The BEST Shoofly Pie

4.97 from 52 votes

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Shoofly Pie is part of my Amish and Mennonite roots. Indeed, sometimes I think that homemade pie recipes run through my veins like they’re part of my DNA.

Today, I’m honored to share an easy and delicious slice of my heritage with you. This is the food I grew up with, and it’s always been a part of my life.

You can make this old-fashioned shoofly pie in under an hour, and today, I will show you how to do it, step-by-step. You’re going to love this Amish dessert recipe!

A slice of shooflhy pie on a plate.
This is one of our many easy Amish recipes.

Featured Comment: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ “Never tasted or made Shoo Fly Pie before — it was a surprise hit!Made it the day before we needed it — added 5 minutes at 350, then shut the oven off and left it in another 7 minutes. Perfect consistency.” -Ifapaperheart (more comments)

Jump to:

What is shoofly pie?

This recipe for shoofly pie first came about as a molasses cake that was a popular breakfast item among the Pennsylvania Dutch, sometime after the civil war. There were no eggs used in the original recipe and so historians think it was first made in the wintertime when the chickens were not laying eggs. Back then there was no crust involved either.

A crust was eventually added to the recipe to make it easier to eat, and the above piece of heaven is now known as Shoofly pie. In the Pennsylvania Dutch language, this is known as Melassich Riwwelboi or Melassichriwwelkuche. This was also once known as Granger Pie but you’ll call it simply delicious.

Overhead view of a shoofly pie with a crumb topping.
This started as a molasses cake sometime in the late 1800s.

This is the food I was raised on. My mom would make these homemade pie recipes almost every single day, back on the farm.

I know that if my DNA was analyzed, strands of Fasnacht, Crusty Bread, and similar Amish recipes would all be found. Along with crumbs from this old-fashioned dessert.

What’s in shoofly pie?

Adding ingredients for a homemade pie.


Molasses is the main ingredient in shoofly pie. The age-old question is light or dark? Hard-core molasses fans might even opt for the blackstrap molasses. Many bakers use a combination of light and dark varieties.

  • Light molasses is the sweetest form and is often used in molasses cookies.
  • Dark molasses is made after a second boiling. It is richer and not as sweet as the light variety. You’ll use this kind of molasses for making the best gingerbread.
  • Blackstrap molasses is the darkest, most bitter, and highest in nutrients. I don’t recommend using blackstrap in this molasses pie.

No Amish baker worth their salt would use a store-bought crust. The good news, if you are reading this, then chances are very high that you are not Amish. Therefore, you are off the hook!

Take the easy way and pick up a pie shell from the grocery store. It will be our little secret!

If you want to know how to make a pie crust from scratch, we are more than happy to show you how it’s done!

Variations: dry-bottom vs. wet-bottom

Dry-bottom shoofly pie comes from mixing the crumbs in the batter before baking.

This gives the dessert a more cake-like consistency, making it easier to eat without a crust. Back in the old days, it was eaten for breakfast with a mug of strong black coffee.

Wet-bottom shoofly pie is what we are showing you how to make today, and the crumbs are sprinkled on top of the filling, giving each slice a more custard-like consistency.

How to make shoofly pie

Start by making your crust or picking one up from the grocery store. Then, it’s time to get down to the business of making a homemade Amish recipe!

Start with the Crumb Topping

Adding dry ingredients to a mixing bowl.
  1. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar. Pro Baking Tip: Use dark brown sugar for a deeper and more caramel-like flavor to this Amish recipe.
  2. Mix in the cinnamon and nutmeg and a pinch of salt.
  3. Use a pastry cutter or table fork and cut in some cold butter.
  4. The crumb topping should have a cornmeal consistency when it is finished.

Make the filling

To make the filling for shoofly pie, you’ll combine molasses, water, and baking soda and pour it into the pastry shell. I find that a deep dish pie shell works best for this recipe. You can see how we do this in steps 1 and 2 below,.

