If you’ve never had Moravian Sugar Cake before, you are in for a treat. Pull up a chair and I’ll show you how to make one of the best yeast-raised coffee cakes you’ll ever have!

Although we always enjoy this yeasted coffee cake as a Christmas treat, Moravian sugar cake is also a popular Easter bread.

If you are intimidated by yeast, you may enjoy my classic sour cream coffee cake recipe instead.

Find all my Sweet Yeast Bread recipes in one place.

I’m honored to again be partnering with the Idaho® Potato Commission to bring you this recipe.

A platter of squares of Moravian sugar cake.

Watch my easy Christmas morning breakfast ideas web story here.

A slice of Moravian sugar cake on a holiday decorated paper plate with a fork in it, ready to take a bite.

I was spoiled by the sugar cake from Dewey’s. This is the 4th recipe I’ve tried since moving to NY. HOLY CATS! Not only lived up to, but absolutely surpassed my expectations, I dare say, better than Dewey’s! Thank you!

Reader Robin

Who Are the Moravians?

Moravian Sugar Cake is the best, so as far as I’m concerned, the Moravians are the best, too.

But, unless you are from central North Carolina (or maybe from the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania area), you have probably never heard of the Moravians or of their magical sugar coffee cake.

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The Moravians (or more correctly, the members of the Moravian Church) originally settled in central North Carolina from what is now The Czech Republic and Slovakia by way of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in the mid-ish 1700s.

Old Salem, the site of their original settlement in North Carolina, has been restored and is maintained as a living history museum and National Historic Site. According to our friends at Wikipedia, about 70% of the buildings are original. Which means they’re Old, at least by US standards.

2 baked pans of Moravian sugar cake.
You can think of Moravian sugar cake as a kind of sweet focaccia: a dimpled, potato dough doused in liberal amounts of melted butter and showered with sugar or cinnamon sugar.

What Is Moravian Sugar Cake?

Moravian sugar cake is a yeast-raised coffee cake that is dimpled like focaccia and then showered with melted butter, cinnamon and sugar before baking up to a beautiful golden brown.

Many recipes that I researched contain potato, although the bakery that made the version I grew up eating does not use potato in their dough.

Honestly, I think that is an anomaly (although it is tasty). Folks from Central and Eastern Europe like their potatoes, and they would certainly have used potatoes–or at least the water from cooking potatoes–in some of their breads.

I love the stuff so much I have 2 recipes for it on the site. This one, and one I call Authentic Moravian Sugar Cake that has a bit more potato, a bit less sugar, and more topping ingredients. Both are delicious.

A slice of Moravian sugar cake on a glass plate on a table with winter holiday decorations.
Bake on a half sheet pan for thinner cakes or in a 9″x13″ pan for a thicker cake. This photo shows the thicker version.

How to Make Moravian Sugar Cake

Ingredients

This is not a hard recipe to make. Here’s what you’ll need for the dough:

Collage of ingredients to make Moravian sugar cake.
  • water: I usually use the water I cook the potato in. Yeast loves potato water because it’s starchy
  • yeast: instant or active dry. If using instant, you can add it with the rest of the ingredients. If using active dry, dissolve and proof it in the potato water first
  • mashed potato: no butter or salt, just plain mashed potato
  • salt: I usually use kosher salt. If using fine salt or table salt, you can decrease the amount to 1 teaspoon
  • sugar: adds sweetness and tenderness
  • melted butter: enriches and tenderizes the dough
  • milk: I use whole milk. You can also use 2%
  • eggs: I use large eggs. Adds some additional protein, emulsifiers, and liquid to the dough
  • all-purpose flour: no need to use bread flour here, although you could if you want to. You will end up with a chewier final result and may need a touch of additional liquid

And here’s what you need for the topping:

Collage of ingredients for Moravian sugar cake topping.
  • melted butter: makes for a gooey topping. Use between 1 1/2 and 2 sticks of butter
  • granulated sugar:
  • brown sugar: you can use all granulated sugar rather than a mix of white and brown sugar. And if you use brown sugar, you can use either dark or light
  • cinnamon:
  • nutmeg: nutmeg is optional. If you do use it, grate whole nutmeg rather than using ground nutmeg. The whole spice has more flavor
  • salt: tempers the sweetness a bit and brings out the butter flavor in the topping

What To Do

Here’s the rundown:

