The Best Amish Friendship Bread + Recipe Variations

This Amish Friendship Bread recipe is a fun way to share something yummy with friends. Learn how to make a starter, how to pass along to friends and print a recipe to share with the starter.

More delicious recipes to try: Basic Crepes RecipeSnickerdoodle French Toast, and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins.

Why Amish Friendship Bread is the Best

Sweet quick bread recipes are always a favorite around our house. We love delicious bread recipes, like banana bread, pumpkin bread, and Amish Friendship Bread. I remember my mom receiving a bag with the bread start. As a kid I loved mixing the start each day in the bag. As the days pass, adding a couple of ingredients grows the start so that it is enough to share with friends a bag of starter for sweet bread. It is like sharing on online, only better because, it is something real and it tastes delicious!

This bread can be switched up to try in different flavors. Chocolate, vanilla, even butterscotch. Experiment with any flavors of instant pudding you can find. My favorite way to make it is with a vanilla pudding mix, but chocolate is so good too. The touch of cinnamon and sugar tops of the amish friendship bread perfectly. And I’ve shared a bunch of variations below the recipe to experiment with!

Slice up some deliciousness to share with this Awesome Amish Friendship Bread and starter at thebensonstreet.com

The separate batches of the starter batter are great to share with friends, or do the work for them and wrap up a fresh loaf of bread with some baker’s twine to make their day. If sharing the Amish Friendship Bread start be sure to print off the directions below to go along with the starter.

Amish Friendship Bread Starter Recipe

Mix the following ingredients to make your own starter in a gallon sized bag:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour

You could mix in a small bowl or plastic container, but it is easier to just mix it right in a the bag. It will also allow you to easily mix and mush the starter on the next day and throughout the schedule.

Daily Starter Instructions

Here are the instructions for the 10-day process to prep the starter for baking. Place the starter in a gallon sized ziplock bag and write the following on it (or just print out the printable below):

  • Day One: This is the day you receive bread start. Do nothing.
  • Day Two: Mush the bag.
  • Day Three: Mush the bag.
  • Day Four: Mush the bag.
  • Day Five: Mush the bag.
  • Day Six: Mix 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk and 1 cup sugar in a bowl. Add to bag.
  • Day Seven: Mush the bag
  • Day Eight: Mush the bag.
  • Day Nine: Mush the bag.
  • Day Ten: Combine in a large or medium bowl: batter, 1 cup of milk, 1 cup flour, and 1 cup of sugar. Stir and put 1 cup of starter in four gallon sized bags. Keep one for yourself and give the recipe and one starter bag to three friends with the remaining batter.

Other starter tips: Do not use a metal spoon or bowl for mixing, be sure to use a wooden spoon. Do not refrigerate, keep at room temperature. If air gets into the ziploc bag, let it out. It is normal for the batter to rise, bubble and ferment.

Grab the kids and have them help as you make your Amish Friendship Bread. Have them mush to bag, or help add ingredients. Grease loaf pans and let them sprinkle with a cinnamon sugar mixture.  Once they try it, they will be excited to help make it!

Now go on and share this amish friendship bread with all your friends. They deserve it. Plus, check out the printable recipe amish bread recipe below! It is easy to print it off and send it to your friends!

Make your own Friendship Bread Recipe, printable recipe and starter at thebensonstreet.com

Tips for Baking

  • Different ovens bake differently and on different temperatures. You might need to experiment to get the right temperature and length of baking time. Try baking at 325°F to 350°F for anywhere from 45 to 75 minutes.
  • Baking time also depends on the size of bread pans used. Mini loaves will take less time than larger loaf pans.
  • Be sure to only fill pans halfway full to avoid spillover.
  • When bread is finished a toothpick inserted should come out clean.
  • When mixing mix until just combined, do not over mix. This can cause the bread to sink in the middle.
  • Bread and starts can be frozen. Thaw completely before serving or baking.
  • When adding fruits or other mix ins as listed in the variations, the baking time may need to be increased.

​Frequently Asked Questions about Amish Friendship Bread

Does this recipe require active dry yeast?

