Pennsylvania Dutch Shoo Fly Pie Recipe

My mother is sharing some of her family recipes in this Pennsylvania Dutch recipe series.  Last time, she showed us how to make Apple Dumplings.  This time, we are looking at a Pennsylvania Dutch favorite- Shoo Fly Pie!
pennsylvania dutch shoo fly pie recipe

Don’t let the name sway you.  Shoo Fly Pie is amazing.  It is made of molasses, sugar and flour and my mother’s version has a delicious gooey molasses bottom. It is pretty darn awesome any way you fix it and is a must at traditional family gatherings like Thanksgiving.

Pennsylvania Dutch cooking comes from the parts of Pennsylvania that were settled by the Mennonites and Amish. William Penn (1644-1718), founder of Pennsylvania, was seeking colonists for the Pennsylvania area. Encouraged by his open invitation, the Amish and their brethren emigrated from Germany and Switzerland. The first group arrived in America around 1730 and settled near Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

As these settlers came to North America by boat, they brought with them the staples of their diet -nonperishables that would survive a long boat trip. These staples were flour, brown sugar, molasses, lard, salt, and spices. Since they arrived in late fall, they had to live pretty much on what they had brought with them until the next growing season. The women, being master of the art of “making do,” made a pie from their limited selection.  The result?  Shoo Fly Pie!

For this recipe we used:

Pie Crust (enough for three pies)

3 cups all purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup shortening or lard
9-10 tbsp. cold water

Pie Filling (for three pies)

1 cup shortening
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
3 cups boiling water
2 cups molasses
3 tsp. baking soda

pennsylvania dutch shoo fly pie recipepennsylvania dutch shoo fly pie recipe

Mix shortening, sugar and flour together until crumbly.  Mom uses a pastry blender for this purpose.  It cuts the shortening into tiny pieces.  If you don’t own a pastry blender, a fork works well.

pennsylvania dutch shoo fly pie recipe

Cut the shortening up into tiny pieces resulting in a crumbly batch of flour/sugar crumbs.

pennsylvania dutch shoo fly pie recipepennsylvania dutch shoo fly pie recipe

In a separate bowl, pour the boiling water and the molasses together and stir.  Then add the baking soda, and watch it fizz!  One of my favorite things to watch when I was a kid!

pennsylvania dutch shoo fly pie recipepennsylvania dutch shoo fly pie recipe

 For the pie crust

In medium bowl, stir together flour, salt and shortening, mixing with a fork until the shortening is broken into small pieces.  Add water a little at a time, moistening the dough until you can knead it with your fingers.

Divide the dough into three portions.  On lightly floured surface, roll out one portion until it is about 12 inches in diameter.  Gently ease it into a pie pan being careful not to stretch the dough. Trim it to fit.  Use your fingers as shown above to create a scalloped edge.  (The scalloped edge is optional, but sure does look pretty).

pennsylvania dutch shoo fly pie recipe

Don’t they look fabulous?  Mom is an expert at pie making!

pennsylvania dutch shoo fly pie recipepennsylvania dutch shoo fly pie recipe

Divide the molasses mix between all three pies.  Then spoon the crumb mix over top, using up all crumb mix between all three pies.  Add more crumbs to the center of the pie than the edges, making an attempt to leave some white flour mixture showing.

pennsylvania dutch shoo fly pie recipe

Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit, for approximately 25 to 30 minutes.  This is what they look like going into the oven.

pennsylvania dutch shoo fly pie recipe

…and this is what they look like coming out!  You know they are done when a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

pennsylvania dutch shoo fly pie recipe

This is mom’s work of art!  DELICIOUS!  Once the pies are cool, be sure to store in large plastic bags to keep the moist.

pennsylvania dutch shoo fly pie recipe

And check out the gooey molasses bottom!  If you love the flavor of molasses, you will love these pies!  A treat that has been handed down for generations!