Adding molasses and water to a mixing bowl and a crumb topping on a pie.

Then, add the crumb topping to the top of the unbaked dessert.

When adding the crumb topping to this Amish recipe, you can leave it on top for more custardy wet-bottom shoofly pie, or mix it in a bit and end up with a more cake-like, dry-bottom version.

A serving of pie on a plate.
This bakes for about 35 minutes.

You’ll bake this for 15 minutes at 450° F and then lower the oven temperature to 350° and then continue baking for another 20 minutes.

Common questions

Why is this called shoofly pie?

The sticky and sweet nature of molasses was known to be a magnet of flies. Can you blame them? “Shooing” them away eventually let to the modern name of this Amish recipe.

Does this need to be refrigerated?

No, you can safely leave out for five days. Be sure and cover it with a towel though. Otherwise, you may be saying, “Shoo fly!”

What does shoofly pie taste like?

This has a taste of molasses combined with sweet crumb, making it excellent as a dessert or breakfast treat.

What state is known for shoofly pie?

Pennsylvania, which is where Lancaster county is located, is the state where this is best known.

My top 3 tips for making shoofly pie

Tip 1: Use a deep dish pie shell when baking it.

This is for a couple of reasons:

  • Ample space for the filling: This shoofly pie has a generous molasses filling that tends to rise and bubble during baking. A deep-dish pie plate provides enough room for the filling to expand without overflowing, ensuring that the pie maintains its shape and doesn’t create a mess in the oven.
  • Even heat distribution: A deep-dish pie plate allows for more even heat distribution during baking. The depth of the plate helps to distribute the heat more evenly throughout the pie, resulting in a uniformly baked crust and filling

Tip 2: Use high-quality molasses.

Using high-quality molasses is crucial for a delicious shoofly pie because it is the key ingredient that gives the pie its distinct flavor. Look for unsulfured molasses made from the first boiling of the sugarcane juice to ensure a rich, robust taste.

Tip 3: Let the pie cool completely before serving.

Allowing the shoofly pie to cool completely after baking is essential to get the desired consistency and prevent the filling from being too runny.

This cooling period allows the molasses to set, resulting in a firm and sliceable pie that can be enjoyed with ease. Naturally, for obvious reasons, this is the hardest tip to follow!

The shoofly pie song

Finally, I leave you with a little bit of fun to enjoy with this homemade dessert.

The shoo fly pie song was made popular by Dinah Shore, take a listen and for goodness sakes, try making this old-fashioned dessert!

Many of these recipes come from The Mennonite Community Cookbook

This post is lovingly dedicated to my beautiful mom, Sarah Jantzi Zehr. She was raised in the Amish-Mennonite faith and made hundreds if not thousands of pies throughout her life. I’m not sure if she ever used a recipe.

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The BEST Shoo-Fly Pie

4.97 from 52 votes
This recipe comes from the Pennsylvania Dutch and has since become a classic Amish recipe. Learn how to make a shoofly pie at home and in under an hour. Adapted from the New York Times.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Yield: 8


  • 1 pie crust, rolled flat and placed in a 9-inch pie plate.
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1.5 cup brown sugar, dark
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup butter, cold and unsalted
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup water, boiling
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda


  • Preheat oven to 450° F. Prepare pie crust from scratch or use a store-bought one.

Make the Crumb Topping

  • Combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg in a bowl, add a pinch of salt and mix well. Use a fork or pastry cutter work in the butter, until you have a pebbly consistency.

Make the Filling

  • Add the molasses and water along with baking soda, all into a mixing bowl and combine well. Pour the mixture into a prepared pie shell. Evenly sprinkle the crumb topping on top.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350° and bake for 20 more minutes. The shoo-fly pie is done when it is set and firm.


