Moravian Sugar Cake

Although this recipe is labeled a "cake", it is best described as more like cinnamon bread or rolls maybe. It is one of the best breakfast breads we've ever had, but it also goes well with afternoon tea or before bedtime snack. I always doubled the recipe and baked it in a pan (greased) that measured about 12x18 inches.


  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup mashed potatoes, reserve cooking water (1 large or 2 small)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 package active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup potato water (105-110 degrees F)
  • 4 scant cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • butter
  • brown sugar and cinnamon


Using a large bowl, add shortening and sugar to hot mashed potatoes. Add beaten eggs and quickly stir them in very well.

Dissolve yeast in lukewarm potato water and add sifted flour and salt.

Combine potato and yeast mixture (like a bread dough) and let rise in a covered bowl until doubled in bulk, 20-30 minutes at 80 degrees F.

Pat out in greased pans (one 11x7x2 inch plus one 8 inch square, or 3 square pans) to 1/2 inch thick.

Let rise 1 hr. Make indentations in dough and fill holes with plenty of butter. Sprinkle very generously with brown sugar and cinnamon.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes.

This "cake" freezes very well if you wrap it tightly and keep it in an opaque outer wrapper. You probably will not have any leftovers to freeze though as this is a wonderfully moist and delicious food.

Servings: 12-16
Time:30 Minutes Preparation Time
20-25 Minutes Cooking Time

Source: Marcia Adams made this on TV about 20 years ago. She has a cookbook out "Cooking From Quilt Country" On Amish and Mennonite cooking and baking which is such a good cookbook.

By Julia from Boca Raton, FL

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May 4, 20100 found this helpful

We used to stop at a PA roadside "stand" and buy
squares of something that sounds like this. It
was fairly heavy for the size of the squares, so I
suspect it had something like "potato starch" in it.

When we got it, it was still warm, and so good.

I haven't made yeast bread of any kind in a while,
but this recipe makes me want to try it.

Thanks for sharing.


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May 5, 20100 found this helpful

I'm thinking I might try this basic dough to make kolache. I've been trying for years to get close to my grandmother's recipe with no luck. (Unfortunately, when she was alive, I was totally disinterested in cooking. Now I'm pushing 70 and really wishing I'd paid attention!) I know she put mashed potatoes in the dough, so I think I'll give this a whirl and see what happens.

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May 5, 20100 found this helpful

Hi Czechens,

Kolaches are a traditional Czech yeast (not always yeast though) breakfast or dessert treat. Most often it's made containing a fruit with or without cottage cheese mixed in. If you do want to try using the Moravian type dough, just do everything as you would in the Moravian version, but when you make the indentions, make them a little
larger maybe, and fill them with something like one of the canned pie fillings: apple,cherry, blueberry etc. Mix it with a little drained cottage cheese, and it might do the trick. It never hurts to try, and even if it's not exactly the one you're looking for, I think it'd still be a nice treat.

When you try it, do let us know how it works for you. I love learning new ways to use my old recipes.

All the best,

Julia in Boca Raton, FL

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May 3, 2010


  • 1 package hot roll mix
  • butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup instant nonfat dry milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup instant mashed potato flakes
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  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon


Dissolve yeast from hot roll mix in 3/4 cup very warm water in large bowl. Stir half the flour from mix, 1/3 cup butter, sugar, milk, eggs and potato flakes into yeast mixture. Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer. Add remaining flour, mixing well. Cover and let rise in warm place for about 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Stir dough down. Spread in greased 9x13 inch pan. Cover and let rise for about 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Press dough with floured finger tip to make pockets. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in bowl. Sprinkle over dough. Drizzle with 1/2 cup butter. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15-20 minutes.

By Robin from Washington, IA

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