Lighter Amish Friendship Bread

Lighter Amish Friendship Bread |

With half the sugar and fat – thanks to a secret ingredient; friends will love this version of Friendship Bread. Print this recipe + the original. ~ 

Instead of Friendship Bread, my friend calls it “Frienemy Bread.”

And not because the ingredient list includes 4 cups of sugar plus two packages of artificial vanilla instant pudding mix.

She calls it Frienemy Bread because after a few go-rounds of giving the ‘sourdough’ starter used in Friendship Bread to several of your friends – plus keeping one batch for yourself, you tend to run out of friends. Yet the starter keeps multiplying and multiplying. See, each time you make the bread, you feed the starter, which makes three more batches of starter (these are meant to be given to friends.)

But eventually, you run out of friends… and co-workers….and neighbors and then the large gallon-sized plastic bags of starter begin taking over your kitchen. And since you have to use them up every 10 days, that makes another time sensitive thing for a mom to do…besides laundry, packing lunches, and the normal things needed by several kids. And just like me, my friend hates to throw things out – but that’s eventually what you have to do, unless you want to build another wing on your house to store Friendship Bread sourdough starter.

Lighter Amish Friendship Bread |

So I attempted to solve a few of these issues plus lighten the 4 cups of sugar and nix the pudding mix. Because: This. Bread. Rocks! It’s moist, cinnamon-spiced and perfect for quick back-to-school breakfasts or lunches.

So here’s a little chart to solve a few of the problems issues with this bread and how I turned it back into Friendship Bread:

Lighter Friendship Bread |


Lighter Amish Friendship Bread

With half the sugar and fat – thanks to a secret ingredient; friends will love this version of Friendship Bread.

  • Author: by Serena Ball, RD


  • Sourdough starter from a friend
  • Ingredients found here with the exceptions below.
  • Additional ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini


  1. Follow instructions for Days 1-5.
  2. Day 6: Do not add sugar, milk or flour. You will still have plenty of starter
  3. Follow instructions for Days 7-9.
  4. Day 10:
  5. To starter dumped into bag: Instead of 1 1/2 cup white flour – Add 1 cup white + 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup milk
  6. Divide 1 cup batter as directed into gallon zip-top bags.
  7. To remaining batter add ingredients as directed except:
  8. Instead of 1 cup oil, add 1/3 cup canola/olive oil
  9. Instead of 1/2 cup milk, add 1 cup low-fat milk
  10. Instead of 1 cup sugar, add 2/3 cup sugar
  11. Instead of 2 cups white flour, add 1 cup white all purpose, 1 cup whole wheat flour
  12. Instead of 2 boxes instant pudding mix, add 2 cups shredded zucchini
  13. Instead of sprinkling 1/2 cup sugar on bread pans and on top, sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar + 1 teaspoon cinnamon on top of both loaves of bread batter

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

Have you ever made Amish Friendship Bread? Do you use the original recipe – or make a variation?

Speaking of variations…I didn’t have green zucchini the last time I made the Amish Friendship Bread, so I used these overgrown Pattypan Squashes from my garden. Do you see the little yellow specs in the photos?!

Lighter Amish Friendship Bread |


We’re Serena & Deanna, two dietitians who love food as much as you do!  

We're also moms and business owners who share our family recipes, healthy kitchen hacks and nutrition adventures while keeping it real in the kitchen with you.

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