  • Make the very soft dough. I really recommend using a stand mixer for this step.
A hand lifting a pinch of sugar cake dough away from main dough, showing the stretch. Dough is in a mixing bowl.
See how soft the potato dough is? It is gorgeous to work with!
  • Allow dough to rise once in the bowl.
  • Divide in half and “pour” each half onto a buttered half-sheet pan.
  • Spread out in a thin layer, trying to cover the entire pan. You may have to let the dough rest for a few minutes a few times so it will stretch out.
  • Dimple all over with your fingertips. It’s okay to poke holes completely through the dough, too.
  • Drizzle on melted butter and then sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar.
  • Let rise for another 30-45 minutes.
Moravian sugar cake dough in 2 rectangular baking pans ready for the oven.
After you dimple the dough with your fingertips, drizzle melted butter all over the surface, allowing it to collect in the dimples. Then sprinkle on an even layer of cinnamon sugar.
  • Bake!
  • Let cool as long as you can stand it.
  • Eat!
2 pans of Moravian sugar cake in the oven baking.
If you do bake both trays at the same time, you will have to rotate the pans and switch racks halfway through so both cakes brown evenly. A small price to pay for yeasty, cinnamon sugary goodness!

Time to Break Out the Stretchy Pants!

I have made 4 trays of Moravian sugar cake at one time. Not that I necessarily recommend it. Because then you’ll have a ton of it in your house.

And the only way to get rid of it is to eat it. That’s my reasoning anyway. It is so easy to eat, too. Soft, sweet potato dough with ripples and hills and valleys filled with cinnamon sugar deliciousness.

Care to join me in Stretchy Pants Land? Make some yourself. And then call me when you find yourself eating it like pizza. I’ll be your support group. You’re welcome.

Q & A

Can I Buy this stuff instead of making it?

If you want to forgo the baking, both Dewey’s and Winkler’s in Winston-Salem/Old Salem ship, although expect them both to be sold out close to the holidays.

It’s fun to make your own, though, so I vote you go for it!.

What’s the best way to reheat this?

I learned this tip from a reader, actually. Here’s the “correct” way to reheat Moravian Sugar Cake:

*Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat.
*Add butter and let it melt.
*Put in a piece of leftover sugar cake and fry that bad boy up on both sides until caramelized and crispy.
*Dig in.

What should I do with the leftovers?

If you ever happen to have leftover Moravian Sugar Cake, you must try my Moravian Sugar Cake Baked French Toast. It is incredibly good!

Can I freeze it?

Sure. Freeze individual slices once completely cool. Wrap them in a double layer of plastic wrap and then in foil or place slices in freezer bags, making sure to press out as much air as possible before sealing. They’ll keep well for up to 3 months. Thaw wrapped at room temperature and rewarm (or fry in butter as outlined above) to serve.

More Old Fashioned, North Carolina Recipes

If you like this old-fashioned recipe, you may like my old-fashioned butterscotch cake recipe. And if you’re from North Carolina or are a Cheerwine fine, try my Cheerwine Layer Cake.

I am also a huge fan of lazy peach sonker, a North Carolina Specialty, and this Chocolate Glazed Doughnut Bread Pudding I made with Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I think you’ll like these recipes too.

Reader Rave

A slice of reheated Moravian sugar cake on a pale blue plate with a silver fork.
Here’s a slice reheated in a frying pan with butter. Look how crisp and lovely!

I can tell you this the best yeast-raised coffee cake in all the land until I’m blue in the face, but it means more when a reader has made and loved the recipe.

I know this is a very old post, but I have to tell you how much I enjoyed your post and the sugar cake I made today! I went on a field trip to Old Salem with my son’s class last week and was scolded (lovingly, of course) by my husband for returning without a sugar cake. I didn’t want to stand in line at the bakery with my unruly group of fourth graders. So I told him I’d find a recipe and make one. I landed here. Absolutely fantastic and delicious. Thank you for a fun story and a delicious recipe. My kids and I are making quick work of one pan. My husband will probably eat half of the other when he gets home from work, leaving half for me for breakfast tomorrow!

