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Questions about Amish Friendship Cake

  • m

My stepmother made this cake on several occasions and it was about one of the most amazing things I've ever tried. Unfortunately, as seems to often happen, her starter died and she couldn't get another.

I've tried making a new starter, but it is just not as good.

Questions;

How long does it take for this starter to develop?
Can I freeze it and will it affect the quality?
Does anyone have a recipe for a good starter?
Is there any way to speed up the development of the starter?
Did you make the starter with the fruit or just the flour/sugar/milk?
Do you use pudding mix in the cake?

I will greatly appreciate answers to any or all.

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  1. Wow, I'd never heard of anything like this and it sounds amazing - I just read a couple of sites. First it seems like many were calling friendship bread "friendship cake" and using yeast but then I found this site:

    http://www.armchair.com/recipe/bake00...

    Seems to answer all your questions and sounds incredibly intriguing but it takes SIXTY DAYS to make a cake!!! I hope you do this and report back on the process. I'm fascinated.

    1. I don't like to be a party pooper...well, maybe I do actually like to be a party pooper...but anyway once a so-called friend gave me the starter and it was a curse on my life for about a year. There's nothing like a jar of cake-starter sitting and staring pathetically at you from the refrigerator to ruin your day when you had no intention (nor need) to bake a cake. Sourdough bread starter I can live with. You always need bread. But cake? I finally dumped the whole thing down the drain and danced merrily around the swirling mess.

      I can't even remember now if it was good or not. Doesn't matter. It was more guilt than I needed.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Nyleve

        as I recall they were AWfully sweet

      2. according to one of the sites I was reading (and this cake on the link I found above is actually fruit juice-ish thing that - I would guess - ferments) you can freeze this starter and take it out when you want to use it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: krissywats

          I never thought of that. But anyway my starter wasn't a fruit juice-ish thing. I can't remember what was in it though. The dratted substance.

        2. LOL. Yes Nyleve, it is a curse. And really 60 days if you don't have a starter.

          But... this is truly one of the best cakes I've ever tried, and I've tried a lot.

          I'll persevere and if I can get it down to a science will post a recipe.

          1. Wow. I checked the link and that is fascinating. One question. When you get to the final recipe and actually get to make the cake, it calls for 1/3 of the fruit prepared with the starter to be added to the cake. So in the end, you are adding only the fruit to the cake, none of the starter, and the starter's purpose is to "macerate" the fruit and it never gets added to the cake, right???

            1 Reply
            1. re: ClaireLiz

              Claire - yes, that's my understanding that after you have made three cakes (that's how much fruit you'll have) and you want to make your next batch, you take your starter and start with the SECOND set of 30 day instructions. I think I'm going to try it!! I'm excited.