Amish Cinnamon Bread (with starter!!)

Delicious Amish Friendship Bread..with starter recipe below!
 Amish Friendship Bread with starter recipe! Come bake some bread and share with your friends this delicious cinnamon bread recipe!

**photos updated September 2014**

 Amish Friendship Bread with starter recipe! Come bake some bread and share with your friends this delicious cinnamon bread recipe!

WARNING: There is no pumpkin in the following recipe. I repeat, no pumpkin. I’m taking a small break (we’ll see how long it lasts)!

Amish Friendship Bread with starter recipe! Come bake some bread and share with your friends this delicious cinnamon bread recipe!

This may very well be one of the first breads I have ever made. It’s a staple in our family, and there are usually several loaves frozen at any given time! I usually make a starter batch, and instead of giving my bags of batter away, I keep them (GASP!!) and when they are due to be baked, I bake all of them (usually ending up in 8 loaves of bread).

Have you ever tried this bread? The crust is a thick, crunchy cinnamon sugar coating, especially if you generously coat it like I do before baking. I’m often asked for the recipe for this bread, so here ya’ll go!

Amish Cinnamon Bread with Starter Recipe

Amish Cinnamon Bread with Starter Recipe


For the Starter:

  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk

For the Bread:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup oil
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 large (or two small) instant vanilla pudding (not sugar free)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon


  1. For the Starter: To prepare the starter batch, mix yeast with 1/2 cup hot water until yeast is dissolved. Add 1 1/2 cup hot water, 1 cup milk, 1 cup flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix until blended. Use whisk if needed. You now have enough batter for 4 portions.
  2. In three ziploc freezer bags, add 1 cup of batter to each bag. These can be given away or used immediately.
  3. In your bowl will be a remaining one cup of batter. You can use this immediately following the directions below.
  4. For the Bread: Okay, with your 1 cup of batter, add remaining ingredients (except the last two). Mix. Will be slightly lumpy, that’s okay.
  5. In two loaf pans, grease generously. I like to grease my pans, lay parchment paper on just the bottom of the pan, then grease again! After greasing the pan, sprinkle with a cinnamon-sugar mix. Divide batter between two pans then generously top each battered pan with remaining cinnamon sugar mix. This is what provides a nice crunchy cinnamon layer on the bread, very important! Bake in a 325 degree oven for about one hour. Cool about ten minutes in pan, then remove to cooling racks. Delicious served hot or cold (with butter of course)! Enjoy. 
  6. For the remaining 3 bags of batter, here are your instructions: (I usually write these on the bag with sharpie) DAY 1- Day you make starter or receive bag (do nothing) DAY 2- Day 5- Mush bag DAY 6- Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup milk, 1 cup sugar to bag, Mush. DAY 7- DAY 9- Mush bag DAY 10- Pour contents of bag in large bowl, add 1 1/2 cup each of flour, sugar and milk. Measure out 1 cup into 3 ziploc bags (the cycle keeps repeating), With remaining batter follow instructions above for making bread. ENJOY!

Amish Friendship Bread with starter recipe! Come bake some bread and share with your friends this delicious cinnamon bread recipe!

Amish Friendship Bread


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79 comments on “Amish Cinnamon Bread (with starter!!)”

  1. You are pure evil you know? 🙂 This is one of our favorite breads in our house. (I never give the starters away either…gotta love the freezer option:-) But I have never googled the actual start method because this bread is so addicting!!! And then you go and post how to make a start! Curse you!!!

    You know I still love ya right? 🙂

  2. I’ve had Amish bread but never with a cinnamon/sugar crust. I can’t wait to try this…thanks 🙂 Don’t worry, I keep my starters too!

  3. yum! this reminds me of going to the amish market when i was little!

  4. I am soooo excited to find this recipe for the starter!!! This is one of my favorite kinds of bread and I was just craving it something mad- now I have you to thank. 🙂
    Found you over at Sweet Peas and Bumblebees link up and so glad I did! Newest follower.
    -Robyn from

  5. I love this bread! We always called it Amish Friendship bread, as you make friends when you give it away… err, I guess when you keep the other starters for yourself and give the recipe away?? Either way, thanks!

  6. I was just talking to my family about this bread starter last month. Now I have a recipe to share with them! Thanks!!

  7. This is a really interesting recipe. I’ve never seen anything like it. I love the color of the bread, and cinnamon with apples – you can’t go wrong with that!

  8. Looks yummy, especially with the vanilla pudding thrown in. Thanks for sharing on Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

  9. Hi! Just stopping by to let you know that your recipe was #2 on Sweet Indulgences Sunday last week. Hope you’ll stop by and share another recipe this week.

  10. So technically if you werent going to give any away couldn’t you make loaves with all of the other “starter” bags on the day you made them? You don’t have to feed that last 1 cup that is left you can just make the bread right away??

  11. Anonymous

    My starter seems very runny…is it supposed to be? Please say it is 🙂

  12. @anonymous- YES! It is supposed to be very runny. You’re doing just fine…

  13. Anonymous

    I make this all the time, but for the starter I just put 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Also, I put crushed pecans on top with the cinnamon and sugar and it is delicious!

  14. MrsSmith

    My bread completely fell in the middle (and I mean like the Grand Canyon). We live in Colorado, so the altitude does affect some baked goods, but I’ve never had anything fall this badly. I was wondering if maybe putting all of the 1 c. sugar and 2 T. cinnamon split between the top of the two loaves was too heavy and made them fall, because quite a bit of the topping did not sink in and was just sitting on top of the crust after baking. Any ideas? When you say “generously top” them, do you split the entire 1 c. and 2 T. between the loaves, or do you have some left in the bowl afterwards?