Reader Kristen

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07/16/2024 06:33 pm GMT
5 golden stars for rating recipes

Moravian Sugar Cake

Jennifer Field
This recipe for Moravian sugar cake makes about 60 ounces of dough, enough to make 2 jelly roll pans of cake. In other words, enough for you and one of your dearest friends.
4.66 from 29 votes
Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Rise Time 2 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Course Sweet Yeast Bread Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 2 half-sheet trays, about 48 slices
Calories 178 kcal

Ingredients

For the Dough

  • ½ cup warm water (you can use the water from cooking the potatoes, if you want)
  • 1 Tablespoon dried yeast
  • 1 cup unseasoned mashed potatoes (just potatoes–no milk or butter or anything)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 5 ½ ounces melted butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 32-35 ounces all-purpose flour enough to make a soft, sticky dough

For the Topping

  • 6-8 ounces melted butter your call
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • several gratings of fresh nutmeg optional
  • heavy pinch of fine salt

Instructions
 

For the Dough

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, pour in the warm water and yeast. Stir for a minute or so to dissolve the yeast.
  • Add the potatoes, salt, sugar, butter, milk eggs and about half of the flour. Mix on low until you have a smooth batter.
  • Change to the dough hook, and add most of the remaining flour. Mix on low speed until combined, and then knead on medium speed for 5 minutes. Test the dough by pulling some up with your fingers. It should be very sticky and stretchy and almost-but-not-quite flow-y. If the dough doesn’t have enough body, knead in the rest of the flour. Keep in mind that wetter is better than drier when it comes to yeast dough.
  • Once you are happy with your dough, remove the bowl from the mixer and smooth the top of the dough with a pan-sprayed hand or spatula.
  • Cover and let rise in a warm-ish place for about 1 1/2-2 hours, until doubled in size.
  • Spray 2 jelly roll pans with pan spray (I made one batch with parchment-lined trays and one without. The parchment isn’t necessary for this, so you can skip it if you want.
  • Divide the dough in half (I weigh mine) and plop half on each of the prepared sheets. Spray your hands and the top of the dough with pan spray to keep it from sticking, and start stretching/patting/pulling the dough to fit each pan. Alternate between pans to give the dough a chance to relax and make it easier to stretch.
  • Once the dough is shaped, spray it again with a little pan spray and cover with a lint-free towel or plastic wrap and let rise until puffy, about an hour.

For the Topping

  • Set your oven racks for the bottom third and top thirds of your oven. Preheat oven to 400F (204C).
  • Whisk the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg (if using), and salt together very well.
  • Once the dough is puffy, dimple the dough all over with your fingers. You don’t have to be gentle–it’s okay if you break holes all the way through the dough, even. Just dimple it all over very, very well.
  • Liberally brush 3-4 ounces of melted butter over each cake. The butter should pool in the little dimples.
  • Sprinkle half the sugar mixture evenly over each cake. Be generous–you pretty much don’t want to see any dough showing through the sugar.
  • Place the cakes on the racks and bake for 7 minutes.
  • Switch the cakes on the racks and bake for 7 more minutes.*
  • Remove to racks to cool for a few minutes.
  • With a large spatula and maybe some help, slide the cakes out onto cooling racks so the bottoms don’t get soggy. Slice however you think appropriate.
  • Serve warm.
  • Store at room temperature. If you’re not going to eat all of this the same day, wrap the cakes well and freeze them.

Did You Make Any Changes?

Notes

*Ovens vary, so consider the baking time as a general guide. Yours may take a little longer. If you bake in 9"x13" pans, your sugar cake will also take longer to bake. Look for an internal temperature of 190-195F.
For a Thicker Cake, bake in a 9"x13" pan. For a thinner more traditional sugar cake, bake in a half-sheet pan or jelly roll pan.
You can freeze this whole cake cut in individual slices or cut into quarters. Cool completely, wrap in a double layer of plastic wrap and then in foil, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Allow to thaw on the counter, still wrapped.

To Reheat

The traditional way to reheat this cake is to melt some butter in a cast iron skillet and then "fry" slices until crisp on the outsides and heated through. This is more easily done if your slices are thinner (made in a larger pan).
If you prefer not to add extra butter, simply heat slices in the microwave for a few seconds, in your toaster oven, or in the oven. For oven heating, wrap in foil and bake at 350F for about 10 minutes until heated through.][]

Nutrition

Serving: 1pieceCalories: 178kcalCarbohydrates: 26.2gProtein: 2.8gFat: 7.1gSaturated Fat: 4.3gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 137mgFiber: 0.6gSugar: 9.6g
Keyword coffee cake, Moravian sugar cake, sweet bread
Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!

And that does it. I do hope you make the sugar cake so I won’t be Alone in Shame.

Enjoy, and have a lovely day.

Sam the cat sitting down and looking up.
No Moravian Sugar Cake for you, foster cat Sam!

Thank you once again to the Idaho® Potato Commission for partnering with me on this post. I do love working with my friends at IPC.

