Favorite Amish Desserts

So I’m about to leave on a 10-day trip to Ohio and Indiana.  I mentioned I’ll be attending Sunday School with friends.  Sunday School is rare among Amish, seen mostly in New Order churches (and not even all of them).

It is shorter than church service, about 90 minutes.  While I appreciate Sunday School, I also enjoy what comes after–the fellowship meal.

The chance to talk with members of the congregation, some of whom I’ve known a few years now, is a treat.  But the food ain’t bad either.

This church usually has a full spread of cookies, brownies, and squares for dessert.

favorite amish dessert crybaby cookies
Crybaby cookies, time for your close-up.  Chomp

Other Amish churches I’ve attended are bigger on the pies.

What’s the best Amish dessert?

If I had to pick a favorite Amish dessert I’d probably choose a pie.  Not sure which, I am partial to blackberry and snitz;  shoofly, not so much.

Of course there are many other desserts that come out of Amish kitchens.  You’ve got all sorts of cakes and puddings and sweet breads and so on.

I’m browsing through The Amish Cook’s Baking Book right now, and just landed on a photo of rhubarb cake.  Looks pretty good.  They’ve got something called a vinegar pie in here.  I’d like to try that one, just to say I did.

Ditto the sawdust pie.  What could that taste like?  It takes coconut, graham crackers, and pecans, so can’t be bad.  Not sure about the lard cakes though.

Is Amish peanut butter a dessert?  It sure tastes like it to me.  Sweet stuff.

Now, the whoopie pie.  I know a lot of you like it.  I shared my feelings on this “treat” during the infamous whoopie pie controversy.

Fry pies, that is another story.  Yum.  Double yum. I know where to get them in Ohio.

I could keep going. But before this gets out of hand, what do you think–what’s the best Amish dessert?

Photo credit: jessebucksc

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    67 Comments

    1. Al in Ky.

      My favorite is date pudding which I’ve had several times in the
      Arthur, Ill. area. It’s sort of like a cake with caramel sauce
      and whipped cream. I also like the angel food cakes, which come
      in several different flavors, in Daviess County, Indiana. For
      cookies my favorite are persimmon cookies that I’ve had in the Swartz. community in Orange Co., Indiana.

    2. Amish Stories

      Mine is wet-bottomed shoo-fly-pie !

      I would say if done right, a slice of warm wet bottom shoo-fly-pie with whipped cream on top. The pie itself is very basic and has very simple Ingredients , but its pretty easy to screw-up!. Plus another added benefit to this pie is the fact that it helps make your home smell so nice while its baking, so this would be my choice. Richard http://www.Amishstorys.com

      1. Wanda

        XX YUM SHOO_FLY PIE

        I have this cook pamphlet cook book. Called the Amish Dutch Cookbook-by Ruth Redcay,1980
        I have made Shoo-fly pie, and it is my favorite “junk” food. I eat alot less sweets now, but I still make it for friends coming over.

    3. Lee Ann

      I like the oatmeal date cake. Very good. I tried several of the cookies and liked all of them. I thought the zucchini bar was great.

    4. Karen Pollard

      Sawdust Pie

      Sawdust Pie is a huge favorite in Kentucky. Several of our local restaurants serve it. It’s a very rich pie, so if you love rich desserts, this would be perfect.

      I was just asking my husband why he liked it. His comment, “Ohhhhh, it’s wonderful as long as it’s moist!”

      He says it’s a little like a chess pie only richer. The pie they serve here has chocolate chips, coconut and pecans in it. Imagine that mixed with a chess pie filling.

      Ha! My mouth is watering, and I don’t even like it!!

    5. Celeste

      I know this desert isn’t limited to the Amish but my favorite is apple dumplings from the NY Amish area. Rhubarb pie would be a close second. Erik, I’ve been baking from “The Amish Cook’s Baking Book” for awhile and my family and I love the vinegar pie! My friends did too until I told them what the ingredients were. 🙂

    6. Robin Miller

      That most famous Amish dessert ...

