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Amish Funeral Cake and Funeral Pie Recipes

Updated on March 24, 2016
Amish boys
Amish boys | Source

How this hub came to be

This hub came to be because of a question that GarnetBird asked me in the comment section of my Amish Recipes and Home Remedies hub. She had wanted to know if I knew where she could get the recipe for the Amish Funeral Cake, that and if I knew if it was made using raisins. Well GarnetBird, here is the answer to both.

I told her I thought it was made with raisins and I was wrong. The Amish Funeral Pie is made with raisins and the cake is generally not made with raisins. I thought I would include both the funeral cake and pie recipe and let her and everyone choose their favorite. While I was at it I included an Amish pie crust recipe. Enjoy.

Amish | Source

Amish Funeral Cake


1 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 cup dark brown sugar, packed

2 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 cups buttermilk


Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9" by 13" baking pan.

In bowl, cream butter with both sugars for 3 minutes.

Add vanilla extract, blending well.

Mix flour and salt in sepeerate bowl.  Add a little of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, stirring well until well blended.

Stir in a little of the buttermilk.  Alternately add flou and buttermilk until all is gone. 

When well blended pour into prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes or until top springs back when lightly tounched in the center.

Top with brown sugar topping.

Change oven setting to broil and place topped cake 8" from broiler heat.

Broil 3 minutes or until topping is brown and bubbly. 

Cool on rack.

Brown Sugar Topping


7 tbsp melted butter

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Blend together and spread on top of cake.  Broil 3 minutes.  Cool on rack.

Traditional Funeral Pie
Traditional Funeral Pie | Source

Amish Funeral Pie


2 cups raisins

2 cups water

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

3 tbsp cornstarch

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp allspice

pinch of salt

1 tbsp cider vinegar

3 tbsp unsalted butter


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line pie pan with half of the pastry and chill.

Place raisins and 2/3 cups water in saucepan and heat over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Combine both sugars , cornstarch, spices and salt in a bowl.  Add remaining water slowly constantly stirring.  Add this mixture to raisins that you are heating.  Cook and stir mixture until it begins to bubble.  Add vinegar and butter and heat until butter is melted.  Cool untiljust warm.

Pour into chilled prepared shell and top with second crust.  Bake 25 minutes or until golden.  Cool.

Amish Pie Dough


2 1/4 cups flour

2/3 cups shortening

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup cold water


Combine flour and salt in mixing bowl.

Cut shortening into flour using two knives until particles are pea sized.

Add water gradually, sprinkling 1 tbsp at a time over mixture.

Toss lightly with a fork until all particles of flour has been dampened.

Roll dough into a round ball, handling as little as possible.

Roll our on a lightly floured board into a circle 1/8" thick and 1 " larger than the pie pan.

Amish family
Amish family | Source

What is a Funeral Cake or Pie

Now that we know how to make a funeral cake and pie it is time to learn when they are used and why they are made.

First of all, the funeral cake came to us from Europe. It was used there to honor the recently deceased and to offer a little sustenance to the people who attended the funeral.

When it came to America, we used it precisely the same one. As a gesture of respect, in a way, for the deceased. It began with the Catholic religion and was passed on to the Protestants. It is a custom that is rarely followed anymore.

Occasionally a raisin pie is used by the Pennsylvania Dutch . It is sometimes served after a funeral. Mourners as a gift for the family of the deceased. This is a tradition imported to the states from Germany.


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    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      vespawoolf, I image it would be quite tasty. Let me know.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      I wonder how it would be with craisins instead of raisins?

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      vespawoolf, It's amazing how good it is. When I lived up north we used to live in an area that had a lot of Amish people. They were kindest people I ever met.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      This one caught my eye as my grandmother always takes me to Amish country when we head back to the Midwest. Amish cooking is so simple, natural and delicious! I may try this someday. I like the fact that it stays fresh for a couple of days after baking. What a nice way to answer a question! : )

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 5 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Victoria Lynn, the furneral pie and cake was the primary choice o cake and pie to make for the funeral dinner following the funeral. The reason it was chosen was because you could bake it a day or two before you needed it and it didn't need refrigeration. It lasted better than other types of pies and cakes. Because of it being served so often at funeral dinners people began to call it funeral pie and funeral cake and the name stuck.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Interesting. I'd like to know more history about the Amish funeral pie and cakes. Neat hub. Voted up!

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Christine, I have hear of the Friendship cake. It is basically the same as a Funeral cake. The stater mix is made the same way. I'm pretty sure they are the same thing just different names from different regions.

    • ChristineVianello profile image

      ChristineVianello 6 years ago from Philadelphia

      I never heard of this cake before. Reminds me of when I was younger me and my mother and grandfather use to drive to Lancaster to see the Amish and eat at their resturants. They do have delicious food! Ever hear of friendship cake? Very tasty...

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Thanks for stopping by Granny and thanks for the input.

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 6 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      Amish recipes are so easy because you will have the ingredients right at home. Thanks for the recipe

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Tony, I'm glad you got the grill/broil thing sorted out. I was all set to explain when I read that you already knew. lol. Thanks for visiting - the recipes are good - I especially like the funeral cake. You'll have to try it.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

      These look so good and so different. Thanks so much for sharing them. I would like a clarification of the term "broil" though. Is that the same as what we call the oven setting "grill" - OK Ihave just Googled it and found that "In the United States and Canada, when the heat source for grilling comes from above, grilling is termed broiling." So now I've learned another new thing - thanks!

      Thanks again

      Love and peace


    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      They are great habee. You can cook them any old time you want to.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      These sound great! I don't have to wait for a funeral to bake them, do I?? lol

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I didn't hear about the funeral cake and pie until I lived close to the Amish. They really are quite tasty. Thanks, sarovai for your comment.

    • sarovai profile image

      sarovai 7 years ago

      This is the first time I am hearing about the funeral cake. Thank u for sharing the informational hub about funeral cake.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Thanks Specialk. I'll be waiting to hear how you like it. It's nice to hear from you.

    • Specialk3749 profile image

      Karen Metz 7 years ago from Michigan

      I'm not much of a cake eater, but I like to bake them. The funeral cake sounds good! I will let you know how it turns out when I get the chance to bake it.