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80 Comments

  1. I visited the Burnside Plantation, a Moravian farm in Bethlehem, PA today. In the summer kitchen they had some breads and Moravian Sugar Cake on display, fresh made. Hence the internet search for a recipe. Their version of the MS cake was made in a round dish, not a jelly roll pan-and used lard. Other recipes I’ve seen also call for lumps of butter which melt into the holes as it bakes. Same result either way I suppose, but the picture of butter melting down into the holes just seems yummier somehow!! I grew up in the area-Allentown specifically-and wasn’t aware that everyone hasn’t heard of the Moravians!

    1. Hey there! Same for me. I couldn’t imagine any one not knowing about the Moravian or MSC because I grew up near Winston-Salem! Next time I make it, I’ll be all about the lumps of butter. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  2. I was spoiled by the sugar cake from Dewey’s. This is the 4th recipe I’ve tried since moving to NY. HOLY CATS! Not only lived up to, but absolutely surpassed my expectations, I dare say, better than Dewey’s! Thank you! Now, do you have a recipe for south Texas flour Tortillas?

  3. Aloha from Oahu.

    I grew up in Bethlehem, PA. I am not Moravian (who are almost all ethnically PA Dutch i.e. German), so my mom and grandmothers (all from Puerto Rico) did not make it, or really know who to ask how to make it. It was kind of a ‘in house’ secret among Moravian families. But I would never pass up a bake sale purchase that had it, if I was passing by.

    Anyway, given the Moravians place in the industrial history of the colonies (the first water-works in America to pump water for public use, the first public works department for road building and maintenance, the founding of what would become Bethlehem Steel, which built most of the 20th century US Navy warships, as well as provided steel for the Golden Gate Bridge, most of the iconic skyscrapers in NYC and almost every bridge or tunnel leading into NYC and Philadelphia), imagine my surprise when I went a mere 75 miles north for college in Scranton, and MSC (and the Moravians in general) was unheard of. So, I used to look forward to holiday trips or even long weekends home before I had a car, just to get some MSC.

    As an adult, I sadly have not lived with driving distance of my home town, and now I MIGHT buy some every other Christmas. Maybe. It been probably 7-9 years since I had some, though. Weather and family visits often limit my ability to just leave a big family get together to go get some cake.

    So you can imagine the smile I have when this was posted in an online group of current and former Facebook residents. I now have a recipe to try! Had I known that Winston-Salem was place to get it, I would have made the effort on my work trips to Raleigh in 2013 -2015. Its not exactly right next door, but it also was not impossible to make it a stop on my drive in or out.

    Anyway, I’m going to give this a try and see how well it compares to what I have tried, which I believe is probably from family recipes from the last original American Moravian Church, handed down since the 1700s. (The Moravians were expelled from their first American mission/church in NY in 1740, and founded Bethlehem in 1741). Even with my limited baking skills, a close approximation will be a real treat for my kids, who have never had it.

    Thanks for posting this!

    1. Hi, Jared! You certainly are living very far away from MSC territory right now! I have 2 versions of this cake posted, and they’re linked together. Both are excellent, so it just depends on if you want a richer dough and less topping, or a leaner dough and more topping. Either way, you really can’t lose! I’m glad I can provide you a taste of home!

  4. I live near Winston-Salem and I was walking through Old Salem today and just barely stayed out of the bakery. So what am I about to do now? Make myself a batch at home! We usually eat it around the holidays as well, but I there’s such a thing as Christmas in July, right?!

  5. I know this is a super old post and I so rarely comment on blog posts but this piece is my life! I grew up between WS/Raleigh, NC and within driving distance of Lititz, PA in a family that was actually Moravian so growing up I also “took it for granted that everyone ate Krispy-Kreme Donuts and had Moravian Sugar Cake for Christmas,” of course it also came as a surprise to me that almost no one knows what Moravians are, haha. I applaud you for making your own MSC! My family actually still gets our Sugar Cake delivered every Christmas from Dewey’s Bakery in WS and none of my friends believe me when I rave about it…I’ve now shared this piece with all of them. Also, I laughed out loud when I read about eating it just to get it out of the house, it’s the same reasoning I use!

    1. It’s like I have found my people! Or maybe you have! Thanks for sharing the post with your non-believing friends. Perhaps, between the two of us, we’ll make some new MSC converts!