      Without a doubt, wet bottom shoofly pie. I had my first taste at the young age of 6 and today, 50+ years later, I must say that I can make a pretty mean shoofly pie. I have several recipes using either molassas, brown sugar or King syrup or any combination. It’s always a must during the holidays. I also have a recipe for a shoofly pie given to me in a recipe box by a dear friend who grew up in Lancaster County. By the way, that first shoofly pie that I savoured was made by Mrs. Smith’s, Pottstown, PA. Back then they sold fresh baked pies locally into neighboring states. I grew up in Maryland. They were nothing like today’s frozen Mrs. Smiths, but I think they did emerge from that original bakery. Alas, Mrs. Smith’s does not make a frozen shoofly pie that I’m aware of.

    7. Kathy Rowe

      I had some vanilla custard pie at an Amish home in Holmes County a couple years ago and boy it was out of this world. Very good indeed. I guess shoo fly pie and snickerdoodle cookies are the two main things assocated with Amish desserts though.
      Listened to you on the radio program yesterday, Erik. It was very interesting. Have a safe and fun trip to Ohio and Indiana! Get lots of good pictures for this blog. You always have the best photos and articles.

      1. Thank you Kathy, it was fun, I always enjoy talking with Suzanne.

        I’m sure I’ll have a lot to share from this trip…I may even squeeze in a little West Virginia 🙂

    8. Ruth

      Pumpkin or Chocolate Whoopie Pies. Sticky Buns are a close second, although we usually eat those for breakfast. 🙂

      1. Whoopie pies and sticky buns!

        Ruth I went in to more detail on the “State dessert” post but for me whoopie pies taste great the first couple bites but then it just gets too sweet…it’s kind of like when I drink really strong coffee, I need to drink a water with it to dilute the “pop”…maybe I need to take something else with my whoopies to get em down?? 🙂

        You mention Sticky Buns for breakfast, I remember also on the state dessert post I proposed Krispy Kreme doughnuts as NC’s state dessert, but I think Alice Aber set me straight that doughnuts are a breakfast food…I’ll just call em “versatile treats”, sounds like Sticky Buns are the same.

    9. Darlene

      Shoofly pie is my favorite. Richard is completely correct that something that seems so simple, as that pie seems to be, you can really screw it up! I made one for Thanksgiving a few years ago and it was only fit to operate as a doorstop.

      If you’re into this kind of thing, the Bird-in-Hand Bake Shop makes a mean whoopie pie. Best I’ve ever had (so far!).

      My disclaimer to this post is that I love, love, love all desserts. So I had to narrow my answer down to Amish-made only. My usual favorite is whatever I have just recently eaten!!

    10. Cindy from SWPA

      Years ago there was a cooking show on PBS “Cooking from Quilt Country” that was hosted by Marcia Adams. While I have and love several Amish and Mennonite Cookbooks I always go back to this one (the binding is broke and pages are warped from stuff spilled on them). My two favorite dessert recipes have to be Butterscotch Tapioca and Apple Pie with Streusel topping. Although there are many many more that I make including the Burnt Sugar Cake & Raisin Pie.

    11. Pumpkin Bars

      This is a tough question because there are sooo many wonderful desserts to choose from, and I’ve tasted so many of them. Amish Pumpkin Bars is the one that stands out in my mind as the best I’ve ever had. My wife makes the recipe for church gatherings and it’s always a hit, although she finds it difficult to actually get it to the church before I’ve cut into it. We plan to post the recipe in October on AmishWorkshops.com, just in time for the holidays.

      1. OldKat

        I can’t eat much in the way of dessert anymore, because my weight went… ahmmm, shall we say way too high? (insert sad face here) However, the pumkin bars that Keith James mentioned sound like a great holiday treat. I’ll have to make a note to check out AmishWorksops.com in October for the recipe. Thanks for the heads up.

    12. Betsy
    13. Getting some great ideas for what to feed myself next week, thanks guys, keep em coming…looks like shoofly is emerging as a favorite here.

