Cinnamon & Sugar Amish Friendship Bread

It has probably been at least ten years since I have made Amish Friendship Bread. I was given a starter from a friend and was not sure what Amish Friendship Bread even was. All I knew was that it took ten days and I had to follow the directions or it would not turn out right. Needless to say, the bread was a-m-a-z-i-n-g!

Amish Friendship Bread has a sweet sugar and cinnamon crust with a tender, cake-like texture. It is something between bread and cake. Due to it being such a process to create the starter, I do not make it very often. The great thing about this bread is if you have extra starters you can always freeze them in ziptop baggies and pull one out when you want to make a loaf.  

Making this bread with your children is also fun as there are several days where you wake up to a bubbly dough that needs to be stirred and two days that you need to add additional ingredients. A very fun project that can be used to teach science and math to littles. Regardless of how you make it...your bread will be a delicious treat!

For this recipe, you will need the following ingredients:


1 package 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm water 110 degrees

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

Feedings (2):

2 cups granulated sugar divided

2 cups all-purpose flour divided

2 cups milk divided

For the Bread:

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon divided

2 cups flour

1 cup starter

2/3 cup oil 

1 cup + 4 teaspoons sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Optional: 1 cup of chocolate chips or chopped nuts


Day 1: Make your starter: Stir yeast into warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes. Whisk sugar and flour in a 2 Qt container. You can use a ziptop bag, but I always used a bowl. Whisk in milk. Be sure to stir the corners - the flour will get clumpy and stuck if you’re not careful. Stir the yeast mixture into the flour mixture. Cover loosely and store on the counter.

Days 2-4 :Stir the mixture once per day.

Day 5: Feed the mixture: Stir 1 cup each sugar, flour, and milk into the starter. Cover loosely and store on the counter.

Days 6-9: Stir the mixture once per day.

Day 10: Feed the mixture: Stir 1 cup each sugar, flour, and milk into the starter. Cover loosely and store on the counter.

Remove 1 cup of starter to use in the Amish Friendship Bread Recipe (see directions below).
Remove 2 cups of starter and give 1 cup each to two friends, with the recipe below attached.

There will be 1 cup of remaining starter. You can give this to a third friend, or you can seal and freeze this 1 cup to use in the future. Or continue the cycle of friendship bread.

Since you have your starter, cover loosely and store at room temperature. Start with “Day 2” directions above tomorrow (day 11) and keep it going.

Friendship Bread Recipe:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2. Grease two 4x8” or 9x5” loaf pans with butter.

3. Sprinkle a bit of sugar in the pan making sure to coat the sides and bottom thoroughly.

4. Whisk baking soda, baking powder, salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and flour in a medium bowl. Set aside.

5. Stir starter, oil, and 1 cup sugar with a wooden spoon or spatula. Stir in eggs, 1 at a time, then stir in vanilla.

6. Gently fold in dry ingredients. Do not over mix the batter as the bread will become tough. This would be the time to add the chocolate chips or chopped nuts.

7. Divide batter between two loaf pans if you want two smaller loaves. You can put it in one pan as well if you want a thicker loaf.

8. Mix remaining 4 teaspoons sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle on top of loaves.

9. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before removing from pan. If you bake one big loaf, you will need to cook it longer. Depending on your oven, it could be up to 60 minutes. After 50 minutes, take a peek and see how the center is looking. You can stick a toothpick in the center to check. It should come out pretty clean. You definitely do not want to overcook this bread as it will get dry. Allow the bread to cool at least 30 minutes. When it is completely cooled, place in a zip top bag to keep it soft. If it is not wrapped up it will dry out and not be a tasty. Enjoy!