Moravian Sugar Cake

What is Moravian Sugar Cake?

The Moravians settled in North America  from what is now The Czech Republic and Slovakia by way of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in the mid-ish 1700s. But enough about the history.   So, what is Moravian Sugar Cake, exactly?  It is a sweet dough cake that is enhanced with butter, sugar, and cinnamon.   It is traditionaly served as an Easter morning breakfast treat, but is an excellent coffee cake year round.  This Moravian tradition is extreemely yummy!


Three Yummy Recipes:


1 c. mashed potatoes, unseasoned
1 c. potato water
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 c. lukewarm water
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. shortening
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
About 6 c. all-purpose flour
2/3 c. brown sugar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. butter
Cook potatoes in water to cover until tender (about 25 minutes). Drain, reserving 1 cup liquid. Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. Cream butter and shortening in large bowl. Mix in sugar and beat until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, then mashed potatoes, reserved potato water, salt and dissolved yeast. Add flour, a little at a time and mix well. Use enough flour to make a firm, soft dough. Form dough into a ball and put in a greased bowl. Cover with a light towel and let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 2 to 3 hours). Punch dough down and knead a little on a lightly floured board. Divide dough in half and place each portion in a 13 x 9 x 2 inch greased baking dish. Stretch dough out evenly in each dish. Let rise, covered with a light towel until doubled in size. With thumb and index finger poke wide, deep holes in the top of the dough. Make holes at even spaces lengthwise along the top. Fill each hole with some of the topping mix. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes, or until golden on top and done in the middle. Cut into squares and serve warm

Recipe #2 -  Winklers Moravian Sugar Cake

2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup water (110 F)
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons non-fat powdered milk
1/4 cup instant mashed potatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup melted cooled butter
2 eggs
3 cups flour
For Topping -
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup melted cooled butter
  1. Sprinkle yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar into the 1/2 cup of warm water.
  2. Set aside until yeast bubbles, and mixture is foamy.
  3. Add the next 7 ingredients, and about 1 cup of flour.
  4. Beat with a wooden spoon.
  5. Add remaining flour or a little more if needed, until bread dough consistency.
  6. Place in a greased bowl and turn it to coat.
  7. Dot dough with butter, and let it rise until double in size, about 1 hour.
  8. Then, punch dough down, and place in a greased shallow baking pan (about 17 x 12 inches) Let rise 30 minutes, then sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Note: one reviewer commented "The 3 cups flour became about 7 to make it a workable dough. Must be an error in the recipe" There is no mistake in the recipe; this is a cake with a soft dough, not a bread. The term "workable" does not apply here; the soft dough will rise right in the pan. This is not a bread where you are continually kneading it into something that must be shaped. Had the reviewer simply patted it into the pan and let it rise in the pan it should have been fine. The mistake was adding all that extra flour and treating it like a bread.
  9. Now the fun begins.
  10. As if you're playing the piano, punch your fingers into the dough making indentations.
  11. Pour on remaining 1/2 cup of butter, and let dough rise another 30 minutes.
  12. Bake in a preheated 375ºF for 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown.
  13. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe #3 -  LAZY MORAVIAN SUGAR CAKE (quicker to make, but still very good)

3 3/4 C. flour
1 1/2 C. sugar
2 1/2 t. baking powder
6 T. soft butter
1 1/2 C. milk
preheat oven 350*  
~ 9x13" pan, or 2 -9" square pans
grease and flour
combine dry ingredients.
cream in butter
gradually mix in milk.
spoon into pan
add brown sugar topping 
(for topping -mix brown sugar and cinnamon to taste)
and sprinkle generously on top, enough to cover the whole top
dot with butter
bake 20-25 minutes