      Though shoofly doesn’t make my top ten pies list, I do like it well enough, but has to be swimming in milk 🙂

      Celeste mentioned rhubarb pie, I am a big fan but I know some people really don’t like anything rhubarb.

    14. Robin Miller

      Gisa … pecan pie is SOUTHERN!! Maybe southern Amish? But nevertheless, so yummy!!!

    15. Now wait a sec, Erik, finally you’re in my turf, would be a blast to meet up….You’ll have to send me a note on Facebook and let me know where you’ll be, I’ll be criss-crossing those states also (well, I’ll be in Unity, Maine next week some), so maybe we’ll be in the same area?

      1. Amish Cook desserts

        Sounds good Kevin, I think I’ll be in your turf literally and also “culinarily” with this post 😉 …I was enjoying the Baking Book last night, you guys did a great job on it.

        I’m not much of a baker but it really is a beautiful, fun to read cookbook. I’d call it a “Cookbook-Plus”, more than just recipes. Your and Lovina’s commentary adds a lot.

        I’ll drop you a note on where I’ll be, it won’t be Maine, but maybe Ohio? 🙂

      2. And Kevin, since we’ve got you here, I have to ask, what is the Amish Cook editor’s favorite Amish dessert? If you’re at liberty to say, of course…:)

    16. Greg

      Definately Shoefly pie, but I love going to auctions and getting homemade doughnuts (better than Krispy kreme) and there is always a guy with an old hit & miss engine making ice cream.

    17. ann

      Shoofly pie, hands down!
      But I also like those infamously sweet Whoopie Pies and my mom’s dessert dumplings! 😉

    18. Lois Morgan

      Apple Dumplings from Lancaster County

      One recent cross country motoring trip we finally landed at our friend’s home in Lancaster County. We just happened to be there when the dumplings came out of the oven. What a coincidence!
      Our friend met us at the door with the hot baking pan in hand and apologized because dumplings would be our dinner that night. We did the best we could to eat the whole pan’s worth, with milk. What a hardship!

    19. Tonya

      All of them!!

      Shoofly pie, snitz pie, whoopie pies, cracker pudding, buttermilk pie-the list is endless! ~};0)

    20. Jayne

      Yumm

      Funny cake..I think it is Amish but it could be Mennonite..

    21. Rosalie

      favorite Amish Dessert

      Mine is Peanut Butter Angel Food Cake. I have purchased these cakes in Arthur, IL and they are delicious no matter what flavor they are. Peanut Butter is the best, but I am partial to peanut butter.

    22. Mona

      Hi Erik,
      Just listened to your interview with Suzanne Woods Fisher, enjoyed it very much….

      My favorite Amish dessert is “FRIED PEACH PIES” never had the whoopie pie or the shoo fly pie…..hope to try them sometimes…..

      Enjoy your trip Erik….

      1. Thanks Mona, and glad you liked it. I like your dessert pick.

    23. Marcus Yoder

      My favorite is date nut pudding. Pecan pie is favorite also. One of the best pecan pies was made by the amish cook’s grandmother.

      Marcus Yoder

    24. I am not much for desserts at all but pie is nice, apple and rhubarb are great for the most part. My favorite dessert is just strawberries, preferably freshly picked and a lot of whipped cream. No sugar so not for those with a big sweet tooth.

      I read this title as Amish desert at first and was very confused…

    25. marie b

      amish dessert

      If you are in Holmes county Ohio, go to Hershbergers near Charm, they have the best little fry pies. I like the strawberry rhubarb. Also Walnut creek cheese has some delicious desserts and the best soft serve ice cream around, they have a different flavor everyday. Boyd & Worthman in Berlin, has very good peanut butter cream pie, as does the Der Dutchman Essenhaus. Mrs. Yoder’s kitchen in MT.Hope has the best Butter pecan Cake, when they have locals bring in desserts. I had a turtle cheesecake that was to die for but I don’t remember where, I think it was Mr.Yoders. Trust me, desserts is my downfall in Amish country. I’m off to Shipshewana at the end of August and they have some really great desserts at the BlueGate in Shipshewana, and Essenhaus in Middlebury. Pumpkin whoopie pies are a nice treat. At the Walnut creek flea market they have the Pumpkin rolls with cream cheese filling, that are the best. Have fun and enjoy the desserts. Marie from Windsor Ontario Canada

    26. Who could choose? I love so many!

    27. Marilyn

      There All Good !

