Amish Friendship Bread

Soft & fluffy Amish friendship bread is covered in an irresistible cinnamon sugar mixture. Make this without a starter using buttermilk!

Amish friendship bread requires only a handful of ingredients and 10-15 minutes of prep! I don’t know about you, but that’s my kind of recipe. Bisquick Banana Bread, Lemon Poppy Seed Bread, and Blueberry Bread are a few of more of our favorite sweet breads!

Amish Friendship Bread sliced on a cutting board

What is Friendship Bread?

A long time ago a friend gave me a bag of mush and told me to follow the rules – to knead it, add things to it, and speak nice things to it, and one day it would turn into a glorious loaf of Amish Friendship Bread.

I did those things, and a few days later, it indeed, was a glorious loaf of Amish bread! And it even left me with more mush to give away to my friends, spreading love from one kitchen to another.

So, what is it? It’s a cake-like bread that is made with a starter that is shared in a manner similar to a chain letter.

For many years I thought If I wanted to taste that delicious bread again, I would need to be given a bag of mush (aka an Amish bread “starter”).

Then, I realized I could still make it from scratch – without the starter. And so today, I bring you this divine Amish Bread, that has been tried and proven true for your kitchen. Good news – it only takes an hour to make rather than days!

eggs, butter and sugar in a glass bowl

Making Amish friendship Bread Without Starter

You can thank the buttermilk for allowing you to have this delicious Amish Cinnamon Bread without a starter!

If you’re extra anxious to eat this bread, but don’t have any buttermilk on hand, you can make your own using these tips!

TOPPING. Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.

MIX + DIVIDE. In another bowl, or in a stand mixer, cream together butter, sugar, and eggs and then add the buttermilk, flour, and baking soda. Divide ½ of the batter into two greased loaf pans (in other words, ¼ of the mix in each pan). (I used two 5″ x 9″ metal loaf pans that are 3″ deep.)

LAYER. Sprinkle some of the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the batter in each pan, reserving about ¼ to sprinkle on the tops. Evenly add remaining batter to your two pans, and then sprinkle on the rest of your cinnamon topping.

BAKE. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until baked through. Cool for 20 minutes before removing from the pan. Enjoy!

TIP: Altitude, weather, oven and even the type of pan can all affect the bake time. If you find that your bread is taking longer to cook in the middle, use a piece of tin foil to tent over the top to keep the crust from getting too dark and crisp.

½ of the batter spread in a glass loaf pan

Recipe Variations

Variations: Here are a few ways to change up this recipe…

  • Add chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, nuts, raisins, cranberries… the possibilities are endless!
  • Substitute ½ the butter with an equal amount of applesauce.
  • Use a gluten free baking blend. Substitute the all purpose flour with a 1:1 ratio. You may need to add a touch more buttermilk.

Another variation is to make muffins: Divide half of the batter evenly into muffin tins. Fill the tins about ⅓ of the way full. Sprinkle on cinnamon sugar mix then add the remaining batter. Finally, top them with another layer of cinnamon sugar. Bake them at 350 degrees for 25-35 min. Check them after 25 with a toothpick through the middle. 

Dough and cinnamon and sugar mixture layers in a glass loaf pan

Storing and Gifting Amish Bread

STORE at room temperature in an airtight container/Ziploc, or wrapped in plastic/foil for 2-3 days. For longer storage go ahead and tightly wrap the loaf with plastic wrap and again with foil. Label and store in the freezer for 1-2 months. Thaw before cutting. 

Gift it: As mentioned one of the reasons this is called friendship bread is because you pass on a baggie of the starter to friends so they can make their own. To keep the spirit of friendship alive simply give a finished loaf to family, friends, neighbors, teachers, coworkers…anyone! 

Pinterest has some amazing ideas for gifting bread. One of my favorites was to simply wrap the loaf with parchment paper, tie it with raffia, twine or string, then add a cute gift tag and even the recipe so they can make their own. 

Amish Friendship Bread sliced on a cutting board

For more favorite (quick!) bread recipes:

Amish Friendship Bread Recipe

4.75 from 24 votes
Soft & fluffy Amish friendship bread is covered in an irresistible cinnamon sugar mixture. Make this without a starter using buttermilk!
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 2 loaves
Calories 2977 kcal
Author Lil’ Luna

Ingredients

Bread

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda

Cinnamon Sugar Mixture

  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 3 tsp cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon. Set aside
  • Cream together butter, sugar, and eggs. Add buttermilk, flour, and baking soda. Divide ½ of the batter into two greased loaf pans (¼ in each pan). Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the batter in each pan, reserving about ¼ to sprinkle on the top.
  • Evenly add remaining batter to your two pans; sprinkle the rest of your cinnamon topping.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until baked through.
  • Cool for 20 minutes before removing from pan. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

DIFFICULTY: easy
HOW MANY DOES IT FEED: 2 loaves
ANY CHANGES MADE: added just a little more cinnamon 
ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR NEXT TIME: none

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Adapted from Red Fly Creations.

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    I once had the friendship starter But, after several batches, finally got weary of tending to it. I’m super excited to be able to just make a loaf or two whenever i want.

  2. 5 stars
    I’m smitten! I love Amish friendship bread, but I either don’t have a starter or don’t want to make one. This recipe is perfect for me!

  3. 5 stars
    This is our new “go to” recipe. So moist and delicious. Not too sweet but flavorful enough to hit the spot.

  4. 5 stars
    Wow! The best ever Amish Bread without the starter. It’s now my favorite. I had to portion my share and gave the rest away to friends. They are all saying “WOW”. the best.

    I tried it in a muffin pan and baked for 25 minutes and turned out just as perfect.

  5. 4 stars
    This would definitely be a new favorite but the pan size mentioned was too small. Suggest a large loaf pan.

    1. The recipe calls for 2 loaf pans, and the batter is perfect if using 2. Yes, it is too much for just one pan.

  6. 5 stars
    Okay, this is seriously soooo good. I add a dry pack of pudding and slightly undercook and it’s the bestttttt.

    Thanks so much!

    1. I’m so sorry it didn’t turn out the way you had hoped. Thanks so much for giving the recipe a try!

    1. I have never tried baking it in a 9X9 before, but you could give it a try. Something to note: altitude, weather, oven and even the type of pan can all affect the bake time. If you find that your bread is taking longer to cook in the middle (especially if using a larger/wider pan), use a piece of tin foil to tent over the top to keep the crust from getting too dark and crisp. You’ll have to let us know if you use that pan how the bread turns out.

        1. I’d say just if you see the center is taking longer. That way the rest of your crust won’t get too crispy or dark.

    1. Yes, the bread can be frozen for up to 2 months. You’ll just want to wrap in plastic wrap and then again with foil. Just make sure to fully thaw before eating.

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