Moravian Sugar Cake
A crunchy caramelized brown sugar topping and tender potato-based dough make this North Carolina coffee cake unique.
Why This Recipe Works
An unusual coffee cake, the Moravian Sugar Cake hails from the Winkler Bakery of Winston-Salem, N.C., where the Moravians, a group of Czech Protestants, have been baking since 1766. The cake’s trademark chewy richness is created with a yeast-raised bread dough that is pockmarked by fingertips and topped with brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. In developing our own Moravian Sugar Cake recipe, we found that the potatoes made the cake moist, tender, and decreased the yeast flavor, but that cooking and mashing them was too much work. Luckily, instant potatoes provided a comparably light texture and round flavor. Just out of the oven, the cake’s golden topping was smooth, but left to cool for half an hour, it sunk and produced the Moravian Sugar Cake recipe’s characteristic pocketed appearance.