      I have never ate anything Amish I didn’t like.
      But,Anything Peach,Pumpkin,Berry or Lemon
      Is wonderful.
      Keep Baking!
      Marilyn From Romney,WV

    28. Nancee

      Favorite Amish Dessert

      I was in Shipshewana, Indiana yesterday for the day, and had dinner at Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury where I eat every dinner whenever I spend time in northern Indiana. My favorite pie last night was a fresh peach pie that was so fresh the peaches could have been picked that very morning! Other favorites are their strawberry rhubarb pie, raspberry cream pie, date pudding, etc.

    29. Shoo-fly pie! I have never tasted one, my little Amish neighbor asked if I had made one before. I said no I hadn’t. Two days later she gave me the recipe written out all by herself. She was quite proud! Even though she miss-spelled suger!! Can’t wait to try it!
      After reading through the recipe I see that it is for 3 pies!! This is a good thing, at least for our family, with 8 children one pie doesn’t go far!!
      Have a blessed day,
      Misty

    30. Julie Turner

      favourite Amish dessert

      I just love peanut butter pies. They are sooooo good.
      An amish mennonite lady showed me how to make them when her family visited us in Australia many years ago.
      Just love it!!!!! Julie (Australia)

    31. Amish Stories

      Shoo-fly-pie looks to be the winner !

      Looks like Shoo-fly-pie is the winner here. And i know ive said this before id say the “Dutch Haven” in Lancaster would be among the best who make it. Richard http://www.Amishstorys.com

    32. Mel Brown

      desserts

      I am from Ohio (1 hr & 45 min from Ohio Amish Country) and I have to agree with Marie. Herbergers has amazing fry pies as well as homemade donuts. Mrs. Yoders Kitchen has delicious strawberry pie in season and my son’s favorite there is the peanut butter pie.

    33. Mel Brown

      correction…Hershberger’s

    34. Loretta

      Cindy,

      I also enjoyed Marcia Adams “Cooking From Quilt Country”. I would LOVE to see re-runs of that program. I bought the book and it is one of my favorites. I read that she had some kind of heart problem, maybe even heart surgery, and you just don’t hear anything about her anymore.

    35. Marcus Yoder

      You got to try Coblentz chocolates in Walnut Creek.
      Marcus Yoder

    36. Annette

      I agree with Hershberger’s near Charm.
      It also has the best prices on jam. We stocked up Big-Time when we were there.

    37. Debbie Welsh

      The best Dutch apple pie can be found at the Der Dutchman restaurant in Walnut Creek, Ohio. I love the different varities of Amish pies, like caramel-apple-walnut, strawberry rhubarb, and a new one we just picked up at the PA Dutch Market in Hagerstown, MD – apricot orange! My all time favorite, though, is sticky buns with walnuts and raisins on top, and my husband is crazy over whoopie pies, especially the oatmeal ones. Neither of us, however, care for shoo-fly pie – sorry Richard!

    38. Bob the Quaker

      Erik

      I wanted to let you know that Krispy Kreme finally made it from North Carolina to Texas. I’m afraid the Texans may try to barbecue these donuts, but so far they are going over well.

      Guess you can tell I still consider myself a tarheel.

      I’m going to try the wet-bottomed sho-fly-pie. Last time I tried shoo-fly it was good for a few bites, then was just too sweet for my taste.

      1. OldKat

        Really? Maybe they will do better here than they did the last time around. There was a big Krispy Kreme donut “factory” in downtown Houston circa 1998 to 2000 or so, then it closed. I’ll grant you, it was fun to go stand on the street and watch through the window as they churned out those perfectly uniform stamped donuts.

