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Published April 8, 2020. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This amazing old-school shoofly pie with homemade crust, molasses filling, and buttery sweet topping is made with a few ingredients that you will find already in your cupboard.
My daughter’s favorite dessert is pie, so it’s no surprise that we always have an apple pie or key lime pie on hand. They’re easy to make, and I can’t think of a more comforting dessert.
This has a really interesting history. First off, it’s sweet, and it is said to have gotten its name during the cooling process because it would attract flies. Obviously, people would come and shoo the flies away, hence shoofly pie.
The recipe was founded in Amish country in Pennsylvania during the late 19th century and was originally called Centennial cake. Most folks think it was created in the wintertime since chickens do not like to lay as many eggs during those cold months, and the original recipe has no eggs.
Shoofly pie became incredibly popular during the great depression because of its easy-to-gather ingredients.
What’s It Made Of?
The ingredients for a shoofly pie are really simple, and as I stated, you most likely have them already in your pantry:
- Homemade Pie Crust
- Baking Soda
- Brown Sugar
There are some new variations of the recipe that include eggs to help stabilize the filling as well as adding chocolate for flavor.
How to Make Shoofly Pie
Make a simple streusel by cutting butter into some flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl until the butter is the size of rice. Set aside.
Whisk together boiling water in a heat-safe bowl along with molasses, baking soda, and a beaten egg until combined.
Pour the molasses mixture into the pie crust formed pan.
Generously sprinkle the streusel overtop, completely covering it.
Bake it at 425° for 15 minutes and then turn the heat down to 350° and bake for a further 20-25 minutes or until the center has firmed up.
Cool completely on a rack before slicing and serving.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can make this pie up to 2 days before you slice it.
How to Store: Once the pie has cooled to room temperature, cover with plastic and keep in the refrigerator for 7 days. Likewise, you can cover and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw for 1 day in the refrigerator before serving.
chef notes + tips
- Most pie tins are 9”, and this recipe will fill it all the way to the top. If you are nervous that it will overflow outside of the pan, then reduce the recipe by 25%
- I prefer light molasses because the flavor is not as intense and has less bitterness.
- You can make the streusel topping in a food processor instead of using a pastry knife.
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Homemade Shoofly Pie Recipe
- 1 homemade pie crust recipe
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ¼ cups light molasses
- 1 ¼ cups hot boiling water
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 beaten egg
- Preheat the oven to 425°.
- Add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, and salt to a large bowl and cut in together using a pastry knife until the butter is about the size of rice. Set aside.
- In a large heat-safe bowl, add the molasses, boiling water, baking soda, and beaten egg until completely combined.
- Transfer the mixture and pour it into a pie crust molded pan.
- Generously sprinkle on the streusel over the top until it is completely covered.
- Bake in the oven at 425° for 15 minutes, then at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until firm in the center.
- Cool on a rack completely before slicing and serving.
- You can add optional toppings such as whipped cream or ice cream.
OMG, Billy! To see a chef have a recipe for this is awesome. I am totally making it this week. I would make it now, but have to do another grocery store run for molasses.
I just made your cream puffs with Bavarian cream on Saturday and they were perfect! These were specially requested by my boyfriend and has a very acute sense of smell and taste and doesn’t like many foods as a result. He said they were prefect. Thanks Billy!
I’m here again today looking for another dessert to make for a birthday tomorrow (my birthday!).