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Amish Friendship Cake Starter and Recipes

Amish family

Amish family

What is an Amish Friendship Cake?

An Amish Friendship cake is a cake or bread that is made from a sour dough starter. The sour dough starter can be used as the base for many different kinds of yeast-based breads and cakes. It is meant to be shared with friends hence the name Friendship Cake. The Amish Friendship Cake and its starter recipes have been around for decades. Although it is named for the Amish no one appears to know if it started with them. The true Amish Bread is a sourdough bread that is passed around to the sick and needy. It is also known as "The Mother Bread".

I have included 2 separate sour dough starter recipes, a recipe for friendship cake that can be used with either starter recipe, and 1 sour dough recipe to be used in combination with the cake bread recipe. One of the cake mix recipes is a tube or bundt cake recipe. The other one is a loaf cake recipe. Hope you enjoy them. Happy Cooking!

Amish women and girls

Amish women and girls

Care Tips For Your Starter Dough

  •  If your water at home contains chlorine, use distilled water or tap water that you've allowed to sit for 24 hours.
  • Despite what the recipes say, your sour dough starter will live in your refrigerator.  The bottom sel is the best place for it.  Putting it in the refrigerator will slow down the fermenting allowing you to keep it longer before using. 
  • Use only glass, glazed ceramic, or crockery to hold your starter.  Do not use metal or plastic. 
  • Every so often, dump your starter into a temporary container while you wah the permanent container in hot, soapy water.  It is important to keep your container clean.  The container should be loosely covered.  Do not cover your container tightly.
  • Even if you don't use your starter right away and store it in the fridge you still need to feed it.  You will need to feed it avery two weeks or so.  To feed it add 1 cup water and 1 cup flour and stir.  When starter is smooth pour 1 cup down the drain. 
  • A healthy starter will develop a yellowish liquid on its surface.  This liquid sontains between 12 to 14 percent alcohol.  Never fear, the alcohol dissapates while baking.
Amish boys

Amish boys

Sour Dough Starter Without Yeast


1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 cup milk


Day 1  -  Stir together until smooth.  Do not refrigerate.

Day 2  -  Stir

Day 3  -  Stir

Day 4  -  Stir

Day 5  -  Add:  1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk.  Stir

Day 6  -  Stir

Day 7  -  Stir

Day 8  -  Stir

Day 9  -  Stir

Scroll to Continue

Day 10  -  Stir.  Add:  1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk.  Stir.  Your starter dough is ready to be separated, shared with a friend,  and used in cake recipes.

Sour Dough Starter With Yeast


1 pkg active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm water

1 1/2 cup lukewarm water

2 cups sifted flour

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar


Day 1 - Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Stir in 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, flour, salt, and sugar. Beat until smooth.

Day 2 - Let stand uncovered at room temperature stirring 2 to 3 times daily.

Day 3 - Stir

Day 4 - Stir

Day 5 - Stir

Day 6 - Stir

Day 7 - Stir

Day 8 - Stir

Day 9 - Stir

Day 10 - Stir. Pour out 1 cup of the starter to use for cake. When ready, mixture should have a yesty but not sour smell. To continue starter dough, add to the leftover starter, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup flour, and 1 tbsp sugar. Let stand until bubbly and well fermented, at least 1 day. Store in fridge, covered. Use in 10 days to begin another starter mixture.

Amish buggy

Amish buggy

Amish Friendship Cake

 This recipe can be used with either the starter recipe made without yeast or the starter recipes made with yeast.


1 1/3 cup starter

2/3 cups vegetable oil

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp salt

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 cup chopped nuts

1 cup chopped apple

1 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl mix starter with oil, baking soda, cinnamon, sugar, eggs, salt, flour and baking powder.  Beat until smooth. 

Fold in nuts, apples, and raisins.

Grease and flour a bundt pan or tube pan.

Bake for 50 minutes.

Amish Friendship Cake Bread



2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

2 cups milk


Day 1  -  Stir together all ingredients until smooth.

Day 2  -  Stir

Day 3  -  Stir

Day 4  -  Stir

Day 5  -  Transfer starter into a larger container and add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk.  Stir until smooth.

Day 6  -  Stir

Day 7  -  Stir

Day 8  -  Stir

Day 9  -  Stir

Day 10  -  Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk, and 1 cup sugar.  Put 1 cup starter in separate container and set aside for cake bread recipe.  Divide rest of starter into 1 cup amounts and place into containers.  Keep one for yourself to start another starter dough and give the rest to friends and relatives.