        Some people I worked with raved & raved about them so I was anxious to see what all the buzz was about. One day a guy I worked with brought in a big box of them and I was all pumped up for a real treat. That was the most disgusting thing I ever tried to eat. Tasted like deep fried mush coated with about a 1/4″ of pure sugar syrup. I literally couldn’t choke it down. I actually started gagging on it. Yet some folks love them. I guess it is a matter of taste afterall.

      2. Krispy Kreme in Texas

        God Bless Texas guys, I see you keep doing a lot of things right down there. Now Krispy Kreme is coming (back) to town.

        But I see not all love them. Oldkat maybe that was a rogue factory trafficking low-quality contraband counterfeit Krispy Kremes. Or maybe your description is in fact what I’ve been eating all these years 🙂

        1. Christine

          Favorite Amish Dessert

          To have a good Krispy Kreme doughnut you have to get and eat them when the “HOT” sign is on.

          To Richard I have to agree about the shoo fly pies from Dutch Haven, they are good. But we were to Lancaster over the weekend and went to Kitchen Kettle Village this past weekend and got one there, they are good too.

    39. kerry

      I live smack dab in the middle of Ohio’s Amish, and Erik, sorry today was so rainy but the weather is supposed to be great the rest of the week here!

      Ahh, food – faves around here are the apple dumplings with homemade ice cream at Boyd and Wurthmann, hubby loves the raisin cream pie at Mrs Yoder’s, and the ultimate – hubby didn’t want me to share this so as to keep people away but I’d feel mean not doing so, ha ha – the tarts at Miller’s Bakery will practically make you pass out (for me, the lemon ones).

      However, I must say it is very nice to have an Amish neighbor down the road aways pull her buggy (or sometimes it’s her kids in it) up to our house every Friday evening about 5 during summer and fall to sell us goodies. They set up shop in the buggy at an intersection during tourist season, and as they come home for the day, stop by with what’s left, and it’s always something good. Still have the black raspberry pie in the fridge from last week, yum! Although we have 3 Amish baked good sheds within a mile of our house (one Swartzentruber with the most awesome fry pies), nothing like having a personal “bakery buggy” stop by your door once a week! 😉

      1. Kerry–I found it was actually pretty nice after 12 or so, at least where I was. I dodged most of the rain and the evening was absolutely beautiful. Lot of people out and about enjoying the weather, softball games galore.

      2. Theresa

        Kerry,
        I just have to say how jealous I am that you live in Holmes County. It is my absolute favorite place! My husband and kids love it, too! We visit annually and every year we try to figure out how we can relocate there! Might be better for our waistlines to not be so close to all that wonderful baked goodness, though! Enjoy God’s beauty and your kind Amish neighbors!

      3. LeeAnn

        best desserts

        Kerry:

        I wish I knew where exactly you lived and could find those bakery sheds. I have been all over the Minn. Amish community and never saw one of those baked good sheds. I did find one shed with crafts while out there. Could you please tell me where exactly in the Midwest you live and the community that has these bakery sheds?

        Been to Lancaster County, wasn’t to impressed with it, but I sure liked the Amish in the Midwest. Very friendly folks!

        1. Erin

          Do you live in MN LeeAnn? There is a wonderful Amish bakery outside of Harmony in the South East. There also many wonderful home baked shops. Of course, they are not advertised, so you need to ask the locals.

          I can share a few more in Central MN since that’s where I live.

    40. Theresa

      Best dessert in Holmes County

      Our family’s favorite bakery in Holmes County is definitely Millers Bakery near Charm on TR 356. Everything they make is delicious but our absolute favorites are their cheese tarts! They melt in your mouth! The plain cheese is the best but they offer many filled with various types of fruit fillings that are great, too! If you are still in that are you must check them out!

      FYI: They freeze well so you can bring them home and enjoy later or perhaps share with friends.

