Wet Bottom Shoofly Pie Recipe

 Amish Pie Recipe

The origin of the name Shoofly pie and Wet-Bottom Shoofly Pie Pie has been debated for years and will probably never ultimately be solved.  The most logical explanation is related to the fact that during the early years of our country, all baking was done in big outdoor ovens.  The fact that pools of sweet, sticky molasses sometimes formed on the surface of the pie while it was cooling, invariably attracting flies, show how such a pie could come to be called Shoofly Pie.

Shoofly pie seems to be a variation of the older Treacle Tart. Treacle is the British generic name for any syrup made during the refining of sugar cane; i.e., Treacle, Black Treacle, Molasses, Golden Syrup, and Blackstrap are all treacles.  During the 17th century, treacle was used chiefly as a cheap from of sweetener.  By the late 1700s, refined sugar became affordable to the masses in Britain and overtook treacle as a general sweetener.  Molasses was often substituted for treacle in colonial American recipes.  Many early cookbooks have Molasses Pie recipes.

Enjoy this traditional Pennsylvania Dutch country treat that has been popular since the 1800’s.  We can thank the Amish settlers for the creation of this sweet treat.  The Amish usually eat Shoofly pie as a breakfast dish, like coffee cake or donuts.  It is also a must to enjoy with a big dollop of whipped cream on your slice of pie.

Check out more detailed history of Shoofly Pie and also out more great Pie Recipes.


Shoofly Pie


Wet Bottom Shoofly Pie Recipe:
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Amish Pie Recipe, Wet Bottom Shoofly Pie Recipe
Servings: 8 servings
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Prepare pie pastry.  Using a floured rolling pin, roll pastry 2 inches larger than an inverted pie plate.  Fold pastry into quarter folds and ease into pie plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side; set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, using a pastry blender or two knives, cut shortening or butter into flour, brown sugar, and salt until mixture is crumble and particles are the size of small peas; set aside.

  4. In a large bowl, add baking soda and hot water; stir until baking soda is dissolved.  Add molasses (or molasses and corn syrup combination) and egg; beat until well blended.  Pour into prepared unbaked pie shell, filling half full (you may not need to use all of the filling - if you overfill the shell, it will overflow during baking). Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1/2 inch from rim of plate.

  5. Gently sprinkle prepared crumb mixture evenly over top of the pie (crumbs will both partly sink and partly float).

  6. Bake 10 minutes and then reduce oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake an additional 35 to 40 minutes or until the internal temperature registers at least 160 degrees F. on your cooking thermometer and a knife inserted in center comes out clean

  7. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack before serving.  This pie is best served at room temperature.

  8. Makes 8 servings.

Recipe Notes

* Can substitute 1/2 cup dark molasses and 1/2 cup light or dark corn syrup.


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Sources:  Photo from the Dutch Kitchen restaurant in Frackville, PA. and the Yoder’s Deitsch Haus restaurant in Montezuma, GA.


Shoo Fly Pie


Baking    Food History    Mid Atlantic    Other Types of Pies    Pies   

Comments and Reviews

5 Responses to “Wet Bottom Shoofly Pie Recipe”

  1. Gretchen

    My husband’s family is Pennsylvania Dutch and they made these pies because they were cheap and had lots of sugar to attract the flies to keep them away from the other pies that had more value and importance. Shoo fly is because they didn’t want to waste time shooing them off pear pie, apple pie, grape pie, etc. They were able to keep going with what they were doing. My mother-in-law makes them, my daughter makes them, and after 22 years you’d think I could make them, but I have never gotten one to turn out.

    • Scottbaioisdead

      Shoo fly is the name because shoofly was the most popular brand of molasses in the 1800s named after shoofly the mule who toured with circuses in the early 1800s. It has nothing to do with actual flies despite the mythology you’ve heard. Like calling tissues Kleenex or clear tape Scotch tape it’s just a brand name that became common usage

  2. Michele

    Love wet bottom shoo fly. I found this to be a tad too wet. I’m wondering if reducing the molasses to 3/4 c would help.

  3. Lori

    A delicious recipe! My family is Pennsylvania Dutch, this brings back such wonderful memories! My Dad would always make it! We love the wet bottoms! Now with this recipe, I can take it to him, and he loves it! He is 92! Thanks!!

  4. mary brizendine

    What happens if you don’t use eggs? I used to make a shoo fly pie for my dad and I never used eggs in the wet mixture. Just molasses, baking soda and hot water. Dry mixture was shortening, brown sugar, baking powder and flour.


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