A Lancaster County Favorite: Shoofly Pie

This Thanksgiving, surprise your family with a new dessert: Shoofly Pie. This traditional Amish pie is easy to bake, with only six simple steps.
This delicious dessert will not only melt in your mouth but it will also delight your guests with it's scrumptious, sugary flavor.
  Why is it Called Shoofly Pie? The name behind Shoofly Pie continues to baffle many people, historians and bakers alike. Theories abound on who named it and why. "The unusual name is presumed to come from the fact that pools of sweet, sticky molasses sometimes formed on the surface of the pie while it was cooling, inevitably attracting flies,” according to Patricia Bunning Stevens in,  author of Rare Bits, Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes.  Her explanation makes sense: Shoofly Pie's decadent taste comes from the recipes use of the gooey, sweet King Golden Syrup. Where did Shoofly Pie come from? In America’s early days, Pennsylvania Settlers had very little food therefore, they needed to make do with their small amounts of supplies and ingredients. Shoofly Pie consists of sugar, shortening, eggs, and of course, syrup — all staple ingredients of the early American settlers. The cakey pie might also have its roots in the early bake ovens of Pennsylvania. Such dense cakes went into the ovens after the bread, which required the hottest fires, was removed, explains Phyllis Pellman Good in The Best of Amish Cooking.
Amish Insight: The Amish usually eat Shoofly pie as a breakfast dish, like coffee cake or donuts.

Gooey Shoofly Pie 

by Lydia Esh

We wanted to try out this delicious dessert for ourselves! One of Peaceful Valley Furniture's employee, who doesn't bake too often, made it last week. "It was surprisingly simple and well-worth the mess and time," she said. Crust: Buy at a store or use an generic pie crust recipe. Crumbs
  • 2 ½ c. pastry flour
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • ½ c. shortening
  • ½ tsp. soda
  • ½ tsp. cream of tartar


  • 1 c. and 1 Tbsp. King Syrup
  • ¾ c. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 1 ½ c. boiling water
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Step 1:

Combine the crumbs ingredients and mix thoroughly with your hands until fine crumbs form.

Step 2:

Combine the King Syrup, brown sugar and soda in a bowl.

Step 3:

Pour the boiling water over the mixture and stir until dissolved 

 Step 4:

Now, add the eggs,beaten, and a handful of crumbs.

 Step 5:

Pour into 3 (8”) crusts and top with crumbs.

Step 6:

Bake at 400° for 10 minutes, then at 350° for 45 minutes.

There you go, your very own homemade, Amish-inspired Shoofly Pie! Check out Lancaster County's bountiful roadside stands for already made Shoofly Pies!
Tip: Serve with a dollop of ice-cream and fresh coffee.
This Thanksgiving, gather your family around the dinner table for some this homemade delicious dessert and don't forget all that you're thankful for: someone to love, and good food too!  Information used by permission: Recipe from Weavertown School Kitchen Collections, available at our Intercourse and Strasburg Stores. Sources include "A Pie Called Shoofly" from Chicago Tribune and "History of ShooFly" by Linda Stradley from What's Cooking America.