This recipe is from the Vegetarian Resource Group's Vegan Handbook, an old but classic book full of delicious recipes, including homemade gluten and vegan baked goods, like this cake.
I'm Pennsylvania Dutch, and I can attest that this cake really does taste like Shoo Fly Pie. Since it omits the crust, it takes less than ten minutes to put together. Fast and delicious.
The key ingredient here is molasses. It's tough to find in Mexican grocery stores, but they sell it very cheap in cane sugar refineries (ingenios azucareros). So if you live in Veracruz, Chiapas, Oaxaca, or any other sugar-producing state, this cake is for you. Since I've never seen anyone cook with molasses in Mexico, Vegan Shoo Fly Cake will impress all of your friends.
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (in a pinch you can use white flour)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, azucar mascabado, or other granulated sweetener
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup soft margarine (or butter for non-vegan version)
- 1 cup hot water
- 1/2 cup molasses
- Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- Cut in margarine until mixture resembles a fine crumb. If you don't have a french pastry cutter, cut the margarine into several pieces, toss the pieces into the dry ingredients, and start mixing the margarine into the dry ingredients with your hands until it resembles a fine crumb.
- Set aside 1/3 cup of the crumb mixture.
- Add molasses and hot water to the crumb mixture that's in the bowl (not the part you set aside), and stir until just mixed.
- Pour batter into a greased 9-inch round cake pan or a greased 8-inch cast iron pan.
- Top with the reserved crumb mixture.
- Bake at 350 degrees fahrenheit for 25-30 min. When it's done, the cake should have risen to double its original size, and the middle should be just slightly lower than the edges. A toothpick inserted in the center won't come out clean, but the crumbs that stick to it should be moist but done.