Moravian Sugar Cake

Many of the recipes we use here at the Inn are renditions of old family favorites and Moravian Sugar Cake is no exception. I had kind of forgotten about it until my sister, having a nostalgic moment, texted me a picture of her Moravian Sugar Cake fresh out of the oven.  Mom made the absolute best one starting with a slightly sweet potato dough and finishing it with dark brown sugar, melted fresh cream butter and fragrant cinnamon. The Moravian Community brought this recipe with them when they moved here from Eastern Europe. Lititz was founded by these stalwart folks so many of the traditions still stand. Visiting the Moravian Church for their Christmas Eve Service we were served ironstone mugs filled with coffee and milk, and a wonderful home baked round of Moravian sugar cake,  making for the most wonderful local tradition.  I use dried potato flakes instead of the mashed potatoes the original called for but other than that, it is the old standard one that Mom made for years. It is best enjoyed warm and can be every bit as addictive as those “blue light donuts!

Moravian Sugar Cake

1/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes
3/4 cup milk
2 1/2  tsp instant yeast
1/2 cup  granulated sugar
8 Tbsp butter, melted
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 cups flour

8 Tbsp butter, melted
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon, preferably Vietnamese


Make the mashed potatoes by combining the instant flakes with the warm milk
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, dry yeast, and salt
In a small bowl combine the milk, egg, mashed potatoes, and melted butter
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix to form a ball of dough. It will be a soft dough
Cover, set in a draft free warm corner of the kitchen and allow to double in size
Butter a jelly roll pan (13x18x1)
Roll or press the dough to fit evenly across the pan
Cover and allow to almost double, about 30 min
Preheat oven to 350F
Meanwhile melt  8 Tbsp ( 1 stick) of butter and allow to cool
Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl
Remove the towel from the risen dough and with your fingers poke indentations all across the dough
Sprinkle the cinnamon and brown sugar mixture evenly over the dough
Pour the melted butter evenly over the dough. Some of it will pool in the indentations. This is a good thing!
Bake at 350 for 30 min or until lightly brown and the middle springs back to touch. Do not over-bake.

Serve warm with a great cup of coffee.

Swiss Woods Bed and Breakfast
 Debbie Mosimann
The Lititz Broad

1 thought on “Moravian Sugar Cake

  1. Debbie, hi, I’m a Lititz Broad also. Spent my first 30 years there. Now retired and living in Costa Rica. I have my grandmother’s Moravian Sugar Cake recipe; she didn’t use eggs or potatoes in her recipe. I can still smell it baking in her oven on Front Street! Just wanted to say HI.

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