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{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Katie June 7, 2017, 2:24 am

    I had this when I was very young and did not remember where. Since my grandmother was Pennsylvania Dutch I guess it was at her house. She cooked and baked all the time. I am sorry I did not get her recipes before she passed. How do I get more of these

  • cyra criss April 15, 2016, 4:11 pm

    i am penn. Dutch i had lost grandmas recipe. thank you for this one its like hers. my grand parents and my dad were penn dutch amish. so i have alot of their ideas and recipies and i do alot of home canning and making my own jams jellies and home made breads. thanks

    • Susan Myers April 28, 2016, 12:10 am


      I’m so glad this recipe is similar! It is hard to find authentic recipes nowadays. That’s why I love recreating from my Mother’s recipes. I hope to share more in the future!

  • Anonymous January 7, 2016, 12:22 pm

    I have a recipe for this pie and have made them for years. I want to try yours soon. Is your mom’s mincemeat pie from scratch or jarred mincemeat? I use to make mincemeat pie and mincemeat cookies for my dad but I used jarred. Would love a from scratch recipe from a good tried and true cook.
    I started reading your blog about the time you decided to hit the road. Can’t wait to see how you like Arizona – think that’s where you said you’re going next. I moved from SC to NV and love it!

    • Susan Myers January 7, 2016, 10:08 pm

      My mom used jarred mincemeat, but I will look into some of the handed down recipes for mincemeat from scratch. I’m sure they exist. What a great idea for a future post!

      And yes, we will be in Arizona in a couple months! Thank you so much for following along!


  • Sharyn November 9, 2015, 12:02 am

    Is it possible to freeze the pies after baking. I grew up in Pa. and this was one of my favorites along with funny cake.

    • Susan Myers November 9, 2015, 11:19 pm

      Hi Sharyn!
      Yes, that is totally possible! In fact, my mother does that every year! She makes about 15 pies- pumpkin, mince meat and shoo fly- and freezes them until about a day before the event.


  • CJ Huang March 6, 2015, 9:22 pm

    We used to live in PA, and saw these shoo fly pies, although I don’t recall ever eating any. Time to remedy that! Thanks for sharing with us on Inspire Me Monday. Hope to see you again next week!

  • Kim @ TMTOMH March 6, 2015, 2:47 pm

    GIRL! I just made these a few weeks ago and have a very similar post going live next week! Great minds think alike

    • Susan Myers March 13, 2015, 8:34 pm

      Hi Kim!
      It’s a fabulous dessert, isn’t it? Will definitely check out your post!


  • Audrey March 5, 2015, 1:37 pm

    My son has been asking for Shoo-Fly Pie ever since he read about it in a Fly Guy book. I might have to give it a try.

  • Cathy March 4, 2015, 1:33 pm

    I love PA dutch food and shoo fly pie is amazing! These look great, super sweet and wonderful! Saying hello from whats cookin Wednesday! 🙂

  • Laryssa March 2, 2015, 9:37 am

    My dad loves shoo fly pie! I never made this before but I definitely want to try it!

  • JoAnn Schaeffer February 4, 2015, 10:52 am

    THANK YOU THANK YOU I have been looking for the wet bottom shoo fly for ages and could not locate it, this is a great pie, thank you again

  • Anonymous June 22, 2014, 4:44 am

    I love Shoo Fly pie but haven’t made it in 30 years. My recipe was different than this one but since I no longer have it, I am looking forward to trying yours. 🙂 It looks yummy.

  • deb September 3, 2013, 1:29 am

    Okay i definitely don’t remember the molasses on the bottom like that…..can i make it without it on the bottom that way?

    If theres one treat i miss from PA this is it! Oh and porkroll sandwiches! And Entermanns brand coffee cake…….sigh……its all about the food. LOL! Thanks to you and your mom for sharing! Hugs! deb

    • Susan Myers September 5, 2013, 11:41 am

      You are welcome, Deb! And yes, it can be made without the molasses bottom, but that would be a different recipe. There are lots of different versions of this pie. My mom’s version is what her family made for generations. I bet you would like it. 🙂


  • norene August 31, 2013, 8:51 am

    They look so yummy! Actually, they were. It was fun making them with you.

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