Amish Friendship Bread with Variations

Triple Chocolate

“This is the baker’s version of a chain letter. It started with Carol Oxford, went to Bridget McLaughlin, and then came to myself, Julia Shaw, and Delandy McConnell. The Shacklett Lab ate a lot of friendship bread in the coming months, but it was fun trying different variations. The Pistachio-Coconut-Cherry bread came out particularly well, and is one of my favorites.” – April Ferre

Amish Friendship Bread

Course: Quick Breads


  • 3 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Large (5.1-Ounce) Box Vanilla Instant Pudding


Important Notes

  • – Do not use any type of medal spoon or bowl for mixing
    – Do not refrigerate
    – If any air gets into the bag, let it out.
    – It is normal for the batter to rise, bubble and ferment.

Feeding the Starter

  • Day 1: Receive starter from a friend (or day marked on bag)
    Day 2: Mush the bag.
    Day 3: Mush the bag.
    Day 4: Mush the bag.
    Day 5: Mush the bag.
    Day 6: Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk. Mush the bag.
    Day 7: Mush the bag.
    Day 8: Mush the bag.
    Day 9: Mush the bag.
    Day 10: Follow instructions below:

Baking the Bread

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Pour the entire contents into a non-metal bowl. Add 1 1/2 cup flour, 1 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 1/2 cup milk.
  • Measure out 4 separate batters of 1 cup each into 1-gallon Ziploc bags. Keep a "starter" for yourself and give the other three to friends on the first day. Be certain to tell your friend which day the bag is on when presenting it to them. It is helpful to mark the bag with the start date.
  • To the remaining batter (approx 1 3/4 cup) add first 6 ingredients. Mix well. In separate bowl, combine remaining dry ingredients. Add to batter, mixing just to blend.
  • Grease 2 large loaf pans. In a separate bowl mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Dust the greased pans with half of the mix. Pour batter evenly into the 2 pans and sprinkle remaining sugar mix on top.
  • Bake for approximately 1 hour. Cool until bread loosens from pan evenly (about 10 minutes). Turn out onto cooling rack. Serve warm or cold.
  • If you keep a starter for yourself you will be making bread every 10 days. The bread is very good and makes a great gift. Rumor has it that only the Amish people know how to create the starter, but if you look closely you might be able to find the recipe for yourself.

Variations (all recipes omit cinnamon and vanilla pudding unless otherwise stated):

  • Triple Chocolate: 1 box instant chocolate pudding, 1/4 cup cocoa, 1 cup chocolate chips (milk, semisweet, white, … butterscotch, mint for more variety). Optional: different types of nuts (walnut, almond, pecan, Macadamia, hazelnut).
  • German Chocolate: 1 box instant chocolate pudding, 1/4 cup cocoa, 1 cup chocolate chips, 1 cup coconut, 1 cup pecans.
  • Rocky Road: 1 box instant chocolate pudding, 1/4 cup cocoa, 1 cup chocolate chips, 1 cup mini marshmallows, 1 cup chopped toasted almonds.
  • Lemon Poppy Seed: 1 box instant lemon pudding, 2 Tablespoons poppy seeds.
  • Pistachio-Coconut-Maraschino Cherry: 1 box instant pistachio pudding, 1 cup shredded coconut, 20 Maraschino cherries (halved).
  • Banana-Walnut-Chocolate Chip: 1 box instant banana cream pudding, 1 cup walnuts, 1 cup chocolate chips.
  • Butterscotch Pecan: 1 box instant butterscotch pudding, 1 cup chopped pecans, 1 cup white chocolate chips (optional.)


1 box pudding mix = 1 large box or 2 small boxes. Basic recipe (approximately 5 Cups) can be halved allowing one to try two variations at once.

2009 Recipe – Bridget McLaughlin and Carol Oxford

Related Recipes:
Lemon Poppy Seed