      Enjoy your trip! I really enjoyed the pics of Holmes County you posted yesterday. Our family is traveling there next week! Yay!

      1. Cheese Tarts

        Miller’s Cheese Tarts are awesome. We live so far I had to learn how to make them! My husband is happy I did!

        1. Ack Barb, this is torture 🙂 I’m about as far away from Miller’s Cheese Tarts as can be…and you’ve got a lucky husband!

    41. Dessert

      Hello
      Our favorite Amish Dessert is “Lemon Sponge Pie” and the best is from stoltzfoos Sister Bakery Route 772 5115 Unser Road Kinzers PA
      but they are only open on Fridays and Saturdays So if you want to get the very Best Lemon Sponge Pie you have to be there very early in the morning say around 8:00 AM it is close to a green house and a Amish School. So if you are in the area try them Oh Yes they do have lots of other pie and baked goods
      Ivan unn Fraa

    42. Had oatmeal pie yesterday. Kevin called it a “poor man’s pecan pie”. Well call me a poor man then. That was really good.

    43. Theresa

      Fav Dessert

      Erik, I make the vinegar pie (although I have’nt tried Lovina’s recipe yet. I have several recipes for this pie. All of them are good !!!

    44. Carla Gutches

      Mmmmm

      Sho fly pie hands down. Or sho fly cake is great too. Woopsie pies- if they are the original with the crisco in the icing not the marshmallow fluff kind. I was raised partly in central Pa close to Bellville in Big Valley so sho fly pie is home to me and I get all choked up when I get back to the mountains. Ohio is pretty flat.

    45. Erin

      I’ve never had shoo-fly pie. Is that predominately in the east? I live in the Midwest and haven’t been to a an Amish bake sale with it yet.

      I love a good old fashioned apple, cheery, or blueberry pie. We participate in a CSA and their neighbor gladly takes orders to include in the weekly box. It’s actually the gentleman that bakes the pies.

      1. It is, it is mainly a Lancaster County item Erin. However you can sometimes find stray shooflies in the Midwest. I’m not going to attest to how they stack up to Lancaster shoofly though. I have a section on the shoofly in the upcoming book so I’ve been paying attention lately 🙂

        I just got back from a week in PA, which is why this blog has been very light lately. I did not have any shoofly this time around. Nonetheless I ate very well and brought home two pies–black raspberry and pecan. They were made by Stoltzfus Bake Shop.

        Eerily, I told my brother I had bought 2 pies, and somehow he was able to name both flavors in order. We’re not twins or anything. I guess he just knows my tastes.

        1. Erin

          Visiting Lancaster County is on my Bucket List!

          Enjoy those pies!

    46. Dee LeMay

      Looking For Recipe

      When I was a teenager in Ohio in the 50’s I had a friend whose family made a chocolate mousse like dessert with melted german chocolate, egg yolks & whipped egg whites layered over pieces of angel food cake. Does anyone have this recipe? I have seen similar recipes in Amish cookbooks, although they weren’t Amish but maybe German descent?

    47. Wesley Hornberger

      Best Amish dessert

      The best (or at least one of the best) Amish dessert could quite possibly be Cottage Pie. Since pie are so good ( just ask any Yoder in my wife’s clan), you could also add oatmeal pie, raisin pie, pear pie, and maybe Bob Andy pie. My wife’s family has a saying, “There are only two kinds of pie. Hot pie and cold pie.” Note for those who don’t like shoe-fly: there may be one you like. They can go from too sweet to just right. Even “wet bottom “ can go from too wet to just right, to too dry. The gooey sweet part can be made from various different syrups like King syrup, Golden Barrel syrup, or even maple syrup. I may push one aside but devour another.

    48. Wesley Hornberger

      Best Amish dessert

      The best (or at least one of the best) Amish dessert could quite possibly be Cottage Pie. Since pie are so good ( just ask any Yoder in my wife’s clan), you could also add oatmeal pie, raisin pie, pear pie, and maybe Bob Andy pie.