    (It was still very tasty, even if it wasn’t very pretty!)

    • The topping does create a crust around the entire bread. I’m not sure why it sank in though…I always use the entire amount on both loaves. I do use some of the topping to coat the inside of the greased pans as well. Glad it tasted good, sorry I can’t be of more help!

  15. So this is basically a recipe from an Amish Friendship Bread Starter. (Which is not really Amish at all) It is really a good one. One that I have not had in a long time. Thank you for the reminder!!

  16. Donna G

    I love making these. I actually make them in small individual size loaf pans and mix them up. Some get white chocolate chips, some milk chocolate, some rasins, some a crazy mixture of everything. They freeze really well to, and make a great item to add to a packed lunch.

  17. Kate

    Yum love this bread, but am from New Zealand and our yeast doesnt come in envelope size? what would the quantity of one of the be please?

    thanks =]

  18. Anonymous

    Made this bread today and like MrsSmith posted…my bread fell in the middle where the cinnamon sugar was…..only to sink to the inside and it didnt cook all the way through. Which I didnt know until I cut into the bread. But the outter part yummy. Any thoughts?

  19. Denise

    I am curious about this and want to make it, but I have never baked using starters. Do the bags of starter stay in or out of the refrigerator. Thanks, this looks good and I want to make it.


  20. Reenie

    I have been making this for years and you do not need a starter. Just make the recipe as directed and there is no change in the taste. I even go fat free and use all milk and no oil for a healthier version. They all come out great!

  21. Anonymous

    I use all flavors of pudding in these. Add nuts, choc chips, raisins, really anything you want to add/.

  22. trish

    I use all flavors of pudding in these. Add nuts, choc chips, raisins, really anything you want to add/.

  23. I have a good amish white bread recipe if anyone wants it and .. Its great I makes great bread I make 4 loaves week my boys love it and freezes well ..

  24. Yasha favorite bread for years!!! I too always have some in the freezer and I also keep and bake all of the starters,lol I end up with 12 loaves:) I made my own starter using the method you put down and it’s the ONLY one I recommend!!! Not using yeast never seemed right and I didn’t trust it!

  25. candy

    I would love the recipe as well Dorothy! Ty!

  26. Ashlee

    I never got to eat the bread bc I accidentally killed the yeast. This is my very first time working with yeast and I put too hot of water in the bowl. You should really make it clear for the novice baker not to use hot water.

  27. Jennifer

    I usually freeze my starter then when I want to make a loaf I thaw and follow the recipe for making the bread, skipping the 10 days of proofing and it works perfect. I also change up the pudding flavor to get different breads!

  28. Yasha

    I used this exact recipe and made my starter months ago. I had one given to me around 15 years ago and I kept it for around a year. I cryer when I lost it!!! But I followed this recipe and it’s been great!!! I keep 3 of my starters and bake with them on day ten and I use one to keep it going. It really does get better and better to keep it going!! I make chocolate,vanilla,pumpkin.lemon with poppy seeds,egg nog.

  29. Anne

    Do you know a good substitute for instant vanilla pudding? They are hard to find in Brazil…

    • susan l

      This recipe can be made without the pudding mix, it will just be less moist. I would add a couple extra drops of vanilla to make up for the missing flavor from the pudding though.

  30. Brenda

    I used to have a recipe for amish blueberry bread. Can you help me convert this to that? This is the only recipe I can find that has a crusty shell!! That was the best part!! The bread was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU!!


  32. Stephanie

    I wish there was a way to just make it, with enough “starter” for myself only, after awhile you run out of friends to give these to.

  33. Nardia

    Hi this sounds lovely but I am wondering if there is anything else you could substitute the vanilla instant pudding for? many thanks

  34. Elizabeth

    I love this recipe! A friend of mine gave it to me years ago. We are now gluten-free…can this be made using gluten-free flour (no wheat) instead of regular all purpose flour? Thanks.

  35. Do you use plain or self rising flour?

  36. Tami RR

    THANK YOU for the starter recipe! I have maintained some starter for probably 10 years and have been worried a couple of times that I had neglected it too long.

  37. Mary

    my daughter and husband gave dairy allergies, do you think I could substitute almond or soy milk for milk and what can I sub for instant pudding as it has milk in it. New to this dairy free thing.

  38. Val

    When you get too many  bags  of starter you can put them in the freezer. They keep indefinitely. When you take one out start directions for day 1. I’ve found that I get better results with the bag of batter if I pick the bag up everyday and squeeze it along the bottom. You may have to let some of the air out of the bag on the days after you feed it. Always use QUART size ziploc bags.  

  39. Charis

    If I want to make these in muffin tins, do you know what the difference in cooking time would be?

  40. Cynthia A. Casey

    Thanks so much for the recipe, I had lost mine! Was wanting to make loaves of bread for Christmas gifts!  Looking forward to baking again. I used to add bananas, nuts, raisins! Have a wonderful Christmas! 

  41. Jeanette Schutz

    Why can you not use the sugar free pudding mix?? Thanks, been looking for the recipe for a while now.

  42. PM Fisher

    can I freeze the starter on day 1, take it out later, and start the 10 day process from there, or does the starter need a day to start fermenting before freezing. I have been told I can freeze the starter…

  43. Adrianne Overbay

    When you freeze them, do you slice and then just pull out slices and toast them?  Or freeze as whole loaf?

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  47. gail labarbera

    can you put sliced apples or nuts in this?

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