Pennsylvania Dutch Shoofly Pie

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When considering Pennsylvania Dutch cooking and baking, one particular pie stands above the rest. I guess you could say it “takes the cake.” 🙂 Pennsylvania Dutch shoofly pie has been and is still a favorite among the Amish and Mennonite communities here in Lancaster County. This sweet, sticky pie is a must-try for any pie enthusiasts out there.

Pennsylvania Dutch Shoofly Pie made with Golden Barrel ingredients

There are more than a couple versions of this pie in Lancaster County cookbooks and on recipe boxes. Actually I had been wanting to make a shoofly pie for quite some time now, but when I started researching it, I was quickly overwhelmed with all the different varieties of this Lancaster County staple. Everyone here seems to make it slightly differently, but all swear their’s is the best. 😉 Some have spices in it, while others let the molasses speak for itself. Some recipes use baking molasses while others, table syrup. This particular recipe was adapted from an Amish community cookbook out of Greenville, PA, which is located in the northwest region of the state and uses both baking molasses, corn syrup, and brown sugar to achieve its sweetness.

Pennsylvania Dutch Shoofly Pie

The two main types of shoofly pie are wet-bottom and dry-bottom. I don’t think I’ve ever had a dry-bottom one; it’s usually the wet-bottoms that are prevalent in our area. The difference is that dry-bottom is more cake-like throughout whereas wet-bottom has a cake-like top, finished with a syrupy bottom layer. If you’re a fan of molasses-type desserts, you’re gonna love shoofly pie. It’s an easy recipe, but a different one. Just when you think, “This couldn’t possibly be right!” it is, so don’t fret. Just follow the instructions and you’ll be fine.

Golden Barrel Ingredients

For the crumb topping, I used Golden Barrel Coconut Oil in place of the shortening that was called for in the original recipe. Just make sure your coconut oil is in a solid state. Coconut oil has a melting point of 76 degrees, so if it’s a warm day, stick the container in the refrigerator for a few minutes before measuring it out. You’ll cut-in the oil just like you would a normal crumb topping, until it’s about pea-sized in shape.

Making the Crumbs

Crumbs on Pennsylvania Dutch Shoofly Pie
Ooey, gooey with a crunch topping. That’s what this pie’s all about!
Wet Bottom Pennsylvania Dutch Shoofly Pie

Pennsylvania Dutch Shoofly Pie

The Amish and Mennonites were and still are very frugal people, so this Pennsylvania Dutch shoofly pie was created out of everyday food staples that were readily available. From what I’ve read, they used to eat this pie for breakfast along with a cup of coffee. Now that’s a sweet way to start the day if you ask me!

Wet Bottom Pennsylvania Dutch Shoofly Pie

Shoofly Pie
Print Recipe
Cakey, crumby, gooey...this pie has all the texture and flavor associated with a long-lasting Lancaster County tradition.
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 5 min
Cook Time
40
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 5 min
Cook Time
40
Shoofly Pie
Print Recipe
Cakey, crumby, gooey...this pie has all the texture and flavor associated with a long-lasting Lancaster County tradition.
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 5 min
Cook Time
40
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 5 min
Cook Time
40
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together the crumb topping ingredients: flour, brown sugar, and coconut oil until pea-sized crumbs form. Set aside.
  2. Mix together molasses, corn syrup, brown sugar and eggs until smooth.
  3. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Slowly pour into the molasses mixture and stir until combined. Mix will be runny.
  4. Pour half of syrup into an unbaked pie shell, top with half of crumb mixture, then rest of syrup, finishing with crumbs on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then at 350 for 40-50 minutes until set. Best served warm or cold with milk.
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Golden Barrel Ingredients and Pennsylvania Dutch Shoofly Pie

14 thoughts on "Pennsylvania Dutch Shoofly Pie"

  1. Jennifer Kemper says:

    To get a dry shoo fly pie, I put 1/2 of the crumb mixture on the bottom of the pie, then I mix 1/2 of the crumb mixture into the liquid mixture and pour over. Not gooey at all, but delicious.

  2. Thanks so much for recipe which I will try as it’s different than one I have. cjones

    1. You’re welcome, Carol! Hope you enjoy!

  3. Jennifer Nicole Glorioso says:

    May I use this recipe for a class assignment I am doing for my CNM/WHNP graduate program? I am presenting on the child birth and the Amish culture and would love to use this recipe in our Georgetown Cookbook we are creating!

    1. Mitch Hertzler says:

      Sure, you are free to use this recipe as long as proper credit is given. Thanks for asking.

  4. I can’t believe I grew up in an area with lots of Amish and I’ve never tried this pie! Does this particular recipe taste like genuine Amish shoo-fly pie? Since I’ve never had the pie before, I don’t know what taste to “look for” when I eat it. Thanks!

    1. Mitch Hertzler says:

      Yes, it should taste just like the pie you would get here in Lancaster County. This one has a gooey bottom. Some shoo-fly pies have a drier bottom so its a matter of preference. I prefer the gooey bottom. There really isn’t any other pie to compare it to as its pretty unique. Give it a try!

  5. Denise J Trujillo says:

    Can I substitute the coconut oil with shortening?

    1. Jessica Yanis says:

      I have used shorting in the past but you can also use butter.. I like the taste of the butter in the crumb.

  6. robert says:

    years ago i got a pie at an amish farmers market it had the molasse cake and crumble top but the wet bottom was black and tasted more like chocolate have you ever had one like that and do you know the reciepe for that shoe fly pie version

    1. Sounds like you had a chocolate shoofly pie. 🙂

  7. This is NOT “PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH SHOOFLY PIE”.
    Shoofly was developed Pennsylvania Dutch in the 1880s.

    They did not have coconut oil or corn syrup.

    I am surprised that you would bastardize a recipe with these ingredients.
    There are multiple recipes on the web that use the correct ingredients.

    If you want to modify a recipe with incorrect ingredients do not call it by the original name.

    I am surprised that you would be dishonest and publish the dishonesty on the web for all to see.

    1. Mitch Hertzler says:

      Hi, it’s pretty obvious that you are passionate about shoofly pie. You may be correct that the original recipe may not have used coconut oil or corn syrup but there are many variations of shoofly pie today and most of them actually do include corn syrup in the form of table syrup. Some make it with straight molasses or some use corn syrup/table syrup. The majority of Pennsylvania Dutch pie makers in Lancaster County use table syrup. We know this because we have been supplying this ingredient to many of them for over 40 years. Regardless, the author of this post does not claim that it is the exact original recipe made by early Pennsylvania settlers. In fact, she clearly points out that there are many different varieties found in Lancaster County cookbooks and this one was an adaptation. There was no dishonesty involved.

  8. Sally Stoner says:

    Why is the old fashion barrel molasses taste so strong.Does not have the same taste

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