It does not. My family has made this recipe for years and we’ve never added yeast, and have had great success with this recipe. It is a tried and true recipe for sure. This is a recipe for quick bread which require no yeast when making.

Can I substitute brown sugar for white sugar?

Yes, you can although the sweetness will be the same, the texture might be a little different.

Can I mix the starter with a metal spoon or in a metal bowl?

No, this will interfere with the fermentation process of the amish friendship starter.  Instead use a plastic or glass bowl when mixing up your bread mix.

What do I do if the bread sinks in the middle?

Bread might not be done baking. Ensure you bake this bread until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, and probably for a few more minutes that you think it needs. Another option is to add more flour to the batter to help even out the ratio of dry ingredients to wet ingredients.

I also recommend using smaller bread pans. This cuts down on the total baking time.

Click here for the download the Recipe Printable To Share:

Recipe and Instructions

To make the bread you will need the following ingredients:

  • oil
  • sugar
  • cinnamon
  • eggs
  • baking powder
  • cold or warm milk
  • baking soda
  • instant pudding
  • flour
  • vanilla
  • salt
  • own starter
  • gallon size plastic bags

Amish Friendship Bread Recipe and how to make a starter via thebensonstreet.com

Amish Friendship Bread Variations

There are so many ways to make this bread your own and to your own unique flavor preferences. Changing up the flavor of pudding, or adding mix ins can change up this recipe for a different taste.

  • Chocolate Chip with Coconut  Bread: Use chocolate pudding and add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of shredded coconut.
  • Almond Cake Bread: Substitute pure almond extract for the vanilla (1 teaspoon). Use white chocolate pudding mix.
  • Orange Chocolate Chip Bread: Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips and orange test to taste. Use vanilla pudding mix.
  • Lemon Poppy Seed Bread: Use two small boxes of lemon pudding mix rather than one large. Add 1/4 cup poppy seeds, 1 teaspoon of lemon extract instead of vanilla and omit cinnamon. Bake for 75 Minutes or until cooked through.
  • Pineapple Lemon Bread: Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of chopped dried pineapple and use lemon pudding mix.
  • Lemon Cranberry: Use lemon pudding mix, 1 teaspoon lemon extract, 3/4 cup dried cranberries.
  • Banana Bread: Use banana cream pudding mix and add 2 mashed bananas. Omit cinnamon. Optional: 1 cup of nuts and/or 1/2 cup to 1 cup chocolate chips.
  • Caramel Apple Bread: Add 1 cup dried apples and 2 small boxes of caramel pudding mix.
  • Macadamia Bread: Add 3/4 cup white chocolate chips, 3/4 cup macadamia nuts and use cheesecake pudding mix.
  • Pineapple, Pistachio, Coconut Pudding Bread: Add 1 cup of drained crushed pineapple, 1 cup shredded coconut and use pistachio pudding mix.

Amish Friendship Bread

How to make a delicious sweet bread with a simple starter that you can share. This is the recipe for how to make the bread on day ten of the starter.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: amish friendship bread, sweet bread
Servings: 2 loaves

Equipment

  • loaf pans

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 5.1 oz pudding mix not sugar free, any flavor
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking sodas
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients in a large or medium bowl with the remaining batter after dividing your starter into four bags.
  • Mix 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 cup sugar.
  • Spray two smaller bread pans with cooking spray.
  • Sprinkle the pans with cinnamon and sugar mixture.
  • Pour batter into pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes.
  • Let stand for 10 minutes before removing from pans.

Notes

Bread Batter Start: Mix 1 cup milk, 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar in a gallon sized plastic bag.
Do not use a metal spoon or bowl for mixing. Do not refrigerate. If air gets into the bag, let it out. It is normal for the batter to rise, bubble and ferment.
Day One: This is the day you receive bread start. Do nothing.
Day Two: Mush the bag. Day Three: Mush the bag.
Day Four: Mush the bag.
Day Five: Mush the bag.
Day Six: Mix 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk and 1 cup sugar in a bowl. Add to bag.
Day Seven: Mush the bag
Day Eight: Mush the bag.
Day Nine: Mush the bag.
Day Ten: Combine in a large bowl: batter, 1 cup milk, 1 cup flour, and 1 cup sugar. Stir and put 1 cup of starter in four gallon sized bags. Keep one for yourself and give this recipe and one starter bag to three friends. Then follow the above recipe to make the bread.

