Moravian Sugar Coffee Cake Recipe -
  • READY IN ABOUT 2 hrs

Moravian Sugar Coffee Cake

Recipe by  

"This recipe has been passed through many generations. It makes a large cookie sheet of light and buttery treats. The recipe has been adapted for use with the dough cycle on a bread machine. Then it's baked in the oven after rising. Try it once and you'll get many requests for 'Sugar Cake.'"

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 18 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    25 mins

    1 hr 55 mins


  1. Place potatoes and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Boil until the potatoes are tender. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup water, and mash. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Place mashed potatoes, reserved water, salt, sugar, mace, 1/2 cup butter, egg, flour and yeast in the pan of a bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
  3. Pat dough onto a greased 11x13 inch baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine the dark brown sugar, cinnamon, and chilled butter in a food processor and pulse until butter is the size of coarse crumbs.
  5. Poke several medium holes in the dough and fill with brown sugar and butter. Sprinkle the dough with a few drops of evaporated milk.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until the cake's edges are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes.
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Reviews More Reviews

Dec 20, 2004

My family is from the Winston-Salem area of NC. My great grandmother used to make this. It has been one of my favorite treats since I was little. Now my mom makes sure she brings me some back from Old Salem everytime she goes back to visit. Now I can make it myself and have it whenever I want. It taste just like grandma's.

May 19, 2005

I am not sure what exactly went wrong with this recipe, but it did not work out well at all. The dough rose out of control. There are several things that appear to have been incorrect: too much yeast (most recipes would call for 2 teaspoons, not tablespoons; too much sugar for a yeast bread; incorrect pan size or description. A 9X13 baking PAN would probably worked better than a 9X13 baking SHEET. I may try this recipe again, but would like to know if I misinterpreted


6 Ratings

Oct 09, 2002

This terrific coffee cake is easy (using a bread machine), and feeds a Hungry Herd Happily! ;] Don't forget to save the leftover potatoe water cause you'll be making a second batch before this one cools down !!!We love it..A++

Nov 13, 2011

I'm from Winston-Salem, too, and grew up with always having Dewey's sugar cake on Christmas morning. I've also worked in Old Salem and am quite familiar with the Moravian sugar cake from the wood-fired bakery there. This recipe is close, but not on the money. First, there is WAY too much cinnamon! I only made this recipe for the first time yesterday, so I don't know if 4 TEASPOONS is what is meant: I tried to follow the recipe, even though my gut told me it was too much cinnamon. Secondly, baking time needed to be more like 30-35 minutes. My oven is accurate. I don't think the Moravians would put so much sugar, but it's good-tasting. I think the dough recipe is close, but the finished product was doughy. Not sure if more cooking would have done it. Also, don't worry about making the holes in the dough too much. It works out, even tho it seems not to. I know the Dewey's version went to using margarine instead of butter, and for sure, not nearly so much cinnamon, but we always add more butter to the store-bought when we heat it up. However, doughy and over-spiced as this turned out, it will get eaten by the husband. Maybe if the finished product gets toasted in a pan, the doughy "cake" part will become less objectionable. My son thinks the store-bought stuff has too much dough, and not enough topping, but this recipe fixes that issue, with the ton of brown sugar and butter. I hope I have time to work on this again. It would be so cool to have the original taste, made at home.

Feb 16, 2010

This didn't turn out well for me; however, everyone ate it and some went for seconds. The proportions seemed off and the final product was sour tasting to me (others didn't find that a problem). Next time, I'll reduce the yeast by a third, use 2 c mashed potatoes and reduce the topping by half.


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  • Calories
  • 262 kcal
  • 13%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 35.7 g
  • 12%
  • Cholesterol
  • 41 mg
  • 14%
  • Fat
  • 12.1 g
  • 19%
  • Fiber
  • 1.5 g
  • 6%
  • Protein
  • 3.6 g
  • 7%
  • Sodium
  • 156 mg
  • 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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