Shoofly Pie with Pretzel Crust

Shoo Fly Pie with Pretzel Crust

After my failed attempt at trying to make a cherry cream cheese palmier last night, I decided I needed to make another dessert. And it needed to be good. Really good.

I found this recipe for shoofly pie from It came from an old newspaper clipping, so I figured it had to be good. Shoofly pie is a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch dessert that has molasses and a crumb topping. According to the newspaper clipping, it was originally made with a pretzel crust, but all the other recipes I have seen use a basic pie crust.  

Can I just say that I love pretzels? I was not about to pass up an opportunity to redeem myself from that horrid palmier experience while getting to use pretzels in a dessert.

The recipe came out great. I did make one teensy-weensy huge mistake though. I doubled the butter for the crust. Oops. It was delicious, and I’m not going to apologize for it. Honestly though, I couldn’t even tell, and I would probably do it again.

The crumb topping was a bit excessive, so that could have been scaled back a little, but it was still good. The top of the crust does stay pretty crumbly, but the pie cuts well, and is easy to serve. I will note, though, that you will most likely have crumbs everywhere. That was my experience, but I do have two kids. Go figure.

*Recipe taken from here.


  • 1 1/4 cups fine pretzel crumbs
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup softened butter or margarine (I used an additional 1/4 cup for the crust)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 1 egg, beaten


Combine pretzel crumbs and granulated sugar with one-fourth cup of the butter that has been softened, until well blended. Press on bottom and sides of greased 9-inch pie plate.

Blend flour and brown sugar; cut in remaining butter until mixture resembles corn meal. Pour water over baking soda; beat in molasses; then the egg. Reserve three-fourths cup of flour mixture; into remainder of flour mixture stir molasses mixture until just blended. Do not beat. Pour into pie crust; sprinkle with reserved flour mixture.

Immediately bake in preheated 375-degree oven 25 to 30 minutes, or until done. Serve warm or cooled with ice cream, if desired.


Do you have any recipes from an old newspaper clipping? Have you had a recent failure in the kitchen? I’d love to hear all about it in the comment section below!

  • Peggy

    My “famous” baked beans recipe actually came from an old newspaper recipe. I tweaked it a bit over the years but the secret ingredient came from that article.
    And talk about failures… I’ve had my share of epic ones. But that’s the beauty of cooking. Sometimes you get a winner and sometimes a disaster… that’s the way the proverbial cookie crumbles.

    • J. L. Jordan

      I get so frustrated when it happens! I’ve had a few lately, but in a way, it is good thing. It just means that I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and learning new things!

      • Peggy

        I had one last week. Trying to make a recipe from FB called Hawaiian Chicken that I see so many people post on their timeline. It should’ve been “simple and satisfying” but it was definitely not satisfying. I put the ingredients into the crock pot (chicken, soy, brown sugar and pineapple juice) That part was simple. Slow cooked overnight because it said 6-8 hrs. Woke up the next morning excited to take it to work and it was awful!!!! It smelled burnt and yucky and the sauce didn’t thicken as it should have. I was so disgusted, that I left the crock and tossed it all out when I got home from work.

        • J. L. Jordan

          That is such a bummer! I wonder what went wrong?

          • Peggy

            Everything!! Lol. I may try again in the day for a shorter time span. First I have to heal from the failure and the disappointment of throwing away my chicken from Omaha Steaks :(

          • Justin

            I know the feeling!

  • Laura Dembowski

    I have always wanted to make a shoofly pie. The addition of the pretzel crust is so unique and sounds awesome!

    • Justin

      Thanks for stopping by Laura! If you try the recipe, let me know what you think!