  6. 5 stars
    I know this is a very old post, but I have to tell you how much I enjoyed your post and the sugar cake I made today! I went on a field trip to Old Salem with my son’s class last week and was scolded (lovingly, of course) by my husband for returning without a sugar cake. I didn’t want to stand in line at the bakery with my unruly group of fourth graders. So I told him I’d find a recipe and make one. I landed here. Absolutely fantastic and delicious. Thank you for a fun story and a delicious recipe. My kids and I are making quick work of one pan. My husband will probably eat half of the other when he gets home from work, leaving half for me for breakfast tomorrow!

  7. 5 stars
    I’m so glad you’ve posted this recipe. I grew up in the Winston-Salem area, living part of my childhood in Winston-Salem and part of it in Thomasville. I remember taking field trips to Old Salem with my schools every year. I LOVE Old Salem. They taught us how to make corn cakes one year. Since I was a member of a Moravian church, sugar cakes and cookies were always around.

    I live in Oklahoma now and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I miss those cakes and cookies, the smell of Winkler’s Bakery, and the feel of the environment within Old Salem. I even miss the eerie feeling that you get when walking through God’s Acre. Now that I have this recipe, I can make it here at home and share it with my husband and children. Thank you so, so much.

    Now, if only I could replicate Lexington barbecue..

    1. Wow, Oklahoma is a long way from NC! I hope when you make this is brings back all of your good memories of Christmas in Old Salem! Enjoy, enjoy, Quinn, and have a wonderful holiday! Wish I could help you out with the bbq! 🙂

  8. Two questions:
    1) Pre-cooking weight of potatoes? (Can’t measure 1C mashed until after they’re cooked.)
    2) Dimensions of the jelly-roll pans you use? (I have quarter- and half-sheet pans that I got from a restaurant-supply store since they tend to work better for me than the flimsy things sold in department stores, etc.)

    Can’t wait to try this. I know about MSC from the Lancaster, PA area and haven’t had it in about 30 years!

    Thank you!

    1. Great questions. I didn’t weigh them because I knew I’d be making more than I needed and using the leftovers for something else. I think you’d be safe boiling 2 medium potatoes to get a cup of mashed, although you might have a bit leftover too. Hello, potato pancakes! I use half-sheets as well. I call them jelly roll pans because more home bakers own them, so you’ll he fine with your half-sheets. Enjoy!

      1. Thank you so much for your quick reply – especially on a new comment to a five-year-old post. I definitely must try this – probably tomorrow. You (or anyone who has ever had MSC) can certainly understand, I’m sure. 🙂

      2. 5 stars
        Results: Delicious!

        A one-pound potato was way more than enough and once that was boiled and mashed, one cup of it was 210 grams (7.4 ounces). (For consistent results and ease of measurement, I weigh all ingredients in grams.)

        No problems using the half-sheet pans.

        Thanks again!

  9. 5 stars
    I grew up eating MSC in Lancaster County, PA. I have a handwritten recipe from the lady who made them in her house (and pies and other goodies) to sell. Lititz was another Moravian community in PA, and has a lovely walking tour of so many of the original buildings from 1700s, Check us out, and come visit the Candy Museum and the first Pretzel Bakery in America, as well. OK, I’ll stop, but the Moravians and other PA Dutch were great cooks, like my mom and grandma who passed it on to me! Just started the PA Dutch Cooking FB page where I have the original MSC recipe and the updated version, too.

  10. I ate a whole MSC from Winston -Salem today… Nobody else had any. 1/4 at breakfast, 1/4 at lunch, 1/4 snack, and 1/4 dinner. Yikes!!! Your story makes me feel better! I probably shouldn’t try your recipe…

  11. Omgoodness, I want some so bad. I dont want to wait to bake it (too lazy too) I might have to drive to Dewey’s. Glad I live in W-S. To go along with your calorie philosophies and pizza technique, I’ve added something. Do you think perhaps you get a “fat/calorie discount” if your ancestors were Moravians? (Thats what I”M believing ; )

  12. My kids came down from New Jersey to visit this Easter and we took them to Old Salem. Needless to say we stopped at the bakery and stocked up on multiple goodies, two of which were MSCs. This was at the request of my Husband who tagged one whole cake for himself. The other cake was for sharing with the family but having caught the MSC fever, I hid it. Now it will be our Saturday morning treat for me and the hubby but this time I get some too. I will try the reheating method in the pan with butter and am also going to try your recipe. I can always take it to work as long as I don’t eat it in the car!

    1. Kate, I laughed out loud when I read that you hid the second one! We’d get along famously, as long as there was enough MSC to go around! Next time I make this, I am totally trying the butter in the pan trick too! This recipe is pretty darned good, if I do say so myself. Enjoy!

