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Amish Funeral Cake and Funeral Pie Recipes

Amish boys

Amish boys

How this hub came to be

This hub came to be because of a question that GarnetBird asked me in the comment section of my Amish Recipes and Home Remedies hub. She had wanted to know if I knew where she could get the recipe for the Amish Funeral Cake, that and if I knew if it was made using raisins. Well GarnetBird, here is the answer to both.

I told her I thought it was made with raisins and I was wrong. The Amish Funeral Pie is made with raisins and the cake is generally not made with raisins. I thought I would include both the funeral cake and pie recipe and let her and everyone choose their favorite. While I was at it I included an Amish pie crust recipe. Enjoy.



Amish Funeral Cake


1 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 cup dark brown sugar, packed

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 cups buttermilk


Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9" by 13" baking pan.

In bowl, cream butter with both sugars for 3 minutes.

Add vanilla extract, blending well.

Mix flour and salt in sepeerate bowl.  Add a little of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stirring well until well blended.

Stir in a little of the buttermilk.  Alternately add flou and buttermilk until all is gone. 

When well blended pour into prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes or until top springs back when lightly tounched in the center.

Top with brown sugar topping.

Change oven setting to broil and place topped cake 8" from broiler heat.

Broil 3 minutes or until topping is brown and bubbly. 

Cool on rack.

Brown Sugar Topping


7 tbsp melted butter

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Blend together and spread on top of cake.  Broil 3 minutes.  Cool on rack.

Traditional Funeral Pie

Traditional Funeral Pie

Amish Funeral Pie


2 cups raisins

2 cups water

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

3 tbsp cornstarch

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp allspice

pinch of salt

1 tbsp cider vinegar

3 tbsp unsalted butter


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line pie pan with half of the pastry and chill.

Place raisins and 2/3 cups water in saucepan and heat over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Combine both sugars , cornstarch, spices and salt in a bowl.  Add remaining water slowly constantly stirring.  Add this mixture to raisins that you are heating.  Cook and stir mixture until it begins to bubble.  Add vinegar and butter and heat until butter is melted.  Cool untiljust warm.

Pour into chilled prepared shell and top with second crust.  Bake 25 minutes or until golden.  Cool.

Amish Pie Dough


2 1/4 cups flour

2/3 cups shortening

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup cold water


Combine flour and salt in mixing bowl.

Cut shortening into flour using two knives until particles are pea sized.

Add water gradually, sprinkling 1 tbsp at a time over mixture.

Toss lightly with a fork until all particles of flour has been dampened.

Roll dough into a round ball, handling as little as possible.

Roll our on a lightly floured board into a circle 1/8" thick and 1 " larger than the pie pan.

Amish family

Amish family

What is a Funeral Cake or Pie

Now that we know how to make a funeral cake and pie it is time to learn when they are used and why they are made.

First of all, the funeral cake came to us from Europe. It was used there to honor the recently deceased and to offer a little sustenance to the people who attended the funeral.

When it came to America, we used it precisely the same one. As a gesture of respect, in a way, for the deceased. It began with the Catholic religion and was passed on to the Protestants. It is a custom that is rarely followed anymore.

Occasionally a raisin pie is used by the Pennsylvania Dutch . It is sometimes served after a funeral. Mourners as a gift for the family of the deceased. This is a tradition imported to the states from Germany.

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© 2010 Susan Hazelton


Susan Hazelton (author) from Sunny Florida on June 22, 2019:

It is correct. The yeast and fermentation of the batter is what makes the cakes rise. Good luck. Let me know how it turned out.

Janie on June 09, 2019:

I dont see sny baking powder or baking soda in this recipe. Is this correct? Thank you, i want to try

this recipe.

Susan Hazelton (author) from Sunny Florida on September 05, 2012:

vespawoolf, I image it would be quite tasty. Let me know.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on September 04, 2012:

I wonder how it would be with craisins instead of raisins?

Susan Hazelton (author) from Sunny Florida on September 04, 2012:

vespawoolf, It's amazing how good it is. When I lived up north we used to live in an area that had a lot of Amish people. They were kindest people I ever met.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on September 02, 2012:

This one caught my eye as my grandmother always takes me to Amish country when we head back to the Midwest. Amish cooking is so simple, natural and delicious! I may try this someday. I like the fact that it stays fresh for a couple of days after baking. What a nice way to answer a question! : )

Susan Hazelton (author) from Sunny Florida on June 27, 2012:

Victoria Lynn, the furneral pie and cake was the primary choice o cake and pie to make for the funeral dinner following the funeral. The reason it was chosen was because you could bake it a day or two before you needed it and it didn't need refrigeration. It lasted better than other types of pies and cakes. Because of it being served so often at funeral dinners people began to call it funeral pie and funeral cake and the name stuck.

Victoria Lynn from Arkansas, USA on June 27, 2012:

Interesting. I'd like to know more history about the Amish funeral pie and cakes. Neat hub. Voted up!

Susan Hazelton (author) from Sunny Florida on April 21, 2011:

Christine, I have hear of the Friendship cake. It is basically the same as a Funeral cake. The stater mix is made the same way. I'm pretty sure they are the same thing just different names from different regions.

ChristineVianello from Philadelphia on April 21, 2011:

I never heard of this cake before. Reminds me of when I was younger me and my mother and grandfather use to drive to Lancaster to see the Amish and eat at their resturants. They do have delicious food! Ever hear of friendship cake? Very tasty...

Susan Hazelton (author) from Sunny Florida on September 18, 2010:

Thanks for stopping by Granny and thanks for the input.

Granny's House from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time on September 18, 2010:

Amish recipes are so easy because you will have the ingredients right at home. Thanks for the recipe

Susan Hazelton (author) from Sunny Florida on August 02, 2010:

Tony, I'm glad you got the grill/broil thing sorted out. I was all set to explain when I read that you already knew. lol. Thanks for visiting - the recipes are good - I especially like the funeral cake. You'll have to try it.

Tony McGregor from South Africa on August 02, 2010:

These look so good and so different. Thanks so much for sharing them. I would like a clarification of the term "broil" though. Is that the same as what we call the oven setting "grill" - OK Ihave just Googled it and found that "In the United States and Canada, when the heat source for grilling comes from above, grilling is termed broiling." So now I've learned another new thing - thanks!

Thanks again

Love and peace


Susan Hazelton (author) from Sunny Florida on August 01, 2010:

They are great habee. You can cook them any old time you want to.

Holle Abee from Georgia on August 01, 2010:

These sound great! I don't have to wait for a funeral to bake them, do I?? lol

Susan Hazelton (author) from Sunny Florida on July 31, 2010:

I didn't hear about the funeral cake and pie until I lived close to the Amish. They really are quite tasty. Thanks, sarovai for your comment.

sarovai on July 31, 2010:

This is the first time I am hearing about the funeral cake. Thank u for sharing the informational hub about funeral cake.

Susan Hazelton (author) from Sunny Florida on July 30, 2010:

Thanks Specialk. I'll be waiting to hear how you like it. It's nice to hear from you.

Karen Metz from Michigan on July 30, 2010:

I'm not much of a cake eater, but I like to bake them. The funeral cake sounds good! I will let you know how it turns out when I get the chance to bake it.

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