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Amish Friendship Bread Recipe, Starter Recipe & Gifting Printable

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Amish Friendship Bread recipe is perfect to share with friends. Now you can make your own with this Friendship bread starter recipe & free printable for giving as a gift!

A loaf of sliced friendship bread sitting on a table with the printed instructions next to it

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The other day I was looking through my past emails when I came across an email I had sent my stepmother with an Amish Friendship Bread recipe as well as a Friendship Bread starter recipe. I realized I hadn’t made any in years and years!

What is Amish friendship bread?

If you aren’t familiar, Amish Friendship Bread is a sweet bread that you make off a sourdough starter.

The starter is “fed” and kept for ten days, then divided into four portions, three of which you can gift to friends and one you use to bake the most heavenly cinnamon sugared bread! Then your friends can pass along the Amish Friendship Bread recipe to their friends and so on and so on indefinitely.

When I was newly married I would receive a starter a couple of times a year from friends and neighbors and always enjoyed it. Sometimes, though, you want to make this delicious bread and you need to create your own starter if no one you know has some on hand.

I decided to share the starter recipe with you all along with printable instructions and the Amish Friendship Bread recipe gifting sheet you can use to pass it along to friends and family.

Amish Friendship Bread sliced on baking dish

Starter ingredients

  • dry yeast
  • warm water
  • all-purpose flour
  • sugar
  • milk

Step by step starter

  1. Dissolve yeast int warm water and let it sit 10 minutes.
  2. Combine flour and sugar and mix well.
  3. Add milk, then yeast mixture and allow to sit until bubbly.
  4. Add starter to a plastic gallon bag.
  5. Follow the instructions on the printable. You can also use a permanent marker to write the instructions on the bag for easy reference. You will squeeze the bag daily days 2-4, feed it day 5, squeeze again days 6-9.
  6. On day 10 feed it, divide it, and make your delicious bread!

Tips for best results

  • Always use nonmetal bowls and utensils for the sourdough starter, it is acidic and can breakdown the metal
  • You can freeze Amish Friendship Bread by wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap or foil and placing in a heavy-duty freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight at room temperature.

When I gifted this set of starter I rolled the plastic bags and put them in standard sized mason jars (with these cute red tops!) It’s important your starter doesn’t touch metal because of the chemical reaction it will cause so don’t gift in the jar without using the plastic bag!

Amish Friendship Bread Recipe Printable

Printable card for gifting

Amish Friendship Bread Recipe Printable


I print mine on 80lb cardstock for durability but you can easily print on standard paper as well. You could also laminate it too!


  • add chocolate chips, chopped nuts, dried cranberries, butterscotch chips, raisins, etc
  • bake as muffins by reducing the baking time to 25-35 minutes
  • omit pudding mix for a slightly different flavor

Have you tried an Amish Friendship Bread recipe, there are actually quite a few variations out there. If yours is different than mine I’d love for you to share it in the comments so we can all try it!

You might also like these delicious bread recipes:

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Amish Friendship Bread is the perfect recipe to share with friends. Now you can make your own with this starter recipe along with a free printable for gifting starter to others!

Amish Friendship Bread and Starter Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 7 reviews

  • Author: Melissa
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


Amish Friendship Bread is the perfect recipe to share with friends. Now you can make your own with this starter recipe along with a free printable for gifting starter to others!


Units Scale


  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk

For Feeding the Starter (2 feedings total)

  • 2.5 cups sugar, divided
  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2.5 cups milk, divided

Friendship Bread

  • 1 cup starter
  • 1/2 cup sugar + 1.5teaspoons ground cinnamon for dusting the pan
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 large box instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda


For the Starter

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in water and allow to sit ten minutes (mixture will turn frothy.)
  2. In another nonmetal bowl combine flour and sugar and mix well. Slowly stir in milk, then yeast mixture.
  3. Allow to sit until bubbly then add to a gallon plastic bag and follow the instructions on the printable, squeezing the bag once a day to stir days 2-4, feeding one cup each of sugar, flour, and milk.
  4. Squeeze again once per day days 6-9. 
  5. On day 10 add 1.5 cups each sugar, flour, and milk and stir.
  6. Reserve one cup for your baking and divide the remaining starter into 3 gallon plastic bags: one to continue feeding and 2 for gifting.

For the Bread

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Grease two large bread pans.
  3. Mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon and dust greased pans with the mixture, tapping out excess into a bowl for later.
  4. Mix remaining ingredients in a large nonmetal bowl until smooth.
  5. Pour evenly in the two pans and top with remaining cinnamon sugar.
  6. Bake 50-60 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.


  • starter can be frozen to save for later, once thawed that is the new day 1
  • nutritional information is for final baked bread
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Category: dessert
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 408
  • Sugar: 32.3 g
  • Sodium: 511.6 mg
  • Fat: 16.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 58.2 g
  • Protein: 7.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 87.9 mg

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  1. so glad i found this. a sweet sister in the church gave me starters when we lived up north, but now that we have moved back south ive not had any of this in so long. im so excited to find the starter ingredients and share this with those around me! thank you so much!!