Cake Bread


1 cup starter dough

2/3 cups oil

1 cup sugar

2 cups flour

3 eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup applesauce


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Combine all ingredients and blend well.

Spray two loaf pands with spray cooking oil and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes.

Cool 10 minutes in pans.

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Day 10, baking day for the dough.

Day 10, baking day for the dough.

© 2010 Susan Hazelton


cyra on February 01, 2020:

I have made the Amish friendship bread they are cinnamon and sell really well. Thanks for the Amish cake recipe

cajun babe on November 26, 2013:

the friendship cake starter is from an Amish woman that I have its different than yers but the lady passed away so don't no where to go from here mabey you can find out for me or know how to finish . Here is what I have mix: 1 pkg dry yeast ,1 1/2 cups of water then add 2 1/2 cups sugar, 1large can (29 oz ) sliced peaches cut into small pieces . stir only with wooden spoon. stir all ingredients into a gallon glass jar an cover loosely stir at random every 2 or 3 days until the 10 th day. I have nothing else

Susan Hazelton (author) from Northern New York on June 15, 2012:

SantaCruz, when you use starter dough you get a baked good that is unbelievably good. What a wonderful gift your friend gave you.

SantaCruz from Santa Cruz, CA on June 14, 2012:

Thank you for posting these recipes! A girlfriend gave me starter dough right before she moved away. It makes a really personal & useful gift.

Susan Hazelton (author) from Northern New York on May 25, 2012:

mary615, I would love to be linked to your hub. Thank you. I'm on my away to view yours.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on May 24, 2012:

I really enjoyed reading this Hub. I have never made the cake; only the Friendship Bread. I keep the starter in my freezer, I would never be without any. May I link this Hub into mine about how I made 3,000 baking and selling Amish Friendship Bread? I voted this Hub UP etc.etc. Thanking you in advance, Mary.

Susan Hazelton (author) from Northern New York on March 16, 2012:

hecate-horus, It is delicious. You'll love it.

hecate-horus from Rowland Woods on March 11, 2012:

My husband has been asking for Amish Friendship bread. Thanks for the recipe!

Susan Hazelton (author) from Northern New York on July 26, 2011:

acaetnna, I've tried it, it makes a delicious cake.

acaetnna from Guildford on July 25, 2011:

Wow this so so awesome. Bookmarking and definitely giving it a go! Thank you so much for sharing.

Susan Hazelton (author) from Northern New York on February 26, 2011:

toknowinfo, let me know how you like them. I recently met someone who has a starter recipe that was started just over 5 years ago.

toknowinfo on February 25, 2011:

Thanks for sharing your recipes. I can't wait to try them out. They sound delicious. Rated up and useful.

Susan Hazelton (author) from Northern New York on August 10, 2010:

Thanks, frogyfish. The cake recipe is delicious. Thanks for visiting.

frogyfish from Central United States of America on August 08, 2010:

Thanks for sharing all the details of these Amish recipes. Your Cake Bread sounds best of all to start with for me...I don't do a lot of baking anymore, but get the urge once in a while. I do have a distant Amish heritage but have never explored that history. I know of Amish people in both FL and OK...they are really industrious and gentle people. Glad to become a fan as will have to be back and read LOTS more!

Susan Hazelton (author) from Northern New York on August 08, 2010:

Thanks Joni. I do what I can. Actually the cakes are both delicious.

Joni Douglas on August 08, 2010:

I haven't tried these but they sound yummy. You surely did make them easy to follow.

Susan Hazelton (author) from Northern New York on August 07, 2010:

Pamela, I appreciate your comments. I try to make recipes clear, it's awful getting to a crucial part of the recipe and either have it missing or vague. Its good to know I' making it clear.

Susan Hazelton (author) from Northern New York on August 07, 2010:

Thanks Cheri. It's always nice when someone validates the good taste of a recipe you put on a hub. Thanks for dropping in.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on August 07, 2010:

I used the recipe about twenty years ago and haven't thought of it in a long time. This is a good hub with the procedure so clearly explained.

Cheri Schultz from Midwest on August 07, 2010:

I have tried this recipe before and it is outstanding!!! A great hub for anyone who has never tried this recipe!!

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