My “baptism” in Amish culinary culture was through the bakeries and benefit suppers found throughout Amish settlements. Amish families are laden with “secret” family recipes passed down through the generations. It was one of these recipes, a caramel-cinnamon crunch doughnut that an Amish couple began selling from their front porch that gave rise to the famous Rise N Roll doughnuts found in Indiana and Ohio. And somewhere in an Indiana Amish kitchen an Amish recipe for perfect sugar cream pie exists, a creamy, smooth confection that is the state’s official dessert.
Amish meals are filling and flavorful, providing hungry husbands with plenty of calories to get through a long workday. But it’s the baked goods – the desserts – that are the exclamation point at the end of the sentence of suppers. Amish bakers can turn out diet-destroying desserts from the most spare ingredients. Vinegar Pie, for instance, is "my pantry is empty" dessert that somehow manages to imitate the taste of a perfect lemon pie.
One of the best desserts I’ve even had in my life were simple frosted buttermilk cookies from the old Amish Acres kitschy tourist attraction in northern Indiana. I’ve sampled shoofly pie in Pennsylvania, topped with a mountain of whipped cream. I’ve sampled dozens of fresh-from the fryer Amish doughnuts smothered in hot glaze. I’ve had Amish pie, cake, brownies, bars, and lard cakes. I almost missed a flight in Florida once because I decided to take what I thought would be a short detour to Yoder’s Restaurant in Sarasota so I could sample their silky, sweet peanut butter pie one last time before decamping for Ohio.
I was once the judge of an Amish recipe bake-off and 31 samples of pie, tortes, tarts, cookies, brownies, puddings, and custards later, my stomach felt like it was a bowling ball, but it was bliss getting there.
So, yes, the Amish make amazing noodles, casseroles, salads, and such, but it is desserts where Amish and Mennonite cooking has truly become famous. From stupendous fudges, mile-high pie, perfect puddings, tempting cookies, and on and on, Amish desserts are a sweet adventure, choose yours from our list of legendary confection recipes!