Pin a copy of this recipe for later:

Learn how to make your own start and printable recipe for Amish Friendship Bread Recipe at thebensonstreet.com

FREE PRINTABLE RECIPE to share! Learn how to make your own start and printable recipe for Amish Friendship Bread Recipe at thebensonstreet.com

Yummy Recipe, starter, and printable for Amish Friendship Bread at thebensonstreet.com

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Melanie ~ It Happens In A Blink ~ Friendship Gift Pillow Boxes

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Originally Posted 6.19.2014 // Updated 4.15.2020

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Hi there!

I’m Emily, a mom and wife with a passion for crafting, celebrating holidays, and creating memorable moments. From Idaho to the world, The Benson Street is a treasure trove of easy, fun DIY projects, delightful printables, and delicious recipes. With over a decade of experience in blogging and a love for all things seasonal, I’m here to share my tips, ideas, and occasional mishaps. Join me in adding a dash of joy and creativity to every day! Read more…

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34 Comments

  1. I just baked 2 loaves today! I added a little bit of nutmeg to one, and diced apples to the other. Both wonderful!

    1. Is there a way to made this dough less sweet. It, for me, has a small sour taste and is sweet. Can I add less sugar? Or something else to make it have that sourdough taste

      1. What type of flour and milk do you use. We normally drink 1% but wondering if I need whole milk. Also is the mixture clumpy. I started a mixture but I used all purpose flour and 1%milk when I got ready to mix it it seems clumpy. I haven’t baked it yet.

        1. 1% milk should be fine. All purpose flour is fine too. If it seems lumpy it might be a good idea to sift it before mixing up the bread.

  2. I so wish you would put the pan size on your site. Will it work in a regular 9″x5″ loaf pan, or does it need the smaller pans to cook through? Thank you so much for your help! I can’t wait to try it, but I don’t want to waste 10 days of prep on something that won’t turn out. 🙂

  3. I’m concerned that the recipe will work for the people I give the starter to. When you first start the process you will end up with 2 more cups of starter. Does that make since. My first day because I started it, I have 3 cups of volume. The others will only have 1 cup. Does the recipe need to be altered for the next group to make fewer starter bags to give out?

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  5. Hi. I have gotten this from a friend years ago and did it and loved the concept of how it gets passed onto 4 friends and they pass it on to 4 of their friends, and so on. I was wondering if you would know if this would work the same way with GF flour. My experience with baked GF goods is they mold quicker than regular flour counterparts. But I have a lot of friends who have friends with dietary restrictions. I hope this would work. If not, I can still make it for my family and gift some people at church. Thanks!

  6. I made this tonight and both loaves completely caved in. I took them out of the oven, they both looked good and looked like bread. When they cooled, the bread caved into the loaf pans. Any suggestions? Would adding the ingredients directly into the bag have anything to do with it?

    1. I would test loaves with a toothpick before removing from the oven. If it comes out clean then it would be done, if not cook it for a a few more minutes.

  7. Can you make this bread without the starter?
    Maybe add a cup of Greek yogurt?
    It’s hard to plan ahead and sometimes and I’d like to make it for something special.
    Any suggestions?

  8. Both loaves sunk in the middle using this recipe and I followed it to the letter. Not happy but maybe it was the starter. I followed another recipe that allowed it to be portioned, frozen, thawed and then used. I wont recommend doing this as the results were distrasious

      1. I am getting ready to bake mine but I have 2 cups left. Is that correct? Other recipes I see says you can bake the bread if you don’t have anyone to give it to. Would I use 2 or 1 cups.

  9. This is my favorite recipe! The pudding mix really makes a big difference compared to other recipes I’ve tried (I think Vanilla pudding is the best)

    I also like how you tied it and displayed the finished product! Thanks!