Expert Tips: for Making this Shoofly Pie Recipe:
  • Testing Doneness: While baking, keep an eye on your pie. The filling should puff up a bit and the crust should turn golden brown. To check if the pie is done, insert a knife into the filling – if it comes out relatively clean, the pie is ready.
  • Patience is Key: One of the main reasons pies don’t set is because they haven’t been allowed enough time to cool and set up. For best results, let your pie cool completely at room temperature. It can be tough to wait, but this step is crucial for a well-set pie.
  • Storing the Pie: Store your shoofly pie properly to maintain its taste and texture. If you plan on eating it within two days, cover the pie loosely with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature. If you need to store it for a longer period, cover it well and refrigerate it. The pie should last up to one week in the fridge.
  • Serving: Serve the pie at room temperature, as this allows the flavors to come through best. Shoofly pie is often enjoyed with a cup of coffee or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra treat.


Calories: 483kcal, Carbohydrates: 92g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 15mg, Sodium: 246mg, Potassium: 563mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 63g, Vitamin A: 175IU, Calcium: 112mg, Iron: 3.5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Amish, Mennonite
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This has been updated from the original post of April 24, 2019.

Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

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4.97 from 52 votes (35 ratings without comment)

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    1. Yes, sorghum can be used instead of molasses in Shoofly pie. Sorghum syrup will give the pie a similar sweetness and moisture, but it will also add a distinct, slightly different flavor compared to molasses. Sorghum is often lighter and less bitter than molasses, with a hint of sourness, which can add an interesting twist to the traditional flavor profile of the pie. If you’re looking to experiment or prefer sorghum’s flavor, it can be a great substitute in this recipe.

  1. 4 stars
    Is it possible to bake the pie at 350 instead of the initial 450° to prevent burning the crust and crumbly top?

    1. Hi Randy, If burning the crust is your concern, I would start this out at 400° and work my way down to 350° as directed in the recipe. Hope this turns out great for you!

  2. 5 stars
    Never tasted or made Shoo Fly Pie before — it was a surprise hit!
    We love gingerbread cookies and this pie is like the soft creamy version of them.
    I used a 10″ plate so had to increase the amounts, but it was very forgiving of my estimates.
    Made it the day before we needed it — added 5 minutes at 350, then shut the oven off and left it in another 7 minutes. Perfect consistency. Did spill over a bit, but most of my pies do anyway, so spills were caught on an aluminum foil covered cookie sheet placed on the rack below.

    1. Thanks for the awesome comments! Based on your results, sounds like you might have some Amish in you….? 🙂

  3. Hi Beth,
    I have made a molasses cake for years.
    9×13. Very slight difference.
    4 cups flour
    2 cups regular sugar(guess you could use brown sugar)
    2 sticks butter
    Mix all that together in a bowl & set 3/4 cup aside for topping.
    In another bowl:
    6oz molasses
    1 tablespoon baking soda
    2 cups boiling water.
    Pour liquid into dry, mix with wooden spoon & pour into 9×13
    350 degrees -35 minutes

  4. I saw the change of mixing the dry ingredients in rather than layering them on top to get a dry shoofly pie. Is that the only change? Does the dry version need a pie crust? I have so many childhood memories of the cake without a pie crust!

  5. My mom used to make this
    Her step mom was Pennsylvania Dutch

    The bottom was chewy cake like but the top was powdery and dry

    I’ve never been able to get this division right

    I enjoyed it when she made it in the 1950s through 1970s

    It’s truly. Southern “delish”!!

    Thanks for sharing great memories!

  6. 5 stars
    Made this for the first time today and couldn’t be happier with it. Was kinda nervous after reading some of the other comments about the filling bubbling out during the early stage of the pie baking, but I used a deep-dish store-bought crust and didn’t encounter any issues, other than having to fight the urge to eat the whole pie in one sitting. The streusel topping is all good and well, but the beauty lies in that molasses filling that takes on an almost cake-like texture and goes quite well with the streusel. I really felt like I was eating two different desserts at once! If you like molasses cookies or gingerbread, that sorta thing, this is right up your alley.