  2. I’ve made Friendship bread for to many years to count. I’ve never added yeast just everything else..I change up the flavor, I love the pina colada with pineapple & coconut. I don’t make it in 10 days, I only do 5 days during the holidays. There’s no difference in the outcome

    1. Ooooooo that sounds delicious !!! Can you tell me how to do your variation for the Pina Colada version? Thanks

      1. Yes, use all ingredients but add small can crushed pineapple & 2cups coconut ,if you can find the coconut cream pudding use it if not vanilla is fine. I also add some pecans too. It will be a tad thicker but it’s so delicious. I don’t add cinnamon

  3. I have made this recipe many times in past years. Never seen yeast listed. Just 1 cup of flour, sugar, and milk for so many days .

  4. I’ve been babying my starter and today is the 10th day!! Making my bags to share. Do you know about how many cups of starter should be in each bag to give away? We started with 3 cups, added 3 cups on day 6, then added 4.5 cups on day 10. So that should be a total of 10.5 cups, minus the cup I’m baking with today so dividing into 3 bags each should have 3 cups, correct?

    1. I think your original should have been only 1 cup. Then each starter you give away should be 1 cup.

  5. Hi – has anyone tried it with a milk substitute? Ex. cashew, soy or almond? My cousin and I loved this as a kid, but she recently found out she has a dairy allergy. I have been trying to recreate our childhood favorites for her, but dairy-free. Thanks

  6. Has anyone tried to make this with coconut flour instead of all purpose flour, And used coconut sugar instead of white sugar? Thanks, can’t wait to make this!

      1. What about 2 days? I started my 6th day on a Monday instead of Sunday and baking day on Saturday instead of Friday.
        What day should my friends start from if I passed the dough to them today?

  7. Is it normal to have more than 4 cups of starter? It’s the tenth day and I have quite a bit left over after dividing it the 4 ways.

    1. Yes, I’ve had that happen to me too Ashley, I would just discard the extra unless you have someone else you want to give it to and it’s enough. I’m not sure why it happens, maybe temperature variations? I believe I’ve had it happen twice in the past 15 years since I started making this. ~Melissa

    1. I’m not entirely sure Ashley, I have no experience with it. I’d hope if it was just mixing for a moment it should be ok, I’d wait and see if it gets frothy from the yeast. If not it would be best to start from scratch again, so sorry! ~Melissa

  8. Thank you, Melissa; basically that is what I thought too. I love this recipe and all the comments; I have gotten from those who received a loaf with a Starter are, overwhelmingly the same. I have even subbed Pure Via and a Gluten Free Flour, in the actual breadmaking steps and in the Topping mixture, for my Diabetic friends. I just advise them now it is a “low sugar added” bread. It works as the Diabetics watch and ration their servings and can still enjoy the wonderful flavorful treat. Thank you again!

  9. I love this Recipe from Starter bag to finished loaf. I would love to know the Nutrtional breakdown per finished loaf be it large or small. Is there a published Nutrional label somewhere?

    1. It’s hard for me to add one because the starter changes over time and I can’t account for that when calculating. Here is the label for the bread without the starter, if you cut into 8 sliced:

  10. I have used this recipe in several ways. First, I do not use the pudding. I do not use sugar. I use the faux sugar from Aldi’s. I do not use oil. Instead, I use two ripe bananas! I add whatever fruit I have on hand as the predominant flavor– apple, craisin, raisin, blueberries, canned fruit. Every time the end result is different. Every time, the bread/cake is eaten in a hurry.

  11. Is there a way to make the starter and add less sugar, milk and flour on the specified days, just asking because I did not want to have so much of it to have to give away, just enough to use to make. Also, I was given a starter years ago. I assume the person who starts it adds yeast? I never added any yeast, I was surprised to see it listed, I was thinking this long process was what caused the milk/sugar/flour to ferment without yeast?

  12. What constitutes a large box of vanilla pudding? How long is the batter good for in the freezer? I remember my grandmother always kept starters in there..

    1. Seeking the answers to the same questions- how much pudding specifically and can starter be frozen? Many thanks!

      1. Hi Catherine, the large box of pudding mix is about 5 oz. The starter can most definitely be frozen. When you’re ready to use it just take it out and start again! ~Melissa

    2. If you make the starter, can you immediately make the bread or have to follow the days of squeezing bag, etc?

    1. Yes Barb, the bread freezes wonderfully and thaws quickly. Wrap it in wax or parchment paper whole or sliced and put in a Ziploc bag or container.

  13. My recipe allowed you to sub vanilla pudding with lemon pudding and lemon extract, chocolate pudding and chocolate extract, etc.. to make a flavor other than cinnamon spice. My friends and family, especially Dad, loved them as they were baked in small individual little loaves. Glad to find your starter recipe to start again.

  14. I used to make Amish Friendship Bread all the time and never used the pudding. Is this really necessary for this recipe?

    1. I haven’t tried without it Sherri, it’s just the recipe I’ve always used. If you try it please let me know so I can update the post! ~Melissa

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