, she gave me a collection of Pennsylvania recipes and made this Gob Cake for our Chef Candace Christmas Party. Can I tell you how excited I was to taste this scrumptious cake and to get her collection of Pennsylvania recipes??? Now . . . I have added to my Bucket List a trip to Lancaster County where the Amish live, which is really close to her hometown.

Gob Cake . . . a “Whoopie Pie” in a cake!

Kayla describes the Gob Cake as like a “whoopie pie”. In fact, she says that in the north, you will find lots of Gob whoopie pies. Cool!!! The Gob Cake is a whoopie pie in a cake!!! She also said it is very popular in Pennsylvania. I can see why!

If you don’t know what a whoopie pie is, it is “a US baked product that may be considered either a  cookie, pie, or cake. It is made of two round mound-shaped pieces of chocolate cake,  or sometimes pumpkin or gingerbread cake, with a sweet, creamy filling or frosting sandwiched between them.” (Source: Wikipedia ) The article goes on to state that Pennsylvania, along with a few more northern states, claims to have created whoopie pies, and that the recipe most likely was handed down through the generations from the Amish and Pennsylvania German culture.

I’m so thankful to Kayla for bringing a Gob Cake for us to eat and for giving me the recipe! So, this blog post is a tribute to Kayla and her family and their Pennsylvania Dutch heritage!

(L to R: Kayla with Mama and Lynea. Mama was showing them how to make her Chicken and Dressing for Thanksgiving.)

Now for the Gob Cake . . .

When Kayla was telling me about the recipe for the Gob Cake, I immediately knew that the cake part was an older recipe, like those made during WWII. There are no eggs in it, and it has oil and vinegar in the batter. It also has “strong coffee”, which is a plus for me because I am a COFFEE FREAK . . . sort of:) However, the instant pudding in the frosting would be a more modern addition, I think.

The Gob Cake looks like a rectangular whoopie pie, with two layers of chocolate cake with a creamy frosting in between. It will definitely remind you of a cream filled chocolate cupcake (without the frosting on top).

According to Kayla, the most difficult part was removing the top layer of the chocolate cake, then putting it back on after spreading the frosting on the bottom layer. You have to gently lift it on and off, or you will have some broken pieces! or two! LOL!!!

I can’t wait to try my hand at making a Gob Cake! But I can tell you after eating Kayla’s, it is delicious! The moist chocolate cake with the creamy frosting/ filling in the middle is a dessert that would be perfect for any time or season of the year. And, come fall, a pumpkin Gob Cake would definitely be something to consider!

Have you ever made or eaten a Gob Cake? If so, what is your favorite flavor?

Gob Cake Recipe

(Kayla Shaulis’ recipe)

Ingredients for cake:

  • 3 cups sugar (divided)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups strong coffee, cooled

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 1 cup shortening (Her recipe calls for Crisco)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding (Probably the 3-ounce package)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix together 2 cups sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Add the oil, vinegar, vanilla and coffee.
  4. Spread the batter in a greased 9″x13″ cake pan.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  6. Let cake cool completely.
  7. Once the cake is completely cooled, slice in half long-ways using a serrated knife or bread knife.
  8. In a mixing bowl, beat together the remaining 1 cup sugar, shortening and milk.
  9. Add pudding and mix until combined well.
  10. Spread frosting on the bottom layer of the cake.
  11. Place the remaining cake layer on top of the frosting layer.
  12. Serve!



I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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