  13. We’re from Winston Salem and wouldn’t think of making MSC without mashed potatoes plus the potato water…some member of the divine cooking staff would swoop down from heaven and smack us. I notice that Winkler’s, the bakery in Old Salem, uses instant mashed potatoes…can’t imagine that either.

    I totally agree with you about the manna from heaven part …and the stretchy pants…so I try to bake it and get it to church to share ASAP. I don’t see the finger holes in yours…you should try them. If you have children or grandchildren, let them poke the holes, they can put in the little pieces of butter, cinnamon and brown sugar before it all goes in the oven. It is a heavenly Easter treat.

    With Moravian Sugar Cake and Hot Cross Buns to bake at Easter, it’s always a strict diet of rabbit food after Easter.

    1. I’m jealous that you’re from the home of MSC and Krispy Kreme! I did dimple the dough much like making focaccia, but I didn’t poke holes all the way through. Is that what you usually do? Because I am a fan of poking holes in things!

      I’m almost sorry you told me that you guys have MSC at Easter, too. I was hoping to not have to whip out my stretchy pants until December, Tajar! lol

      So glad you dropped by–now get that stuff out of your house and to the church, stat!

  14. First, and I mean this as a compliment, I was so happy to see that yours looks pretty much like mine did lol. Because I think your stuff always looks awesome, but having never heard of Moravian Sugar Coffee Cake when I made it I really had no way to judge if it came out right! I am also curious (from a purely academic standpoint) if you came across recipes using lard in the dough or cream on top? I got my recipe from a cookbook from the 1980’s (Gourmet) and of course even on Gourmet’s website the recipe now looks different. But since you actually ate it growing up I figured maybe you might know? Here is the link to when I made it–feel free to delete if you want I swear I don’t usually leave links but I am curious in this instance and it sounds like you researched it a bit. http://www.thespicedlife.com/2010/02/excessive-or-perfect-or-both-moravian-sugar-coffeecake-circa-1987.html

    1. Huh. That doesn’t seem traditional from what I’ve read–all the recipes I’ve seen just call for butter and sugar on the top and that’s pretty much it. I’m leaving your link because it’s relevant. =) If I had to guess, different families maybe made it different ways, and if one family had an excess of cream from a really good milker, maybe they used cream on top as well, and that’s the family the Gourmet people talked to when they were (presumably) doing their own research. I’ve never seen cream on top, though.

      I did learn something from another commenter, though. To heat it up, you melt a ton of butter in a skillet and heat it in the pan. Seems like a good idea to me, Laura!

      Thanks for sharing this new-to-me variation. And no, it’s not very photogenic, is it? But that’s okay–more for us! =)

  15. Dewey’s Bakery in Greensboro, N.C., (your link) makes a sugar cake, but it isn’t the real thing. I know because I ate some of Dewey’s on Christmas morning, and just now had a piece of Moravian sugar cake from Winkler’s Bakery in Old Salem, where I visited yesterday, and where sugar cake was born. There’s hardly any resemblance. Dewey’s is like any ordinary sugary pastry you’d get from a supermarket. Winkler’s sugar cake is amazing. It has a depth of yeasty fermentation that is utterly missing in Dewey’s. It’s almost boozy in flavor, and it is far more tender.

    The woman in Winkler’s who sold me the sugar cake (and who was kind enough not to treat me as a traitor for having had Dewey’s version) told me the way to properly warm up a sugar cake. You do NOT warm it in the oven (she was horrified at the thought). Instead, you place a fair amount of butter in a frying pan, and heat it to melt. When it’s fairly hot, place the sugar cake, bottom down, and cook until it just begins to sizzle. Then flip the cake over and cook the top for one minute. It makes the bottom crunchy/caramely and the top becomes soft and almost gooey in contrast. Fabulous!

    1. I think using terms like “the real thing” when referring to anything other than Coca-Cola (lol) is kind of unfair. Dewey’s makes Dewey’s version. Winkler’s makes Winkler’s version. I don’t think there is much use in debating which is “authentic” since both are, and there are a bunch of ways to make almost anything you can think of. It’s a matter of taste and personal preference.

      That aside–this re-heating information is amazing! It never occurred to me to reheat in a butter-filled skillet! Fantastic idea, and I’m so glad that the Winkler’s lady passed it along to you and that you passed it along here. Thank you so much! And whatever kind of Moravian Sugar Cake you make, I hope you enjoy it (especially re-heated)! =)

      Thanks for stopping in and for commenting; I appreciate, Steven!

4.66 from 29 votes (20 ratings without comment)

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